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Combatting Coronavirus: Actionable Advice For Veterans

Almost $20 billion is set to be donated to the Department of Veteran Affairs as part of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) relief bill to help veterans receive the necessary care during the current pandemic, reports Government Executive. Roughly $15.85 billion will go to the Veterans Health Administration to cover the treatment of veterans at emergency rooms, civilian urgent care clinics, and VA hospitals. $3.1 billion will be allocated toward vital infrastructure for veteran care. Additional funding will also eventually allow veterans to better access high-speed internet, so they can access remote mental health counseling during the crisis. In these uncertain times, it’s important veterans take a number of steps to help put an end to the current pandemic.  

Basic hygiene precautions

COVID-19 is spread through close in-person contact and survives on certain surfaces for long periods of time. The best way to reduce the risk of infection is therefore to practice good hygiene and thorough cleaning. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least twenty seconds each time. Additionally, keep your surroundings clean — especially frequently touched surfaces and contact points like tabletops, faucets, and door handles.

Clean these areas as often as you can, at least once every two to four hours. Wearing tight-fitting disposable gloves will minimize your contact with any pathogens. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol) and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose with unwashed hands. 

Volunteer with the Army

The Army is actively looking for retired nurses, doctors, critical care officers, anesthesiologists, and other medics willing and able to return to active service to help combat the coronavirus crisis. They’re currently working to help both state and regional governments in their virus preparation efforts while dealing with an increasing number of outbreaks amongst their own staff. For this reason, they’re looking for the help of retired veterans purely on a voluntary basis. Although the Army has expressed specific interest in retired medical staff, they also welcome any veterans trained in other specialized areas. 

Advice for veterans experiencing symptoms

If you’re experiencing coronavirus symptoms — such as shortness of breath, high temperature, or a cough — you should get in touch with your local VA facility. Veterans are advised to call before visiting. Or, you may prefer to connect remotely with VA Video Connect (available in the VA mobile app store) to explain your symptoms and receive a prompt diagnosis and tailored professional medical advice. At the VA facility, you’ll be screened for symptoms before entering to protect staff and patients. You’ll then be taken through the necessary next steps by a VA health care professional. However, the VA is currently urging all visitors experiencing symptoms of any kind to please postpone visiting VA facilities.

Although the coronavirus outbreak may last at least one or two years, veterans can play an essential role in slowing its spread. These tips can help veterans stay as healthy and as safe as possible.

To find jobs for veterans and companies hiring veterans, please visit our job board regularly.