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Expat Coronavirus Report

Coronavirus in Washington DC Area, Md and Virginia

By TheIslandGeneration

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Mar 16, 2020 Update

We Asked: What is currently happening with regard to the Coronavirus outbreak in your area? Please provide as much detail as possible. He replied...

Spreading quickly but limited test kits. Many suspect cases with symptoms. One individual that came in from the Philippines tested at Andrews Air Force Base is now in self quarantine in Waldorf Maryland outside the DC.

How People are Coping

We Asked: How are people handling the situation in your area? He replied...

Unknown.. But I have contact with medical individuals

Changing Conditions as coronavirus Spreads

We Asked: How has the situation changed as the Coronavirus has spread? He replied...

All rush on grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Things like hand sanitizer, bottled water, toilet paper and 25 pounds bags of rice are almost impossible to find. It will give you a bad look if you cough and it simply because it's spring here and pollen is out.

Government Response

We Asked: Describe how the government of the country about which you are reporting is handling this situation. He replied...

Not reacting quick enough to changing conditions. At the state level governors are taking over what should be the federal lead. Governors are putting in their own testing. State of Maryland also close the motor vehicle administration and for the waiver on all tags expire or permits they will be overlooked by the police. It changes every day.

Government Response with Regard to Expats

We Asked: Describe how your home country's government has handled the outbreak situation with regards to its expatriate citizens. He replied...

The US mistakingly said it was cutting off travel from Europe. This caused the panic of American citizens who bought overnight tickets costing some of them a huge amount of money and throwing away the round-trip ticket. This was cleared up by others in the government and the next day that would not affect returning Americans. Americans are returning but only using simple screening such as temperature checks and questionnaires and then asked this of quarantine. That seems in adequate considering the Americans to return from Japan there were on the diamond Princess at least one of them got sick on the plane and were put in a mandatory quarantine.

Self quarantine seems in adequate considering that when people return you may not have food in their refrigerators or any storage they will go out they are not receiving any guidance in this way.

Supplies and Shortages

We Asked: Is there a shortage of supplies in your location? He replied...

Yes... But probably short-term because grocery stores and warehouses were caught off guard in their normal supply routes. Things like mask and hand sanitizer may be in short supply for a long time they literally fly off the shelves. As an example Walmart I'm on their alert email for hand sanitizer. Every time I see it and click it it's already gone. The shortages may be short-term as people are hoarding. Not sure yet

Preparing for the Future

We Asked: What are you doing in terms of preparations in case the situation deteriorates in your location? He replied...

I saw it coming an already stock up on most things. I ordered many things from Walmart.com and Costco online even Boxed.com these places can handle things like toilet paper, paper towels. But ordering online you limit the number of people you come in contact with.

Ordering online with grocery stores allows you to do parking lot pickup. Shop online with the phone pull up to a lane during your allotted time. One person in the store shops for you. And you simply give your lane number in the parking lot open your hatchback or trunk and sit there. An employee brings it out calls out your name and loads it in the back of your vehicle and you drive away. He didn't touch the basket, you didn't check out the credit machine keypad, you didn't have to walk through a maze of people.

It's about minimizing your risk.

What I did see a small Filipino store that had tied Jasmine Rice I bought four bags or hundred pounds. I will use all of this but could help friends out that didn't think it through. The price also of the rice has gone up considerably. Still the same price at Costco but they don't have any of you have to be ready to shell out a few more dollars to protect yourself.

Lockdown & Passing the Time

We Asked: Are you staying home? If so, how are you passing the time? He replied...

No at the present time still going to work in IT field but there's lots of talk about telecommuting that could happen at any moment. For me home is not a problem sign up for a few streaming video places out there and watch some good stuff. If you enjoyed video games a long time ago you can always go to good old games GOG.com I have like every old game up there you can think of sometimes free or just for a few bucks. They modify them to work on Windows 10 or 7. As for streaming just sign up for a site once a week most of them have trial periods. Cancel and then sign up for another one. If you keep doing this you might find you probably don't have to pay for any.

It's much safer to be at home because COVID-19 can be incredibly stealthy. Keep distance from friends and neighbors. Seriously they may not be as careful as you are. As always things around the house that you've been meaning to fix it may not be able to get the supplies maybe can order them online. Concentrate on waiting out the storm.

Public Healthcare & Public Hospitals

We Asked: Are you enrolled in the public healthcare system where you live? Do you feel that the public hospitals are handling or preparing for the Coronavirus outbreak effectively? He replied...

Not enrolled in public health care system.

But in communication with those that are. There definitely is a ramp up of hospitals in the US. But at this point I can tell you they literally tell people to come in that have a high fever and a minor cough and put them in the waiting room. This is the most dangerous thing anyone can do. Health departments are swamped and can't handle the number of calls so they go unanswered.

No hospital system can be prepared for those who think they have it and you have to clear that when they come in and then those that actually have the disease. Hospitals would pushed over the limit very quickly as the numbers go up.

I know personally firefighters are catching the virus in Washington DC because there on the front line. If you remember back when Legionnaires' disease broke out ambulance personnel actually got to scared to pick up possibly infected people.

No system will be ready for this level of infection. Unfortunately the care will probably be go home and if you get worse come back.

Private Health Insurance & Private Hospitals

We Asked: Do you have private health insurance? If you have private insurance, does this give you access to private hospitals? Are private hospitals or clinics better prepared, less prepared, or the same? Please explain. He replied...

Private healthcare yes. But I don't know of any place that is totally prepared. Also in some person I talked to this in the believe it's not really a big deal. And these are medical people than in their head aren't really clear what's going to happen.

Many doctors and pharmacists are still quoting the flu is worse. Somehow they don't understand this is a ongoing situation with a new virus that has no immunity no vaccine and comparing that to last year's numbers of the influenza. I find it difficult to keep my composure when people do this. Because people have no idea what this virus does to you. We won't know that it's worse than the flu until it's over. But what we do know is that some people that do recover that are younger have reduced lung capacity. This is not typical of influenza so we should not treat it as such and doctors and nurses don't quite understand.

Hospital of Choice for Coronavirus Treatment

We Asked: Would you choose a public or private hospital if you needed treatment for Coronavirus? Why? If there is a specific hospital that you would go to in the event of severe illness? Which hospital and why? He replied...

A public hospital would probably be overcrowded and unable to help you private hospital might be better. But I would look for those hospitals that are using out-of-the-box techniques that are successful. They may be basing this properly on places like China and Thailand who have dealt with this longer and through trial and error. These hospitals should obviously cherry pick those procedures those medicines and apply in countries that are now with a climbing infection rate. Unfortunately this probably won't happen with most hospitals they will stick the old standards that don't work with the novel coronavirus.

I think I would keep an eye on the news see what hospitals having success. If I got sick drive myself to the hospital and collapse in the emergency room.

Returning Home

We Asked: Are you considering returning to your home country due to the Coronavirus? Would this be a temporary move or a permanent repatriation? Please explain. He replied...

Already here in the US, but it does make me feel better

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