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Modesto retirement home asks local community for sanitizer, disinfectant amid coronavirus pandemic

With suppliers drained and empty stores, Stratford at Beyer Park turned to Facebook for much needed donations.

MODESTO, Calif —

Stratford at Beyer Park, a retirement home in Modesto, was struggling to find some basic necessities for their senior residents as stores run dry while people prepare for coronavirus quarantine. 

But Stafford serves those who are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and was finding it difficult to stock up the same way. So, the retirement home turned to Facebook to ask the community for help. 

“This is a very unusual post...we need a little help!” the post (which has since been removed) said.

RELATED: Coronavirus Resources: A guide to help you and your family

Its suppliers had run out of supplies, store shelves were emptied, and the retirement home was running dangerously low on hand sanitizer, Lysol and Clorox wipes.

“Our seniors (the most vulnerable to this virus) are not as protected as we would normally keep them,” the post said.

The community listened. Several people heard Stratford’s hardship and gave what they could.

According to the retirement home’s website, there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus there, but Stratford is taking precautions by limiting visitors to immediate family members and medical providers. 

Stratford’s plea highlights how panic buying can affect the most vulnerable groups during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

RELATED: Sacramento County won't run out of food any time soon, so stop panic buying

Nursing homes can be defenseless to the spread of coronavirus, as was the case with Life Care Center of Kirkland, a Seattle-area nursing home, which became the epicenter of Washington state’s virus pandemic

Retirement homes across the country are likely in need of extra supplies in order to care for their elderly patients. Call your local retirement community or home and ask what items they may need and how to donate safely. 

BACKGROUND

According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.

Currently, there is no vaccine; however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, along with any other respiratory illness:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds.

WHY HEALTH OFFICIALS ARE SO CONCERNED

Some people have compared the low overall death toll to the flu's high annual death toll in the United States as a reason not to be concerned about COVID-19, however, doctors and health officials are concerned for three main reasons:

  1. There's no vaccine yet and won't be one for until early 2021, at the soonest. Scientists are still researching what other medications could help patients. 

  2. Some people have built up immunity to the flu, but few have immunity to COVID-19 version of coronavirus

  3. Both the flu and COVID-19 are spread by droplets, but COVID-19 might be spread in the air. Scientists are researching exactly how COVID-19 spreads.

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