Although you might think that we already know everything about the novel Coronavirus because it is all over the news for weeks, we are actually all beginners in this, including doctors and scientists. This virus is so new, and there are so many unknown things that it makes it harder for scientists to develop a vaccine. It is not like seasonal flu that we catch every other year, and after a few days, move on as if nothing happened. Therefore we think that it is essential to inform people because a lot of them are not following guidelines, and they are jeopardizing others.
The Outbreak of COVID-19
The first outbreak of Coronavirus COVID-19 occurred in December, and now, more than three months later, we know something about it, but there are still a lot of questions that are waiting to be answered. At the moment, there is more than 500,000 Coronavirus confirmed cases. By the time you read this, that number will probably be significantly higher. The World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 is a global pandemic, and while China is almost fully recovered, the rest of the world is waiting for the peak of the pandemic.
How COVID-19 Spreads so Fast
One of the main reasons why the new Coronavirus spreads so fast is that people who do not have any symptoms can also spread the virus and infect other people. The incubation period can last up to two weeks, so just imagine how many people you talked to in the past couple of weeks, how many hugs, handshakes, etc. Another thing is that this virus can survive in aerosols, on surfaces such as cardboard, stainless steel, and plastic. You can catch the virus if you are around a sick person who coughs or sneezes, but also after touching contagious surfaces.
How to Avoid Catching COVID-19
It is hard to avoid catching a virus when you do not know who around you is infected. That is why now, in countries that have a major outbreak, entire cities are put under quarantine, and people are not allowed to go outside unless they go to the pharmacy or grocery shopping. But that is usually the final step, and trust us you do not want to be in-home quarantine for weeks, that is why all of us should take the following steps:
Wash Your Hands
Washing your hands is essential, but you have to do it properly. Use some warm water and rub your hands with soap, go between the fingers, and under your nails, you have to do it thoroughly. The entire process should not last less than 20 seconds. Do not touch your face before you wash your hands. If you are using sanitizers that contain alcohol, keep in mind that only the ones with at least 60% of alcohol will work.
If you can’t isolate yourself, try practicing social distancing when in public. Avoid any close contact and wear gloves and a face mask. Keep in mind that gloves and masks are not meant to be used multiple times, so if you do not have a lot of them, use them wisely.
Protecting Yourself and Others
If you have any symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, call your doctor and ask to take a test. Wear a face mask, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of the tissue immediately.
Clean and Disinfect Your Household
All frequently touched surfaces in your home should be cleaned and disinfected. For example, doorknobs, stairway railings, tables, light switches, remote controllers, handles, phones, etc. If you can find disinfecting spray or wipes, that would be the easiest solution. But you can also make your own mix, just make sure you are using disinfectants that are appropriate for a specific surface. Four tablespoons of bleach per quart of water are the ideal dosage.
Do Not Forget Your Seniors
Older adults are at higher risk, which is why you have to cut any close contact with them, but at the same time, you should help them with supplies and grocery shopping. Seniors have a weak immune system and usually some chronic health problems. That is why the mortality rate is higher compared to the younger groups, and for them, the best prevention is to stay at home and avoid any contact with others.
Keeping Up With the Coronavirus
It is recommended to follow the news and keep up, but you have to distinguish what is real and what is fake news. You will recognize a clickbait once you see it, so do not fall for it. The official CDC website is the best source of reliable and up-to-date information. There is no room for anxiety. You just have to stay calm and act responsibly. Staying more at home means that you can now dedicate your time to something you have always wanted to do, or you can binge watch Netflix the entire day, that is up to you.