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Assemblymember Gipson Hosts Tele-Townhall To Discuss COVID-19 Concerns
By Olivia Khoury, Contributing Writer
Published April 9, 2020

Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson (screenshot)

Assembly Democratic Caucus Chair and 64th District Assemblymember Mike Gipson hosted a tele-townhall for stakeholders and constituents to discuss the growing concerns of the Coronavirus outbreak. On the call, he was joined by Dr. Sheila Young of Charles Drew University and other guests from the Governor’s office and healthcare community to discuss what the state is doing to help California residents as well as share available resources within the 64th district.

The call began with Assemblymember Gipson asking Dr. Young questions that were sourced from callers to address the Coronavirus outbreak and how to navigate these trying times. Orders to stay home executed by Governor Newsom have trickled down to city mayors and county leaders, enforcing citizens to only leave the house for necessary and essential errands, like grocery shopping. Staying home is an opportunity to slow the spread of COVID-19, whose novelty warrants that it is a fairly new and unfamiliar situation. Mandates to stay home are the only way to flatten the curve, slow transmission and the infection of others, and buy time to control the cases that are currently at large.

Dr. Sheila Young then proceeded to respond to an inquiry of COVID-19 symptoms and how to get well if one is suffering from symptoms. Indications such as dry cough without the production of phlegm, mild fever, difficulty breathing, extreme fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea are all symptoms that have been reported to be connected to Coronavirus; however, there is reportage of people with COVID-19 being asymptomatic. People who are asymptomatic can still carry and transmit the virus to others, especially the elders and immunocompromised. Those with symptoms of difficulty breathing, inability to stand or walk, need to call the emergency room and let them know what they are feeling before going to the hospital and exposing themselves to the virus. To get well, Dr. Young expounds, one should turn to the normalized things that citizens have learned to do to fight a common cold. Taking action with antiviral properties, such as chicken soup, may help the symptoms. Coronavirus is a new pandemic and it’s imperative that we respond in the way that we have responded to other viruses in the past, until new information is available to us.

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“We don’t know enough about virus. What we know is that it is changing every day. We only know about other viruses of the same family, like the common cold virus. It’s likely people have the virus and don’t know. To decrease the spread, it’s important to look back at other situations within history.”

Action on the frontlines is increasing. Dr. Young reported that a command center for healthcare workers and medical students is providing training in anesthesia and critical care skills to help with the pandemic. Those nurses and doctors who have worked in other areas of medicine are now being equipped with the skills to help with the pandemic and tend to the critical care patients during this transition. The United States Navy has also deported a Naval ship to become a hospital for those not affected with COVID-19 but need medical treatment. It will act as a medical center for citizens to alleviate the pressure from hospitals who are dealing with the pandemonium of COVID-19.

“It’s time to look at what’s most important – preserving human life. The economy will recover. How long will it take to go back to work if we lose more loved ones? [It’s time to] take heed to the advice that you are given because with the proper care and preparation we can save lives.”

Before the end of the call, Assemblymember Gipson informed callers of legislative action that is taking place succeeding the passing of Sen Bill 89 – funding of over 1 billion dollars to combat COVID-19. Gipson reported that the Governor can spend up to 1 billion dollars to combat COVID, under the conditions of keeping legislature informed up to three days in advance. Despite uncertainty that COVID has caused, public schools are closed not losing money; moratoriums to protect residents and local businesses from evictions are being implemented; disability insurance is waiving the one-week wait period for recipient to receive their benefits right away.

Assemblymember Mike Gipson advises on locations to be tested within the 64th district and its constituents, should they feel symptoms. He has implored the Department of Emergency Services to provide more sites.  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Public Health in Watts, CA

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Categories: COVID-19 | Health | Local | Political
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