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The state of Massachusetts may soon resemble the current crisis in Italy. The coronavirus pandemic continues to haunt the Italians, and those living in Massachusetts could be next.
Boston is one of the major coronavirus outbreak clusters in the United States, along with Westchester County, New York, and Seattle, Washington. In Boston, it all began with a February 26 meeting at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf hotel, near the tourist mecca of Faneuil Hall and overlooking Boston Harbor, according to Boston.com.
There, about 175 executives met from around the country, then unwittingly spread contamination across the city and, likely, around the world. Ironically, they were from Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Biogen, whose very mission is to develop drugs. Since then, COVID-19 disease has been spreading. It’s infecting people from that conference through the Boston metropolitan area of 4.9 million people and beyond. The city now reminds modelers of how matters unfolded in hard-hit Italy, whose hospitals have been overwhelmed.
“Massachusetts is smaller than Italy,” said Sam Scarpino, an assistant professor of network science who heads the epidemics lab at Northeastern. “It has about 100 cases. There were 159 cases in Italy two weeks ago. That’s where we’re headed. We’ve got to move now and decisively prepare hospitals, work remotely and ramp up testing.”
Of course, testing doesn’t stop the virus’ spread, it only lets health officials and the patient know what they have contracted.
Prevention is the best way to prepare for this virus. If you do happen to get it, self-quarantine for as long as possible. Governments and health officials cannot stop the spread of this virus. It’s up to us to take care of ourselves.
Face masks are selling out everywhere, especially the ones that are known to be effective against viruses. Do your best to get the highest rates respirator (N100) and make sure it fits snugly to your face. Wear it in public if you live in an area experiencing an outbreak. The incubation period for this virus can be quite long (5 days, according to recent research) which means those already infected can spread this disease for almost a week before they even show symptoms.