The World Health Organization announced on March 11, 2020, that the Corona Virus (COVID-19) is a pandemic.
Although we watched COVID-19 shut down China, Italy, Germany, Spain, with more countries being added to the list daily, it’s real now because it’s on our doorstep, not thousands of miles away.
So let’s talk about how you can protect yourself, COVID-19 symptoms, and how you can avoid infecting others.
Coronavirus: Try Not to Panic
The word “pandemic” is scary enough without making things worse.
So, please go to organizations like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to stay informed.
Tune out social media “influencers” or organizations that use fear to manipulate people for ratings and profits.
Avoid alarmists and conspiracy-leaning folks, even if they are sincere; the last thing you need right now is someone else taking charge of your mind and emotions.
Panic usually makes things seem worse than they are. It makes people think and behave irrationally, thinking only of themselves instead of the needs of others.
A great way to stay calm is to “work the problem” as they say, by taking action and making reasonable preparations. Many people also find strength and courage in their faith and family during times like these.
Knowledge, awareness, faith, and helping others are ways to ease feelings of fear and panic.
How to Prepare for the Coronavirus
Although we’ve been preparing for COVID-19 for several days, let’s review to make sure we’ve covered everything:
Prepare for the possibility of quarantine. Although strong precautions are underway to prevent this from happening, if quarantined, you’ll be required to stay inside your home.
Just in case this happens, here’s what you can do to prepare (according to the CDC)
- Maintain an updated emergency contact list: Family (especially if your loved ones are elderly), friends, neighbors, your health care provider, local health department, employer, and your child’s school.
- Many employers have instituted an emergency operations plan. Learn if yours covers sick leave, has an option to work from home and your company’s long-term plan for handling this outbreak.
- It bears repeating: Follow credible news sources to stay informed about the coronavirus. Avoid hype and hearsay.
How to Prevent Getting the Coronavirus
Okay, we’ve heard it a million times these last few days, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times daily!
Wonder how long twenty seconds is? Sing Happy Birthday twice to yourself while washing your hands.
Also, wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or being in a public place.
Although it’s best to use soap and water, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol will do.
Surfaces – Avoid Touching Surfaces in Public Areas: Doorknobs, handrails, elevator buttons, airline check-in kiosks, handling someone else’s phone, or letting them hold yours. Also, avoid handshakes and hugs for now.
See someone with cold or flu symptoms? Wish them good health…from a distance! Protect yourself by staying at least three feet away; experts say six feet is better.
Practice safe respiratory hygiene. COVER your nose and mouth with your bent elbow or a tissue when sneezing or coughing to prevent infecting others with any virus-infected droplets.
Already Sick? STAY HOME. For how long? Until you feel well again.
Is your health compromised, or are you elderly? Avoid crowds.
At the time this post was written, public officials were advising that people avoid public gatherings consisting of more than ten people. Closed spaces, and areas that aren’t well ventilated make respiratory infections spread faster.
Coronavirus: Are You or Someone Know At High Risk?
Anyone who is 60 or older or has these medical conditions is at high risk: Lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, and anyone else with a compromised immune system; be vigilant.
Those over the age of 80 and have medical conditions are at the highest risk; so take the necessary precautions. Stock up on groceries and medications, keep space between you and others (six feet or more), avoid gatherings, refrain from travel, wash your hands often, keep your house clean, and stay home.
Normal Coronavirus Symptoms:
The CDC lists these cold-like symptoms to watch out for:
- Shortness of breath
Experiencing these symptoms? See your doctor or health care provider for testing and evaluation. Call ahead first.
Emergency Coronavirus warning signs:
- Having trouble breathing
- Are short of breath
- Pressure or pain in the chest that won’t go away
- Uncharacteristically confused, or can’t seem to wake up.
- Lips or face have turned bluish
These emergency-warning signs require immediate medical attention.
If you’ve been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, consult your doctor or health care provider for medical advice. Avoid contact with others to prevent spreading the virus.
More COVID-19 Information and Resources
- Practice general hygiene and cleanliness.
- Follow your health care provider’s advice and instructions.
- Wash your hands for twenty seconds frequently – especially after touching public surfaces, items, or people.
- Keep your house clean – clean all high-touch surfaces daily.
For more information on COVID-19, consult the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov
World Health Organization – https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
In this time of worldwide fear and panic, and financial uncertainty, we unite and stand together, and commit to helping each other as far as possible.
Although it’s being said that these are unprecedented times, what isn’t unprecedented is our love, hope, strength, will, ingenuity, sheer force of will, and resilience. We will do what we’ve always done: Survive, learn, and find a better way forward.
Remember, there’s hope; things will get better soon. The thoughts and prayers of our entire Lifestyle Magazine family are with those who have been gravely affected by this pandemic. We stand together, not alone, and look forward to the future with hope and faith.
P.S. Want Some Good News?
For some GOOD news on recent developments regarding the coronavirus, click the link below to check out a blog post by best-selling author, Peter Diamandis, who’s best known for being the founder and chairman of the XPrize Foundation. In his post, he shares 15 encouraging developments regarding the coronavirus:
15 Recent & Encouraging Coronavirus Developments
Photo by CDC on Unsplash