WAYNE, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency and a public health emergency on Monday in order to help the state address the coronavirus outbreak.

“The State of New Jersey is committed to deploying every available resource, across all levels of government, to help respond to the spread of COVID-19 and keep our residents informed,” said Murphy.

Unfortunately, the announced State of Emergency has only added to the hype surrounding the coronavirus which is affecting businesses in and around Wayne. How warranted is this hype? Is there reason to panic?  Not according to Helena Milic at Wayne Pharmacy and Surgical Supplies.

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“All this confusion is causing chaos and pandemonium everywhere. People are stressed and worried,” said Milic. “We need to use common sense until the details get ironed out.”

When asked what she meant by the details getting ironed out, Milic told a story of a friend who had called the coronavirus hotline offered by NJ.gov because her friend’s daughter was suffering from cold like symptoms. Symptoms included: runny nose, cough and lethargy, but no fever. She had also developed an upper respiratory issue. Plus, her and her family had traveled within the last ten days.

 “This is where it gets scary,” said Milic. “My friend explained her daughter’s symptoms and asked: ‘Because my daughter has no fever, does that rule out the coronavirus?’ The response from the hotline was: ‘Based on the limited information we are getting, that is correct.’”

“The State Government hotline has limited information,” said Milic, in exasperation.

In an effort to educate the public, Wayne Township shared some details on the virus with their latest township newsletter.

Coronavirus is not new. It’s the strain, officially called COVID-19 that is new, and according to the newsletter: “This new coronavirus is different from the others, and we are learning more about it every day.”

The newsletter says that the virus is spread much like the flu, by close contact from an infected person. Symptoms can appear in as few as two days or as many as fourteen days.

If I get COVID-19 will I die?

The township newsletter responds with: “Not likely, based on what we know now. The people most likely to get seriously ill from this virus are people over sixty and those with pre-existing health conditions. Currently, it is estimated that for every one-hundred cases of COVID-19, between two and four people would die. This is very different from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), where nearly ten in one-hundred sick people died from the illness.”

Tips to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to the newsletter:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for twenty-minutes and if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, especially with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid Close Contact with people who are showing symptoms of illness
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue, or the inside of your elbow
  • Stay home when you are sick.

“For some the fear of an outbreak is overwhelming, but we just need to stay calm and take the proper precautions,” said Milic. “Here at Wayne Pharmacy, our mission is to protect. So, we are offering free trial-sized hand sanitizers to customers while supplies last. And, we sanitize our store several times throughout the day."

“Being smart will help stop the spread of this virus,” said Milic. “So, stay calm and don’t panic. That won’t help anyone.”