The Tragic Death of Herman Cain Is A Reminder: We Have to Be Proactive About COVID-19
By Joy Stephenson-Laws, J.D.,Founder
I was very sad to hear about the passing of Herman Cain, former GOP presidential candidate. The 74-year-old was a stage four colon cancer survivor, but, unfortunately, recently caught COVID-19 and died.
Reportedly, Cain was diagnosed with coronavirus less than two weeks after attending President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Cain tweeted a picture of himself with other attendees. In the picture, you can see that none of them are wearing masks.
Two days after testing positive for COVID-19, Cain was hospitalized. He fought hard to fight the virus. Sadly, he lost this battle and is survived by his wife and two children.
We cannot definitively say that Cain caught COVID-19 because he attended the rally. But I think this tragic story can serve as perhaps a much needed reminder, especially as we all get more restless and impatient with quarantine and certain restrictions in place, that the coronavirus is still very much a threat and something we need to take seriously and be proactive about.
If you are ‘high-risk,’ you need to especially be cautious of being in public and attending large gatherings.
There were two factors that made Cain high-risk. The first was that he was older (74), and the second was that he was already somewhat immunocompromised from surviving such a serious cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides a list of conditions which make a person immunocompromised.
Wear a mask, especially when it is hard to practice social distancing.
No one likes having a hot, sweaty face, but wearing a mask is so important. It will not only help protect yourself but also help protect others. To learn more about masks and which materials are very protective, read here. And please remember to make sure the mask is fully covering both your face and nose.
Wash your hands. I repeat, wash your hands.
This is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs. Use warm, soapy water and wash for at least 20 seconds.
Protect your immune system.
I always say that the best defense is immune defense. There are so many ways to be proactive about maintaining a strong immune system. Check out this pH Labs blog.
Regularly clean ‘high-touch’ surfaces.
This includes door handles, counters, tables and your cell phone.
If you have reason to believe that you were exposed, get tested. If you care for an elderly, high-risk person, it might not be a bad idea to get tested. Sure, the testing process is not flawless, but it is another tool we can use. If you test negative, you still need to wear and mask and practice the necessary precautions.
Manage your stress.
It used to drive me crazy when people would tell me to manage my stress in stressful situations, but this advice is really invaluable. Stress can wreak havoc on the immune system. I know it may be easier said than done, but commit to practicing activities that help manage your stress levels. This may include yoga, bubble baths, a hike, reading a good book or meditating.
Get some sun.
Several studies have shown that vitamin D may help provide protection against respiratory illness. Evidence has also shown that people are more likely to suffer complications from COVID-19 if their vitamin D levels are low.
For more information on COVID-19 and what you can do to protect yourself, check out these pH Labs blogs.
Rest in peace Herman Cain.
Enjoy your healthy life!
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