The coronavirus has almost put 2020 on hold with the amount of change required in such a short amount of time, and it’s creating a lot of stress. We’re here to tell you there’s no reason to panic, but we must follow some self-imposed rules to make sure our families are safe while taking precautions to prevent this virus from spreading even further.
Above all, we must think of others in a time like this. Keep in mind: infants and elderlies are far more vulnerable to this virus, and that despite being very similar to the common flu, it is far more lethal. In both Italy and China the death toll has already surpassed 3.000, and in the US we’ve had almost 200 deaths at the time of publication.
But keep in mind that panic only brings unnecessary confusion. Let’s instead arm ourselves with information and knowledge. The restrictive measures we’re taking are to protect ourselves but also to prevent the virus from spreading while a vaccine is underway.
What is the coronavirus?
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a virus similar to the common flu that causes respiratory problems. The family of coronaviruses isn’t new, but this new strain was discovered in late 2019 in China, when the chinese government warned global authorities to take precautions in order to avoid a pandemic.
Unfortunately, the virus has now spread to over 70 countries and caused more than 10.000 deaths worldwide. For comparison’s sake, WebMD states that over 56.000 people die from the common flu each year. This might seem like the coronavirus isn’t as bad, but keep in mind: not only is the common flu widely known and treated, the coronavirus doesn’t yet have a vaccine and it’s only been a couple months since it’s wide spreading. The fact that it has caused over 10.000 deaths this quickly is nothing to scoff at.
The more we take precautions, the more we can help in preventing more casualties.
What are the main coronavirus symptoms?
Most notably fever and continuous coughing, but suspect any new symptoms that affect your respiratory system. Also watch out for:
- running nose
- sore throat
- trouble breathing
- diarrhea (in some cases)
Although this seems awfully similar to a common flu, remember that coronavirus is new and far more lethal than influenza. People over 70 years of age, pregnant women, people with long-term respiratory problems or simply weak immune systems are particularly fragile to this new disease.
How to protect yourself from coronavirus infection?
The main problem comes from places where lots of people gather.
- Any sort of social gathering such as meetings and parties
- Places with lots of people like markets
- Public transportation or sharing rides for now
And remember to wash your hands all the time. We’re always touching stuff and bringing our hands to our eyes, nose and mouth, and this is one of the main ways the virus can spread. Wash your hands with soap and keep a hand sanitizer ready.
Remember to clean your computer keyboard and your cellphone as well, since these are devices we use daily and they carry a lot of germs.
What to do if you or someone you know has coronavirus symptoms?
If you suspect you or someone in your family has these symptoms, do not leave the house – most people with mild symptoms can recover by themselves at home in about a week.
In general, it is agreed that the coronavirus’ risk is low for most people. The best course of action is to stay in and wait it out – leaving the house would just risk spreading the disease further.
As awkward as it might be, distance yourself from every other person in your household. Do not share cups, use your own bathroom if possible, and avoid direct contact. This is to prevent anyone else from getting sick.
However, if the symptoms worsen, you might have to see a doctor. In that case, call ahead to warn you’ll be coming so people can prepare for your arrival. If at all possible, wear a mask to protect others on the way, and if you don’t have one, keep a safe distance from others and always cover your coughs.
In the event of an emergency, call 911 and let the operator know you suspect a case of COVID-19, so the medical team can come prepared.
How soon can I leave the house after self-isolation?
If you’ve had no fever for at least 72 hours, all other symptoms have improved, and at least seven full days have passed since the first symptoms, then you’re probably fine to leave the house without risk of spreading the virus – though for the time being, staying at home is still recommended!
Common misconceptions and doubts about the coronavirus
Using a mask doesn’t prevent you from getting sick
The mask is actually used to help people who are already sick from spreading the disease to others. While the mask helps a bit, you can still accidently touch your own eyes and get infected regardless. It helps, but it won’t do anything if you don’t take all other precautions.
Some people have been saying that COVID-19 was created in a laboratory, but for now there is no proof whatsoever. The family of coronaviruses is known for a long time and while this iteration of the virus was first documented in China, the chinese government alerted world leaders as soon as December 2019 to take precautions in order to prevent a global pandemic.
“I don’t have any symptoms, why do I need to self-isolate?
Firstly, because there have already been several cases of people who tested positive for COVID-19 without showing any symptoms – every body reacts differently. You could end up spreading the virus even without symptoms. But most importantly, it’s good to self-isolate as a measure to protect you and your family from becoming sick in the first place.
“It’s just a common flu, so what’s the big deal?
As stated before, though the symptoms are similar to a common flu, the coronavirus doesn’t yet have a vaccine and puts millions at risk. The virus has already caused over 10.000 deaths worldwide, and all of these preventive measures we’re taking are to buy us time to develop a vaccine and prevent further casualties. People who already suffer with respiratory problems, elderly, children with weakened immune systems, and pregnant women cannot afford to become sick at a time like this.
Do you have any doubts or need help in determining coronavirus symptoms? Check out the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) page for Coronavirus help and if you have a medical emergency, call 911 right away!