TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Major athletic events, collegiate courses, and different organizations across the nation are being canceled due to concerns over the Coronavirus.
Starting Thursday, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb said non-essential gatherings should be limited to less than 250 people. This includes cafeterias, churches and stadiums. The guideline applies to both professional and personal gatherings. With these decisions., the governor and schools alike are hoping to encourage social distancing.
This tactic is being used to halt the spreading of COVID-19 at the urging of Public Health Officials. Put simply, social distancing involves staying away from other people and big crowds. This is to avoid catching, and more importantly spreading a virus--in this case Coronavirus. While it may seem drastic, News 10 went to a health expert, and he says social distancing is crucial.
Dr. Steve Templeton is an Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology at IU School of Medicine's Terre Haute Campus. He says that all this is not just about stopping you from catching COVID-19. There is a possibility that there are numerous mild cases and asymptomatic carriers out there. This means you could feel completely normal but actually be carrying the Coronavirus and spreading it without realizing that you are doing so.
Templeton says that social distancing is a necessary measure to make the spread of this virus less severe. "It's really not understood at this time--the full scope of what is out there and who is positive until we can test more people," Templeton said, "So far testing is limited to people with severe symptoms."
Templeton says we won't know how necessary social distancing is or how well it worked for months, but this is still not a time to panic.
What transpired from the beginning of the day Wednesday to the end of the day Thursday may cause some to panic. Templeton says to proceed with caution, but panic is not necessary.
Templeton tells News 10 that authorities and public health officials are in a difficult position. He says "unknowns" in this case aren't all scary. There could be more asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19 meaning that the mortality rate is actually lower than what's being reported.
He says the precautions that should be taken are being taken and it's important to get your information from credible websites like CDC.Gov while staying optimistic in the process.
"I'm not as negative as some people are and I think it's important not to be," Templeton concluded, "I think we do have a pretty good health care system and hopefully, the precautions that people take on their own and the precautions that authorities take as far as canceling things do make a difference."
Templeton wanted to reiterate that those most susceptible to the Coronavirus are over 60 years old with chronic health conditions. If you're young and get infected, you will most likely experience mild symptoms. Simply, he says to exercise caution, help each other out, but again there's no need to panic.