Before I get worried about a pandemic from the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), I like to do my research to find out where it’s coming from, how we can prevent it, and just how worried we really need to be about contracting the disease.
Here is an overview of my findings and some tips to help prevent COVID-19 from impacting your whole community:
Where did Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) come from?
It was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China and it was declared a Public Health Emergency on January 20, 2020. Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that contain strains that can cause potentially deadly diseases. These diseases are found in humans and animals including, cats, camels, and bats. In humans, they are spread by airborne droplets of fluid (from coughs and sneezes) produced by infected individuals. MERS and SARS are both coronaviruses; so it COVID-19.
Will COVID-19 Spread to the United States?
As of February 25, 2020, COVID-19 has now been detected in 37 locations internationally, including the United States. Based on my research, you must prepare for this disease to become a pandemic. Don’t focus on the worst-case scenario. Focus on what you can do to prepare your family for not contracting the disease. That is the best thing you can do right now.
When an outbreak occurs in a community, this means there will be a greater demand on the healthcare system which makes it harder to get in to see your doctor, hospitals become overcrowded, and medications and supplies to treat the symptoms rapidly deplete. These circumstances lead to deaths, so it is important to prepare for COVID-19 like you would prepare for a hurricane. Get your supplies in advance and when it strikes, don’t leave your house!
What is the CDC Doing About COVID-19?
Education is all the CDC can do at this point. They are working with state, local, and tribal organizations to respond to the threat. They have developed an abundance of pandemic guidance in anticipation of an influenza pandemic and they have repurposed and adapted it for a COVID-19 pandemic. Since it is currently flu and respiratory disease season, the CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine, taking everyday preventive actions to stop spreading germs, and taking flu antivirals, when prescribed by your doctor.
Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
Don’t get close to people who are sick. If you think someone is sick, don’t go near them and keep your distance from others when you are sick. If you are married, this means you should sleep in different beds and disinfect everything you touch.
Don’t go out in public if you are sick. Don’t go to the store. Don’t go to work. If you infect 100s of people at work because you thought you might lose your job for calling in sick, the whole company could go out of business. Get a doctor’s note and if they give you grief for being out sick, that may not be the right company for you.
Cover your sneezes and coughs! This is super important. A sneeze can travel the distance of a football field. Make sure that you cover your face, and don’t use your hands unless you can wash them immediately.
Clean your hands. Use hand sanitizer, wipes, water-less soap, whatever, you need to make sure your hands are sanitized after you touch other people and things that other people have touched.
Don’t touch your face. My grandmother used to love to slap my little hand if I brought it anywhere near my face. As an adult, I am grateful she did this. My not touching your face, it helps ensure you never get acne and it also protects from diseases.
Clean everything. During the flu season, you should take extra measures to clean all of the surfaces in your office and at home.
Get rest. If you feel run down, rest. Don’t push yourself and your risk for diseases. If you get sick, this is even more important. Pneumonia happens from not listening to our bodies.
Eat right. Make sure you are taking your vitamins and eating balanced meals. This will ensure you have “sick weight” if you do get sick and will also help boost the immune system so you are less likely to get sick.
Here is the official summary from the Center for Disease Control:
Here is a link that provides historical background for coronaviruses: