On March 11, the World Health Organization announced that COVID-19 is officially a pandemic. Days later, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency over the pandemic. As a result, this provided additional resources and funding to help fight the disease. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 disease has now spread to more than 100 locations. worldwide. With this in mind, what can you do to prevent yourself and others from getting the coronavirus?
Basic Guidelines: WHO and CDC
Although you may other questions, here are basic guidelines. These are set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
What Are Coronaviruses
Coronaviruses are part of a family of viruses that can cause illness in humans and animals. It is part of the same family of viruses as the common cold. The most recent coronavirus is the infectious disease known as COVID-19. To clarify, it was first reported in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent or cure the virus. However, several tests and clinical trials are being conducted around the world. On Thursday, March 12, scientists from the University of Toronto, McMaster University and Sunnybrook Health in Canada isolated the novel coronavirus. This will help scientists “develop better diagnostic testing, testing and vaccines”. Some western, traditional or home remedies may help provide comfort from symptoms.
Update on Vaccines
Update: Vaccines are now being used. In fact, over 11.9 billion doses have been given across 184 countries. Despite information to the contrary, Covid-19 vaccines are safe and effective. Moreover, those who are not vaccinated have a much higher risk of contracting the disease. If that’s not enough, the risk of death is higher for those without the vaccine.
Some people infected with the coronavirus will have no symptoms. But for those who do, symptoms include a low-grade fever, body aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, coughing and a sore throat. What’s more, the virus can also cause more severe symptoms. For instance, like a high fever, severe cough and shortness of breath. Symptoms occur from approximately 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus.
How Is The Coronavirus Spread?
The coronavirus is thought to spread primarily from one person to another. This occurs in close contact with another person, or when an infected person coughs or sneezes droplets that land in the mouths or noses of another person. The coronavirus can further be spread from contact with an infected surface or objects. If a person touches a surface or object that has the virus, it can then spread by touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes.
Hot and Humid Climates
Contrary to some speculation, the WHO says that COVID-19 can be spread in hot and humid climates.
How To Help Prevent The Spread Of COVID-19
Wash Your Hands
You should wash your hands regularly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important if you have been in a public area or if you have coughed, sneezed or after blowing your nose. If no soap and water is available, you can also use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. While hand sanitizers are currently in short supply, you can also try making homemade hand sanitizer.
Update: There currently is no shortage of hand sanitizer in the United States.
Cover Coughing & Sneezing
Regardless if you are sick or not, you should cover your cough or sneeze with your sleeve, inner bent elbow or with a tissue. On the other hand, you should never cover your cough with your hand. You should then dispose of the tissue and wash your hands with soap and warm water as quickly as possible or with a hand sanitizer.
Related: How to Stay Healthy While Traveling
Keep Your Distance
You should try to keep some distance between yourself and people who may be sick or is coughing or sneezing. That’s because the coronavirus COVID-19 can be spread from one person to another through small respiratory droplets from the nose or mouth when a person is coughing, sneezing or exhaling. The World Health Organization recommends that you keep a distance of at least 1 meter (3 feet) away from someone who is sick.
The CDC recommends you keep a distance of 2 meters or 6 feet away from someone who is coughing or sneezing. The term “social distancing” is currently trending to help stop or slow the spread of the coronavirus. In effect, social distancing means to keep a safe distance apart from others to reduce the risk. In most cases, the public has been compliant.
Clean & Disinfect
You should clean surfaces daily that are frequently touched with a common disinfectant to protect and others in your household or place of business. This includes doorknobs, light switches, tables and countertops. That’s not to mention handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, keyboards and computers and especially your phones.
Disinfectants To Use
Among the common American disinfectants are Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Purell Professional Surface Disinfectant. In addition, Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner, Clorox Bleach are helpful. Lastly, Clorox Wipes are also known to be helpful in sanitizing surfaces.
Visit The EPA Site
An updated list of disinfectants is on the EPA.gov website. Other household items that need regularly cleaning are carpeting, flooring, clothing, bedding and pillows.
Wear An Antiviral Face Mask
Wear a protective mask in indoor public places., even if you have been vaccinated for the coronavirus. Masks are available in a variety of prices. Make sure that the mask you use is an antiviral mask. If you’re not sure where to purchase an antiviral face mask, try doing online research from reliable sources.
Wearing A Mask
Despite widespread speculation, using a face mask has been proven to reduce the risk. Although the use of face masks has fallen as cases drop, many still wear masks in public. Indeed, some transportation systems require that you wear a mask while traveling.
To further reduce your risk of getting the coronavirus, the CDC and WHO are recommending you stay home as much as possible. In fact a Twitter hashtag #staythef…home has gone viral and its accompanying website has already had more than one million visitors.
If You Feel Sick
If you have a fever, persistent cough or have difficulty breathing you should seek medical care. However, you should contact your medical provider for instructions before visiting a medical facility. The supply of in-home test kits are expected to increase by next week and some communities are offering drive-up testing stations.
If you or someone else in your home gets mildly sick, you or the sick person should stay in just one room. Furthermore, if possible, you use only one bathroom. You should also wear a mask if you are mildly ill from the coronavirus. What’s more if you are caring for someone with the disease, keep your distance.. If your symptoms are getting worse, you should seek medical attention.
Should I Travel?
The CDC is recommending that you postpone or cancel your upcoming travel. This is particularly important in areas with a Level 3 Travel Notice. This currently includes China, Iran and most of Europe. If you are of higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 you should avoid travel. For example, those at higher risk are older adults and people with serious chronic disease. For example, those with heart disease, lung disease and diabetes.
For additional information, please visit the WHO website, the CDC website or another established, verified and reputable source. For instance, Harvard University, Stanford Healthcare and the Mayo Clinic are highly reputable sources.
About The Author:
Randy Yagi is an award-winning freelance writer who served as the National Travel Writer for CBS from 2012-2019. More than 900 of his stories still appear in syndication across 23 CBS websites, including CBS New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. He is a Media Fellow of Stanford University.