VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is encouraging people to try to take away something good “even from the difficult situation that the pandemic forces on us.”
Addressing faithful gathered a safe distance apart in vast St. Peter’s Square on Sunday, Francis offered these suggestions: “greater sobriety, discrete and respectful attention to neighbors who might be in need, some moments of prayer in the family with simplicity.”
Francis said that “these three things will help us a lot.” During the COVID-19 pandemic, the pontiff has often highlighted the economic and social suffering of many.
Most patients with COVID-19 have mild to moderate symptoms. However, in a small proportion of patients, COVID-19 can lead to more severe illness, including death, particularly among those who are older or those who have chronic medical conditions.
COVID-19 spreads primarily through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Symptoms appear within 14 days of being exposed to an infectious person.
Virginia health officials urged the following precautions:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer only if soap and water are not available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Avoid contact with sick people.
- Avoid non-essential travel.