Why Staying Home Saves Lives | Paid Post | Coronavirus | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Published March 27, 2020 at 4:44 p.m.
Updated July 22, 2020 at 8:39 a.m.

  • Courtesy of UVM Health Network
In Vermont and across the nation, a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases requiring medical attention threatens to overwhelm hospitals. But when each of us stays home, we slow down the rate of infection. That, in turn, will slow down the number of high-risk people getting sick at the same time.

“That means we are much more likely to save their lives,” said Tim Lahey, MD, an infectious disease expert at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington.

If you’ve seen #FlattenTheCurve on social media posts, that’s what it means: Stretching out the rate of infection over time so that hospitals will be able to provide enough respirators and other critical resources for people at high risk. 

But, What If I’m Young and Healthy?

Dr. Lahey points out that, from what we know about COVID-19 so far, younger and healthier people infected with the virus will most likely show mild to moderate symptoms. Some might not even know that they have it. But they could still transmit the virus to others, who would then pass it on. Staying home slows down that cycle.

Our Call to Action as Community Members

The COVID-19 outbreak represents the worst public health crisis the world has seen in a century, presenting us all with a once-in-a-lifetime call to action that we all have a responsibility to answer.

“You need to save the lives of vulnerable people in your community by staying home,” said Dr. Lahey.

  • Staying home, cleaning your hands with soap and water or sanitizer, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and other good hygiene measures are all critical to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
  • If you must go out, make that trip as short and efficient as possible. Practice social distancing at all times.
  • If you feel sick, but your symptoms are mild to moderate, stay home. If you have trouble breathing or are so sick that you can’t take care of yourself and need help, call your doctor for guidance.

A message from John R. Brumsted, MD

President and CEO, The University of Vermont Health Network
As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, many are wondering what they can do to keep their families and their communities as safe as possible. The good news is that, even as the situation continues to change rapidly, there are important things all of us can do to confront this pandemic. At the UVM Health Network, we’ve put together some trusted resources to help. In a time of unprecedented need, we’re all in this together.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19:

This article was commissioned and paid for by UVM Health Network.