Letter: Needleman Reaches Out on Coronavirus

in Health/Letters

By now, we are all aware of the health and quality of life implications of COVID-19.  The virus has become a significant threat to our families and to our communities. We also know that widespread testing will not be available in the immediate future and there is no definite treatment at this time. Those circumstances leave us with only one common sense choice: adapt to a new “normal.” 

The reality is that our best near-term solution will come from you and me, not from the federal or state government.  The most sensible and highest impact option is for each of us to do our part to limit the progress of the virus until tests, treatments and vaccines are widely available. It’s more than just a reasonable alternative – it’s our collective responsibility. 

All of us — everyone in the community — can and should take the initiative to limit the virus from spreading. While the threat from the disease may be relatively low for younger populations, we all have friends and neighbors for whom the risks are much greater. Individuals over the age of 60 and those with health problems including diabetes, heart disease and lung disease are vulnerable to this disease.  We need to do everything in our power to minimize our own exposure to the virus. When we do that, we protect ourselves, our families and our vulnerable friends and neighbors. Let’s work together to keep our communities as healthy and virus free as possible.

Now is a time for concern, calm, and common sense, not panic.  Here are some of the helpful things we can do to stop the spread of the virus:  

  • Follow the advice of health care professionals by taking common-sense precautions. Practicing good hygiene, including washing your hands for at least 20 seconds several times a day, practicing social distancing and staying at least six feet away from other people, and limiting unnecessary community interactions are measures PROVEN to slow the spread of the virus.
  • Whenever possible, stay home.
  • Make simple good hygiene a habit in your daily life – wash your hands regularly, especially when you come in contact with surfaces someone else has touched, and avoid touching your face whenever possible.
  • Stay informed. Relevant information changes regularly. Here are the most reliable sources of information.

    1. Dial 2-1-1 for the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s info hotline which is available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. The hotline is for general questions about COVID-19. If you’re experiencing symptoms, contact your medical provider.

    2. To send questions, comments and concerns to the Center for Disease Control please use the following contact form: www.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form
  • If you have any symptoms, phone your healthcare provider before seeking treatment anywhere.
  • If you do not have a healthcare provider, please contact the Office of the Healthcare Advocate who can advise you on how to obtain care. Please call 1-866-466-4446 or toll-free: 1-866-HMO-4446 or send an email to Healthcare.advocate@ct.gov.

As always, my office and my staff are available to help in any way we can. Please send an email to brooke.parker@cga.ct.gov.

State Sen. Norm Needleman
Essex