What You Need to Know About the Coronavirus

Coronavirus, Novel Coronavirus, COVID-19, Coronavirus Facts

The Novel Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, is a new strain of coronavirus that has rapidly spread itself around the globe in recent months and with new cases seemingly popping up every day, it has also become an inevitable topic of conversation and concern. Instead of panicking, we should all do our best to educate ourselves and spread awareness so that we can properly protect and prepare ourselves for the situation.

What Is It
The coronavirus is part of a family of infectious viruses that cause illnesses ranging from the common cold to more serious respiratory diseases. A novel coronavirus is a new strain that hasn’t been previously identified in humans. Though coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu, the illness and treatment are different. Coronaviruses were first identified in the 1960s, but their origin remains a mystery. They get their name from their crown-like shape. Past severe coronavirus outbreaks include Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome  (SARS).

How Is It Spread
The CDC has reported that the coronavirus is primarily spread through person-to-person contact. The coronavirus spreads mainly through coughs and sneezes, though it also can be transmitted through contaminated surfaces.

What Are The Symptoms
People who become infected can have cold and/or flu-like symptoms including cough, fever, and other respiratory issues. It can range from mild to serious infections which could result in lower respiratory issues like  bronchitis or even pneumonia. Older people, especially those with chronic illnesses such as heart or lung disease, as well as those with health issues and compromised immune systems are the most at risk. There have been a number of cases in which people have fully recovered.

Is There A Treatment
People who are diagnosed with COVID-19 are quarantined or hospitalized depending on the severity  symptoms. Treatment is the same as a cold - plenty of rest and fluids. Medicine can be used to relieve a sore throat and/or fever. Because coronavirus is a viral infection, antibiotics can’t be used to treat those with the disease. There is currently no vaccine for coronavirus, though the NIH has reportedly started its first clinical trial on a treatment. Don't fall for any of those cures being hawked online. They're all fake!


How Do I Protect Myself
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus and exercising basic common sense and good hygiene. These are the everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases recommended by the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. A study found that humans touch their faces 23 times an hour, on average which gives a virus nearly two dozen opportunities to infect you every 60 minutes. Use a tissue if you must touch.
• Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (refer to the image above). Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when washing isn’t an option. Be sure to cover the entire surface of your hands including between your fingers and make sure it fully dries as the drying process of the disinfectant is what kills the germs.
• Stay home when you’re sick. This includes staying home from work, school, errands and travel.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow, not your hands. Make sure you wash whatever you're wearing right away if you do that.
• Avoid hand shaking, use your knuckle to touch elevator buttons, switches, etc (I like to use a pen). Open doors with a closed fist or your hip. Use a napkin to try to avoid grasping the handle with your hand. Carrying disinfectant wipes is also a good idea.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as phones, keyboards and doorknobs. I've never been more glad that I own a PhoneSoap UV Sanitizer and use it daily now for my phone as well as other small items.
• Take care of yourself, get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious food to keep your immune system in fighting shape.

Should You Use A Facemask
The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19. Standard surgical masks only protect other people against your germs. They are NOT effective at offering you protection from everyone else. Wearing surgical masks does not prevent a person from inhaling smaller airborne particles; they are not considered respiratory protection. Surgical masks are also loose fitting, and when the wearer inhales, there is potential for particles to leak in or out of the sides. So a mask won't be effective unless it's basically suctioned to your face. The US Surgeon General has also issued a warning that wearing face masks can actually be counterproductive. "You can increase your risk of getting it by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider. Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus."

Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also critical for medical professional and healthcare workers. Health officials around the world have been imploring the general public to stop buying masks if they are healthy or not caring for someone who is ill. Medical professionals need a large supply of the masks because they are in direct contact with infected patients. They must change their masks repeatedly and they should not be put at risk because of misguided panic.

What You  Should Do
While people shouldn't panic, they should prepare themselves for a worst case scenario. I'm a believer in always having a home emergency kit at the ready and a well stocked pantry just in case. The goal is to be prepared so do be practical and don't be an alarmist. Take inventory and stock up on food and home essentials. You should purchase no more than you would use in two weeks. There's no need to hoard and buy out all the hand sanitizers and toilet paper.

What You Shouldn't Do
Because the novel coronavirus originated out of Wuhan, China, racist assaults and ignorant attacks have been perpetuated against Asians on a global level. While crisis can bring out latent fears and prejudices, fear mongering, spreading hateful messages, targeting, stereotyping and stigmatizing certain individuals and communities is wrong and does nothing to help fight the virus. What's worse is that Westerners often view Asians as a monolith so people who aren't even of Chinese descent are being attacked and this includes children as well. The xenophobia and racist incidents are so bad that there is a Wikipedia page documenting cases around the world. If you think being in the proximity of an Asian person who is not sick, eating in a Chinese restaurant or patronizing a Chinese owned business will infect you, the  you should get the facts. While you're at it please don't spread debunked conspiracy theories and misinformation. And when almost every story about the coronavirus uses an image of an Asian neighborhood it only further exacerbates the issue. A number of my Asian friends have told me about instances where they've been given given dirty looks or have people avoiding them on the streets and the train. It hasn't happened to me yet but I'm sure it's just a matter of time. I actually wouldn't mind people backing off from me because I often get my personal space violated. I do have a funny story from my husband. He was on the train home last night and a woman got on saw him, gave a nasty look and sucked in her teeth. She put on a surgical mask and held onto the subway pole with both of her bare hands. She then proceeded to rub her eyes profusely with one of her hands that was just on the gross ass pole. He had to keep himself from laughing because she was as dumb as she was racist. This time is not an excuse to lose your compassion and sense of reason. In fact it's needed now more than ever.


It's worth mentioning that while the novel coronavirus has infected and killed people worldwide, it's not as deadly as feared and has caused far fewer deaths than the flu. Worldwide, seasonal influenza epidemics cause 3 million to 5 million severe cases and kill up to 650,000 people a year, according to the World Health Organization. If you want to learn more the coronavirus, you might want to check out this free online course: Science Matters: Let’s Talk About COVID-19. Seek out reputable and reliable sources for health information and coronavirus coverage to stay informed. Be cautious, be vigilant and use common sense. Being extra mindful of cleanliness and hygiene as a whole won't hurt either. And wash your hands! This music video from Vietnamese Health Dept. explains the situation and how to safeguard yourself through a very catchy tune.


Graphics via SharecareWHO

16 comments

Shireen L. Platt said...

Thank you for this post, Rowena! There is so many misinformation out there, it's really bonkers! Ugh!

hellen said...

Thank you for share this to us, This post is just in time right now!

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Jackie Harrison said...

This is such great information Rowena very helpful hope everyone follow by it also they should carry a disinfecting wipes to clean any seat from train, bus and the seat from the plane.

The Exclusive Beauty Diary said...

Such a great and informative post. Thank you for sharing.

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Emmylou said...

It's insane how there's so much conspiracy theories out there going around, and it's very disheartening how the corona virus has been used to justify people's racism.:( Our society as a whole really needs an overhaul when it comes to this kind of attitude. And thank you for this post and for sharing what we should be doing. Scary times for sure, but if we are diligent with stuff such as washing our hands and staying away from sick people, fingers crossed....

Mai Nguyen said...

Thank you for this informative post! We've been making jokes at my office because of the increased time people are spending to wash their hands compared to before the coronavirus epidemic.

Mai
✰ maidoesthings.com

Paola Lauretano said...

Just in time! Thanks for sharing your informative post, Rowena, the situation in Italy is really serious!
Kisses, Paola.

Expressyourself

sonia // daring coco said...

Great post Rowena. The madness surrounding this is mind blowing. People in Australia stockpiling toilet paper, rice, flour and paracetamol is ludicrous. I do grocery merchandising part-time for work and I think I visited 12 stores this week for work and all but one had been cleaned out. It's like apocalyptic scenes; tumble weeds blowing in the wind kind of scenes with bare empty aisles. It is crazy. One store actually had TP available when I walked in, and it was CRAZY because NO ONE was going CRZAY. It was COMPLETELY CIVIL in there. People taking one or two packets. Not piling their trolleys with them. That was until one lady approached and started going nuts, making everyone else uneasy and the madness that followed was unbelievable. The very same day at another store I had an elderly lady on the verge of tears because she had been into that store everyday that week and couldn't buy TP and was down to half a roll. She was so distressed and shaking. I felt so bad for her. That's what makes this situation SUCK even more. The vulnerable. People who live paycheck to paycheck, on welfare, homeless, or have a small pension paid fortnightly can't afford to stockpile. They all live and buy as they need and so many greedy individuals are cleaning out shelves for no reason at all. It really makes me sick. What also makes me sick is the racism that comes out. I've heard too many "jokes" about the Chinese and this virus and it is not ok. Just last night I saw a tweet of an Asian man being verbally targeted on a NYC train over this virus. It was so sad to see no one coming to his aid. If this was anyone else, there would be such an uproar. I also saw a post about how QUICK everyone is to react to COVID-19 YET happy to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to climate change! HOW DOES THAT EVEN MAKE SENSE?

Sxx
daringcoco.com

Makeup Muddle said...

This was so helpful, thank you for sharing! There's so much propaganda out there to create panic, but it's great to know what it actually is! xo

www.makeupmuddle.com

R's Rue said...

Very important. Thank you.

Mica said...

Good post to share - there is a lot of fear and panic around the virus I think! Here in Australia you've probably seen the toilet paper shortages, haha! We did our usual shop last week and it was amazing how empty some shelves were - but we managed to get everything we needed. I'm trying to not stop in at the shops so often - we usually go through things like bread and fruit and veggies quickly! But I'm trying to shop less. Not just because my son is medically fragile and I need to make sure he stays healthy, but also because I have seen some of the videos and I don't want to be with my sons at the supermarket when people start fighting (some with weapons!!!) over something as silly as toilet paper.

A few weeks ago I had lost my voice and I had a chat with a stranger in the lift - he mentioned how he was a bit jealous I could still be walking around with no voice as he's been getting a lot of stares any time he coughs, being Asian! It's sad! I haven't noticed it yet but with my Malaysian family on hubby's side I hope they stay safe and don't experience that!

Hope that you are having a wonderful weekend :) We had a date night last night which was awesome - nice to get out the house even if the city was quieter than usual!

Away From Blue

FashionRadi said...

So good to be informed about this virus. I've been focusing on washing my hands a lot more often.

The Dainty Dolls House said...

Super post!! The spread of misinformation is ridiculous!! We should take precautions but not go haywire, especially when it causes them to spread bad information!! Hope you have a great week ahead :)

ALLIE NYC said...

OMG this is truly insane. Like we didn't have enough going on in the world to overwhelm and exhaust us. I swear if I didn't know any better I would think we were living in the end times. Whats next? Trump gets a bee up his bum and decides to launch nukes? I am not sure what to think anymore with this world we are living in. And it astounds me how juvenile and old world thinking there is, I mean you would never know it it is 2020 and that all these first world people were supposedly educated. It is mind blowing.

Yes to a degree you can blame the Chinese government for not cracking down on the wet markets which ( both Corona 19 and SARS) started and trade in exotic and endangered species which are considered delicacies and they are also used for snake oil remedies. But the majority of Chinese people do not eat these meats or use these tintures. The government cracked down after SARS but then let them open again after it passed. Why? If it is not used by %80 of the population? Well because the people that are using it are the Chinese %1. The wealthy favor this and not even %100 of them. But that has nothing to do with the Chinese people at large, other Asian groups and Asian people living outside China. I mean WTF? I don't get it. How stupid can people be??

They now say the "Spanish" flu started on a pig farm outside an army barracks in Kansas. The men there got it, spread it to other barracks the surrounding towns then shipped overseas where it spread in the trenches in France where it jumped the divide to the Germans then spread to the rest of Europe, India, Africa through ports and then the men returned home after the war where it spread all over the U.S and Canada. Nothing to do with Spain.

My TV broke and I have been watching the news on YouTube and then there are other videos on there, and all the theories oh brother, there are nut jobs on both sides of the aisle. Though one person brought up an a very scary thought: I don't think this will happen but, they floated the idea that come election time they will declare that the outbreak is bad enough that they can have large groups of people together and will ummm post pone the election...

I feel like with this virus either they are hyping it up too much or there is something they are not telling us. But it is going to have real world impacts on the economy which in the end will as Sonia said as usual, effect the working folks not the %1. And yup climate change is going kill many more then this virus but....

Allie of
www.allienyc.com

Kinga K. said...

Important to know it now :)

Ivana Split said...

Very informative post. There is a lot of misinformation about corona virus. I hate how it has been used to justify racism.