COVID-19 or the coronavirus has brought up concerns regarding personal-hygiene practices and healthcare systems across the globe. The biggest concern that most people have in mind, though, is misinformation. With so many different sources reporting contrasting information and countless people on social media making wild claims, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the need for straightforward answers.
Here are the most vital questions regarding COVID-19 and clear answers to help you gain some stability and peace of mind.
How Does the Virus Spread?
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus, and these viruses spread mainly through droplets produced by coughs, sneezes, or even saliva discharge. When someone coughs, those respiratory droplets fly into the air, and although people try to cover a cough, those droplets can land on nearby surfaces.
Someone else could touch that surface, pick up the virus, then touch their face and is then at-risk of contracting COVID-19. That’s is why covering your mouth when you cough, washing your hands, and wiping down surfaces is so important.
The virus does not spread through mosquitos, and you will likely not get the coronavirus from your dog. When looking at information about how COVID-19 spreads, consider how other similar viruses have spread in the past.
What Can I Do to Stop Spreading COVID-19?
The best thing you can do is to practice exceptional personal hygiene. Do your best to implement these practices:
- Wash your hands after being near other people or interacting with surfaces such as grocery carts.
- Avoid touching your face
- Cover your mouth or wear a facemask when you have a cough to reduce spreading anything that may be in your saliva.
- Wash commonly touched surfaces such as counters and doorknobs.
- Self-isolate and practice social distances when you must go outside.
Keep in mind that there is too much of a good thing. Obsessively washing your hands is not necessary. Wearing gloves or n-95 masks when you’re self-isolating is usually not needed and can put a drain on much needed medical supplies.
Masks only prevent the spread of the virus when infected people wear them. There is no proof that healthy people can wear masks to avoid contracting COVID-19.
How Many COVID-19 Victims Have Only Mild or Moderate Symptoms?
80% of COVID-19 patients will only experience mild symptoms, including a low-grade fever, dry cough, and some shortness of breath. About 14% of people who tested positive will experience severe symptoms that may or may not require hospitalizing, and only 5% of patients were critically ill.
Before heading to any medical facility because of coronavirus symptoms, call ahead. Your healthcare provider could advise you to stay at home until you have severe symptoms to help keep you and others in the best possible condition.
Which Contaminated Surfaces Transmit Viruses and Infections Organisms?
A contaminated surface or fomite acts is a surface that allows the virus to live on its surface for some time. Contaminated surfaces are often high-touch areas of a room or building such as light switches, doorknobs, utensils, remotes, and more. Disinfecting these surfaces is an excellent practice to instill, and contaminated surfaces is a great reason to self-isolate.
What is a Safe Distance for Social Distancing?
While the general practice for social distancing is six-feet, most health officials suggest that one meter or about three feet are all that’s needed. That doesn’t mean that you can go out shopping or visiting local parks as long as you stay away from other people. It’s best to self-isolate, but when you must venture out into the world, keep at least three feet of space between you and others.
How Has COVID-19 Affected the Global Economy?
The Dow Jones plummeted by 20% in the fastest drop in recent stock market history going from a long-standing high to a bear market in days. On a global scale, the economy is suffering as businesses close, people become unemployed, and trade between countries comes to a halt.
Much of the impact on the economy stems from prevention measures to flatten the curb with stay-at-home or quarantine orders. However, panic and uncertainly also play a role as people save money they would typically spend and sell off stocks or other investments.
Is There a Cure or Treatment for COVID-19?
There is no substantial or proven cure for COVID-19 right now, but pharmaceutical companies and medical supply manufacturers are working on it. Unfortunately, people have turned to previously used anti-viral treatments for viruses such as Malaria in unconventional ways. Don’t try any medication that isn’t recommended and administered by your doctor or a medical professional.
Will A Warm Spring Slow the Spread of the Virus?
Going outside in warm weather won’t kill the virus much to the disappointment of spring breakers. Typically viruses don’t do well in warm weather, which is why influenza comes in seasonal waves, and we should expect the same from COVID-19. However, we can’t depend on summer alone to stop this virus. Weather changes won’t be enough to end this pandemic.
Will A Vaccine Become Available?
With so many working on a vaccine, we will likely see something approved next year. The process of developing, testing, and passing vaccines require a length of time to ensure that the vaccine is both safe and effective.
Over 35 different companies, including some of the world’s top researchers, are working on developing a vaccine. The long history of vaccine use and testing will help them move forward quickly, but you shouldn’t expect a vaccine to be available anytime this year.
Having high-quality information sources is vital. Take your questions to reliable sources that cite where they gathered their information. To take care of your mental health, stay away from news sources that sensationalize these events, or spark emotions such as panic or fear.
Do your best by self-isolating, staying connected to your friends and family for emotional support, and washing your hands. Together we will get through this COVID-19 outbreak, and hopefully, by next year, we’ll have a vaccine to help prevent another pandemic.
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