By Elaine Davis


Seems like the best advice from when I was a child is becoming more and more prevalent now. Wash your hands, cough into a handkerchief or the crook of your elbow, and keep some personal space between yourself and others. I remember how fancy I felt wearing gloves to church as a child. Now I realize as folks are bumping elbows this weekend, it was more of a precaution than a fashion statement.


At the West Knox Republican Club Meeting last night, Gary Loe, club president, introduced Angela Allred as the guest speaker to talk about Coronavirus. Ms. Allred is the Public Health Educator for Emergency Preparedness for the Knox County Health Department.


Gary said he invited Ms. Allred because, “It is important for people to get accurate information and by having an expert on emergency preparedness it helps the membership be informed accurately in order to limit their risk.”


Ms. Allred explained that COVID-19 is a type of virus that is similar to other types of flu but is a new strand that originated in China. It is a SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) that spreads from person to person through respiratory droplets being transferred into the mouth or nose of others.


The Knox County Health Department has been fielding numerous questions from health professionals and the public. Ms. Allred stated that it is important to get information from reputable sources such as the Center for Disease Control. She further went on to inform attendees that the University of Tennessee Medical Center has one of the top infectious disease specialists in Mark S. Rasnake, MD.


Our area also has other Volunteers connected to fighting COVID-19. Researchers Jeremy Smith and Micholas D. Smith, through a partnership between the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have enlisted the help of a supercomputer to try to find a chemical that would work against the virus.


Until there is a vaccine, personal responsibility and precautions will determine the spread of COVID-19. So if you’re like me, just listen to your Momma’s voice echoing in the back of your mind to wipe the handle on the grocery cart and wash your hands!