Reading the news these past few days has frankly been quite scary. It can be overwhelming and alarming. What do we know about the Coronavirus? According to Johns Hopkins, COVID-19 is an infectious respiratory illness with initial similar flu like symptoms. It can be spread from human to human. The incubation period seems to be around “14 days of exposure to the virus” (In Johns Hopkins. Retrieved March 2, 2020 from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus).
What are symptoms of COVID-19?
*Shortness of breath
So far, this is all we’ve heard. We haven’t received other concrete details about the virus, what to expect, and how long it will last. A lot is speculation is going around but that’s it. It’s speculation as to who will get it, how long it will last, will it go away in the Spring once it’s warmer?
Besides not really knowing what we are up against people are getting nervous and reacting. Some people in the US are going to Costco and buying the store out of water, toilet paper, disinfectant wipes and paper towels. We’ve seen similar situations when Avian and Swine flu came around a few years ago. This is not saying that COVID-19 is not serious. It most certainly is very serious and precautions should be taken especially with those with compromised immune systems and the elderly.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states the following suggestions to protect yourself from this coronavirus:
*Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds. Remember singing “happy birthday” while you washed your children’s hands? Do this again and tell them to start doing it.
*Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Don’t keep it in your pocket for a second or third use (you know that some people do). You can also cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Don’t cough into the air or your hands. A school nurse once mentioned that she recommends coughing or sneezing into the inside part of your shirt so that whatever you sneeze stays contained. Just a tip.
*Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. Just think “they are contaminated” at all times until you can get home and wash your hands with soap and water.
*Stay home when you are sick. We all lead busy lives and don’t want to miss out on a certain project or fear we will be bombarded with emails when we get back. However, do your fellow work mates a favor, if you are sick just stay home. Please do this always.
*Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects people frequently touch. You can’t always do this if you are out and about but maybe consider bringing a tissue when you are out and about so that you can use for opening doors or pressing elevator buttons.
World Health Organization (WHO) mentions how the virus can be spread through respiratory droplets (In World Health Organization. Retrieved March 2, 2020 from www.who.int). We all have seen droplets when people sneeze but we also have smaller ones that look like when you spray an aerosol can…yes, that small. Because of this, WHO suggests avoiding close contact with people who may have fever and cough. They suggest you stay away at least one meter from anyone who may present these symptoms. Lastly avoid kissing, hugging and shaking hands with anyone who may show any of the above noted symptoms.
So, now that you’ve read this information (which by now you’ve probably read it a few times through different sources) what are you going to do? We must be cautious. We must be careful. But we also must live our lives. Continue to eat well. Keep your immune system strong. Drink your juices. Did I mention that you should keep your immune system strong?
Stay healthy and wash your hands folks!
PS - face masks don't stop COVID-19. However, if you are ill it is a good idea to wear one if you will be out and about where there are other people to help prevent others from getting sick.
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