The E-Healthy News Guide to Covid 19 (COVID-19) is a guide about a serious illness able to spread from an individual to an individual invisibly. The virus responsible for coronavirus is a new coronavirus first identified in an investigation of an outbreak that occurred in Wuhan, China.
The virus that causes this respiratory illness is believed to be spread by droplets formed when an individual who has coronavirus coughs, sneezes, or talks. The drops can land in openings of the body like the noses and mouths of people who are close to a person with the infection, or they could be inhaled into the lungs by an uninfected individual, thus contracting the infection.
Again, an individual can get COVID-19 by coming in contact with or touching an object or surface that’s contaminated with the virus. If that individual touches their nose, mouth, or eyes, they could also infect themselves with the virus.
COVID-19 is a very serious disease, more treacherous than the flu you know. One CDC estimate suggests that about 160 to 214 million individuals in the US would get the disease and that an estimated 200,000 to 1.7 million individuals could die.
That’s shocking; however, this estimate doesn’t take into consideration actions being taken to slow down the disease outbreak, though. An individual with the illness may show symptoms ranging from mild – resembling those of cold and flu, to severe – resembling those of pneumonia.
Regarding the actual symptoms of coronavirus disease 2019, they are mild to severe respiratory complications with signs of fever, cough, along with shortness of breath.
COVID-19 Can Be Transmitted In Pre-symptomatic Stages
The closures taken by many governments and healthcare departments are largely preventive. People may be reluctant to take precautionary and preventive measures in environments where they feel there may be no one with the infection.
However, this is something that could turn into a tragedy. What people may not know is that they can contract the illness from people who have it but aren’t showing signs – are in pre-symptomatic stages.
People who don’t know if they have coronavirus can, therefore, spread it to other persons. In one study, it estimates that approximately 25 percent of transmissions of coronavirus may have happened during the pre-symptomatic stages.
Decisions Taken to Prevent Ballooning of COVID-19 Cases
In response to the rapid multiplication of the cases of coronavirus, various decisions are being taken by governments, business organizations, healthcare departments and organizations, and leaders to prevent the spread.
Closures have happened in different places, and in some cases, they have occurred nationwide. Lockdowns help reduce contacts of people – a situation that reduces the chances of the illness spreading to other people.
As of 26 March 2020, the US had recorded the highest number of coronavirus confirmed cases. The US government has been acting in response to the unfolding situation of the illness.
The government is now warning people against gatherings of over 10 persons – social distancing. People traveling from areas where infections are widespread have had restrictions on their movements for 2 weeks – a period known as the incubation period of the COVID-19 – where an individual with the infection would be able to show symptoms.
Now that we have said a thing or two about COVID-19 and how it spreads let’s look at some of the best and worst practices on managing the disease.
Best Practices on COVID-19 – Healthy Habits to Prevent the Illness
To help prevent the spreading of coronavirus, people need to know how the illness spreads and takes preventive measures. The best way an individual can protect themselves if to avoid exposure to the virus. So what are the steps you need to take to protect yourself and others?
Steps to Protect Oneself
• Clean your hands very often
People should wash their hands often using soap and water for not less than 20 seconds – this is the time you would take to sign the “Happy Birthday” song twice. If you have been in public places, take it seriously to wash your hands. Also, after blowing your nose, sneezing, and coughing, you want to clean your hands.
In situations where soap and water may not be available, you may want to use hand sanitizers containing alcohol at concentrations of not less than 60 percent. While using hand sanitizer, you want to cover the entire surfaces of the hands and then rub or pat them together until you feel they are dry. Besides, avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unclean or unwashed hands.
Although we don’t know precisely how long the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces, Stephen Morse, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University Medical Center, says information from other coronaviruses shows that most cleansers we use in households like alcohol and bleach wipes – will destroy these viruses.
• Evade Close Contact
You need to avoid being in close contact with people you suspect or know they are sick. Ensure you keep a distance from other people in the event that COVID-19 is spreading within your community.
While people at higher risk of being sick need to take this precaution seriously, everybody should do so. Social distancing proves to be effective in helping prevent the spreading of the illness.
Steps to Protect other People
If you are sick, stay at home, except to seek medical attention. If you are having coughs and sneezes ensure:
• You cover your nose and mouth using a tissue after you sneeze or cough, or you may use the inside part of your elbow to cover the nose and mouth.
• After you have used tissues, you throw them in trash
• You immediately clean your hands using soap and water, not for less than 20 seconds; otherwise, use a hand sanitizer containing not less than 60 percent alcohol.
if you get sick or you are showing early signs of illness – such as dry cough or fever – you should call the office of your doctor, but don’t necessarily take a trip to the emergency room or even urgent care, you might infect others, says Edith Bracho-Sanchez, who serves as a pediatrician at Columbia University Medical Center.
If you’re sick, wear a facemask when around other people, for instance, when sharing a vehicle or a room and before you can enter a hospital or health provider’s office. Sometimes, you may find that you have trouble breathing when you wear the facemask, if that is the case, you need to make sure that you cover sneezes and coughs and ask people caring for you or around you to wear the facemask.
A point to mention here is that if you are not sick, you don’t have to wear a facemask – not unless you are around a person who is sick and that individual cannot wear a facemask.
Besides, clean and disinfect surfaces that you frequently touch every day, including doorknobs, tables, countertops, light switches, handles, phones, toilers, sinks, faucets, keyboards, and desks. Ensure you clean dirty surfaces and disinfect them.
If COVID-19 starts spreading within your community, or you have someone sick at home, you need to plan on cleaning surfaces you and other people frequently touch – such as bathroom faucets, kitchen counters, and doorknobs – several times each day, this is according to Dr. Trish Perl, the head of the division of infectious disease, UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Worst Practices on COVID-19 – Unhealthy Habits You Should Stop
People may be asking, should they be going on dates, in the first place. While the habits and practices to help prevent contracting or spreading coronavirus are simple, and most people seem to be aware of them.
Certainly, there are bad habits that people need to break away from them. You need to understand that there will be disruptions to people’s daily life, but this should empower us. The decisions individuals make are ultimately going to affect the path of the coronavirus outbreak. You need to know what not to do.
Among the worse practices and habits people are taking on COVID-19 include:
• Not adhering to the hygiene measures that you have been advised to follow
• Not self-quarantining yourself when you have come from locations with widespread infections
• Not taking self-care
• Not observing social distance
• Refusing to stay at home after you have been asked to remain indoors
• Self-medicating yourself when you feel sick
• Not keeping your body fit to help boost your immunity – exercise when at home
During this coronavirus pandemic, there have been challenges when it comes to fake news. It’s not only coronavirus that is spreading fast but also a wildfire of fake, unverified information, especially on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and others. Information disinformation, misinformation, misrepresentation, and falsification are happening in what is called infodemic.
Leah Lagos, a psychologist based in New York and author of the soon-to-be-released book titled, Heart, Breath, Mind: Train Your Heart to Conquer Stress and Achieve Success, concurs, “Now is the time to do something for your fellow community members,” further adding, “Staying home as much as possible, even if you believe you aren’t infected, is the type of altruistic decision that, when performed en masse, has the potential to slow the infection rate.”
Logos refers to it as the “flattening the curve.” Here Leah emphasizes the importance of staying at home when you have been asked to do so to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is a collective effort; you need to play your role. Taking the simple measures that have been suggested can go a long way in breaking the spread of the illness.
There are good and bad practices people need to be aware of – personal responsibility is at the heart of the game here. You need to protect yourself and protect others too. People also need to emphasize on healthy diet and nutrition to give the body a boost to be able to fight illness