I am not a medical professional, but I trust medical professionals and the advice and information they provide.
Each day there are more articles, more information (and dis-information), and questions/concerns put out there about the COVID-19 global pandemic that make figuring out what to do, how to do it, and what to KNOW more and more difficult! I wanted to compile a quick reference list with links to various news and medical sources in one place so I have easy access to it. As I was putting it all together, I thought, why not just put it in a post and allow other people to access it as well!
According to the CDC, they are still learning how this virus spreads. This is what they know now:
The virus spreads mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. This virus seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community (Community spread means people have been infected with the virus and are not sure how or where they became infected.)
The virus can survive on hard surfaces such as plastic and stainless steel for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours. Virus laden droplets from a cough or sneeze can land on doorknobs, faucets, any hard surface which is then spread to anyone who then touches these surfaces.
- Ultraviolet light (sunlight) can rapidly diminish infectivity of viruses on surfaces.
- Some surfaces are less hospitable to the virus. (i.e.- the virus survived on copper for only about 4 hours)
BEST WAY TO PROTECT ONESELF:
- Wash your hands. 20 seconds.With soap. Why soap? Because the virus is a self-assembled nanoparticle in which the weakest link is the lipid (fatty) bilayer which soap dissolves and the virus falls apart.
- Hand sanitizers are effective too, but soap and water is better!
- Use wipes that are ammonia or alcohol-based products. No baby wipes. Wipe everything down you touch…including computers and phones!
Mild. Moderate. Serious. Severe. It seems that the symptoms with this virus vary from person to person. There is not yet a standard definition of what symptoms are associated with each designation. About 80% of cases are considered MILD or MODERATE.
Symptoms include: fever within a couple days of infection, a dry cough, aches and pains.
Symptoms include: coughing, fever about 100.4, chills, lethargy, some may experience a shortness of breath
- SERIOUS/SEVERE: (14% of cases are SEVERE, 6% CRITICAL)
The MILD/MODERATE symptoms get worse where patients may need supplemental oxygen, on in extreme cases septic shock-a significant drop in BP that can lead to stroke, heart/respiratory failure, organ failure or death. The serious/severe symptoms can progress in a few hours OR a few days.
WHY SOCIAL DISTANCING?
Basically staying away from crowds and other people’s personal space is Social Distancing. This slows down the spread of the virus and can mitigate a nationwide healthcare disaster. There is only so much our (or any countries) healthcare system can handle and limiting the amount of people that get into the system can save lives. If too many people are infected at the same time there will be an overload to our health system capacity.
Social distancing is especially important because of the limited tests for the virus that have been administered and are available in America. With a virus that can spread easily and quickly, not knowing WHERE the people are who have it can lead to devastating effects. As of March 10th, America is administering 26 tests per million people. The UK is administering 387 per million people. South Korea is up to 4,099 tests per million people. Hence, SOCIAL DISTANCING. Better safe than sorry!
WHERE IS IT NOW?
It is known the virus started in China and have effectively spread around the world. Here is a link to an updated map as of today, 3.15.2020.
WHEN SHOULD WE START FREAKING OUT?
I will follow the advice of former Senior Advisor to President Obama, Dan Pfeiffer:
“Worry about everything, Panic about nothing.”
As long as we listen to and heed the advice of the health professionals, the Centers for Disease Control, and the World Health Organization, we can get through this as calm, rational, and informed citizens.