MCALLEN, Texas – In a livestream conversation about coronavirus, state Rep. R.D. ‘Bobby Guerra has told the people of the Rio Grande Valley to stay calm and listen to the advice of healthcare professionals.
Guerra, D-McAllen, is a longtime member of the Texas House Committee on Public Health. On Tuesday he participated in a committee hearing in Austin that focused on the virus.
Asked how he would address any fear that is in the community, Guerra told the Rio Grande Guardian:
“There is no question there is a lot of anxiety. There is going to continue to be a lot of anxiety. But, the men and women of this state, we have always shown we are resilient and we are going to take this advice from our health care officials, very seriously. Don’t put aside the precautionary steps that are being advised throughout the nation and the state of Texas as far as socialization, getting out in the community and taking precautionary steps such as washing your hands with soap and warm water.
“We are going to get through this and things will get back to normal. I feel very confident in that, in the near future. We just need to make sure this situation does not peak any higher. By taking the steps we are taking in Texas, we are on the road to making sure that happens. It is changing day by day, I have a feeling it is going to get worse before it gets better but we are going to get through this.”
“I think it is important that our folks in the Valley listen to their healthcare professionals. Take precautionary steps that we all learned from our mothers and our doctors when we were growing up. As this situation progresses, that we personally take control of our lives, make sure we wash our hands with soap and warm water, keep away from sick folks, the best we can, stay away from large gatherings,” Guerra told the Rio Grande Guardian.
In an interview with KEDT News, Guerra acknowledged things are going to get worse before they get better. But, he was adamant, things will get better.
“It is so, so, important we do not panic. We are going to get through this. There is no question in my mind we are going to get through this. It is probably going to be a little harder, it is not going to get any better today, but it will get better in the near future,” Guerra said.
“In the next few days, I think, it is going to get a little harder but there is no question in my mind… we are a resilient community and a very resilient population. Texas are very resilient. We are going to get through this.”
Guerra added: “Let’s be smart about this. Let’s listen to our healthcare professionals about the best way to stay healthy. Keep your children healthy. Let’s move forward. We are going to get through this.”
Guerra: With proper precautions, spread of coronavirus can be impeded
To coincide with the livestream, Guerra provided guest commentary for the Rio Grande Guardian. Here is the commentary:
As we all know from news reports, the Coronavirus has spread throughout the world, the United States, and parts of Texas.
However, if the proper precautions are taken, and if one is kept up to date with the latest information, the spread of Coronavirus can be impeded.
Since Tuesday’s hearing, Texas has more than doubled the amount of confirmed Coronavirus cases in the Lone Star State. However, this does not come as a shock to most public health officials. Now that testing capacity has increased and with more Texans being tested for COVID-19, it was inevitable that more cases would come forward.
It has been determined by health care experts that the Coronavirus is spread from close person-to-person contact, usually within six feet, through respiratory droplets that are produced when someone coughs or sneezes. Another way of contracting Coronavirus is by touching a surface or object that has been compromised with virus droplets, and then subsequently touching one’s face. However, experts made it clear that once the droplets dry, the virus is no longer viable.
Individuals infected with Coronavirus have respiratory illnesses that range from mild to severe. Symptoms can appear anywhere between 2 and 14 days after exposure and include a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath.
COVID-19 is a novel virus, and has not been detected previously by the human population. This is important because health care professionals are still learning and studying this virus, and, at the same time, they advise that we should take precautionary steps to help prevent its spread.
The best way to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus is to implement some of the common sense practices our mothers and doctors have been telling us our whole lives: such as frequently washing your hands with warm soap and water, avoid contact with individuals who are sick, cover one’s cough or sneeze, avoid touching your face, clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as cell-phones and door-knobs, stay home when sick, and seek medical attention.
As of Friday, March 13th, Governor Abbott made an official disaster declaration for the entire state of Texas. This will allow state health officials to have the flexibility necessary to respond to this rapidly evolving situation. With common sense practices stressed by our healthcare experts and a sense of calm, this shall pass.
In order to provide Texans with the latest information on the Coronavirus, the Department of State Health Services has created a web page specifically for COVID-19 to provide updates on this rapidly changing health crisis. The web page is dshs.texas.gov/coronavirus/
State Rep. R.D. “Bobby” Guerra is a Democrat who has represented District 41 since 2012. He currently serves on the House Committees on Public Health and State Affairs. He represents the cities of McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Palmhurst, Alton, and Pharr.