Before I get into the Coronavirus update, I would like to first say, I do not want you to panic or be fearful. This post is not to spread fear, but to update you on what is going on, what we know, and how to be prepared for anything that could happen. Please refer to the CDC for accurate information on COVID-19.
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that there have been numerous epidemics and pandemics in the last 10 years. Most have survived it, and it has passed. Here are just a few we have survived:
- HIV/AIDS Pandemic: 2005-2012
- Flu Pandemic in India: 2009
- Swine Flu: 2015
- Congo Yellow Fever: 2016
- Madagascar Measles: 2018
Pandemic or Epidemic
Pandemics and epidemics are two different things. It is important to know the difference so that you know what you are up against.
A pandemic is when infection or disease spreads across a wide geographical area, such as multiple countries. It affects many people. It spreads across national borders and possibly worldwide. If an infection becomes widespread in several countries at the same time, it can become a pandemic.
Pandemics are typically caused by a new virus strain that is easily transmitted between humans. In this case, humans have no immunity against the new virus. Basically, it has not circulated around people before.
A pandemic affects more people and can be more deadly than an epidemic. Additionally, it can lead to social disruption, economic loss, and general hardship.
An epidemic, on the other hand, doesn’t spread beyond national borders. It is specific to one city, region or country. We have an epidemic when the number of people who get an infection is higher than the number expected within a region or country.
I have spoken to a friend who works with the CDC. She works to combat epidemics and pandemics by coming up with solutions, such as quarantine facilities and ways to stop the spread of infection.
She has given me some updated information that she currently knows, and she has verified some of the information that has been going around, particularly in the media. She does not want to be quoted and was just giving this as general information to help our readers to better prepare. She encouraged us to remind people to not panic and keep calm.
Here is what I know:
Coronavirus Update: What is the Coronavirus?
According to the CDC, Coronaviruses have been around for quite some time; however, the one that is currently going around is a new mutated form of the virus. This coronavirus is NOT the same as the coronaviruses that have circulated with humans in the past. This virus was first identified as the Wuhan virus. However, the official name of this coronavirus is Coronavirus disease 2019 or COVID-19.
With this being said, they don’t know much about this new strain. They suspect it may have come from animals, but are unsure. They do not have a cure for it, they do not have a vaccine, and they are unsure of everything that could happen with the virus.
The coronavirus mimics the flu. However, it is NOT the flu. It is not in the same class of virus as the flu and cannot be treated in the same way as the flu.
The symptoms of this virus range from mild to severe, and in some cases death. The following symptoms can appear within 2 to 14 days after you have been exposed:
- Shortness of breath
Should We Be Afraid of the Death Toll?
Right now, my friend confirmed that those who are dying from it are typically people who are immunocompromised. If you have the following conditions, you are at risk:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Respiratory disease
- An Autoimmune disease
It has a 3.2% death rate among those who have been diagnosed, whereas the flu has a 0.2% death rate among those diagnosed, which is less than 1.0%. So, it could potentially kill more people than the flu, but the percentage of people actually diagnosed is still pretty low.
Right now, they are saying not to be afraid of the death toll, but to be cautious.
How is it Spread?
According to the CDC, it is mainly spread from person to person. This means between people that are in close contact with each other (6 feet away). It is spread by droplets from coughing or sneezing.
It seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in communities. Therefore, it is community spread which means people may not be sure where or how they became infected.
According to my friend (who works with the CDC), this virus can live on surfaces for 9 days. It is possible to contact the COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. However, this is NOT the main way it is spreading. We usually contract the virus through the droplets from sick people who cough or sneeze. Less often it is spread when we touch those people or items they have had contact with.
Some Coronavirus can live up to 9 days and I quote: Novel Coronavirus-Up to 9 Days
How to Prevent the Spread
According to my friend (who works with CDC), it is not a matter of if you get the COVID-19, but when. The goal is to limit the exposure of this to those with immunocompromised systems. With that being said, the CDC has the following suggestions for preventing the spread if you have it:
- Stay home except for medical treatment. The best thing you can do if you think you may have COVID-19 is to stay home and away from others.
- Quarantine yourself in one room. Stay in one room and away from other members of the household as much as possible.
- Call your doctor ahead of time. If you have it or think you have it, call the doctor and let them know ahead of time. This way the doctor’s office can take steps to keep other people from getting infected.
- Wear a facemask. This will help prevent you from spreading it when you cough or sneeze.
- Wash your hands often! Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose. If soap and water are not available then use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Clean surfaces often. Surfaces that are touched a lot include countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, light switches, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. It is best to do it in a tissue that you can throw away, but use the inside of your elbows if you can’t get to a tissue.
How to Stay Healthy
Obviously, there are ways to keep yourself healthy and try to prevent yourself from contracting the coronavirus.
- Stay away from people who are sick.
- Try to stay away from large groups of people who may or may not be sick.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose, face, or mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze into a tissue. Then, throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean surfaces that are touched frequently. This includes counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables.
- Wash your hands often. Use soap and water for at least 20-seconds. If you do not have soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Wipe down carts. When at the store, use a disinfectant wipe to wash down surfaces you would touch.
- Avoid handshakes. Instead, tap shoes, blow a kiss (6 feet away), or just use your words. If you do a handshake, use hand sanitizer after.
- Limit online purchases. Since it can be on surfaces for 9 days, you want to limit buying things that you aren’t sure where they came from.
- Use a disinfectant spray on everything. It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you aren’t sure about something, spray it with some disinfectant spray. Obviously, thoroughly cleaning is a better option, but if you can’t clean it with soap and water, spray it down.
Coronavirus Update: How to Prepare
With the information I have, I see no reason to panic, but all the more reason to be prepared. You will want to be prepared to be out of work, for places like schools closing down, and being quarantined to your home. Here are some ways you can prepare:
- Make sure you have at least a 2-week supply of food and water.
- Stock up on over the counter medication such as:
- Have a month’s worth of prescription medications.
- Buy extra toilet paper.
- Stock up on laundry soap, dish soap, and bleach.
- Grab some more hand sanitizer, or make your own.
- Get plenty of pet food.
- Make sure you have fluids with electrolytes or make your own with DripDrop.
- Check your first aid supplies.
- Make sure you have some games or activities to do, especially if you have kids.
Final Thoughts on the Coronavirus Update
If you have questions about this coronavirus update, please ask them in the comments section. I will do my best to answer them.
It is always better to prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Again, do not panic. Instead, prepare. We will get through this, together!
Do you have a coronavirus update you would like to share? Share it in the comments below! May God bless this world, Linda
Copyright Images: Coronavirus AdobeStock_317584104 by Vchalup, Coronavirus AdobeStock_317935534 by Cendeced