VIOLA - With all the talk lately about the coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, I’ve learned a few things.
The first is that if you don’t spell the virus’s name correctly, Spell Check will suggest ‘carnivorous.’ If you do spell it correctly, Spell Check will insist you didn't and suggest ‘coronations.’
The most accurate place to get your news and any updates on the virus is directly from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/. Paying attention to the leaders in the field of infectious disease is paramount. Get the facts from people who believe in science and have dedicated their lives to research for our wellbeing.
The CDC says the immediate risk of being exposed to the coronavirus in the United States is low. People who are most at risk for coming in contact with it are the healthcare workers caring for people with COVID-19, people traveling in countries or communities where the virus has spread, and people in contact with someone who has the disease.
The CDC also states on their website that it’s likely there will be more cases of the virus in the United States as it spreads person-to-person in communities, causing a widespread transmission of the disease.
As of Sunday, March 8, the CDC is asking us to take precautions. They suggest the following:
1. Keep your distance from people who are sick.
2. If you’re sick, stay home from work, school and running errands.
3. Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough, then throw away the tissue and wash your hands. Use your elbow to cough or sneeze into, if you don’t have a Kleenex handy.
4. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap, use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
5. Keep your fingers out of your face holes and to yourself. The virus enters the human body through the eyes, nose, or mouth, so stop touching your face. (This may be harder than you think!)
6. Routinely clean surfaces you touch and objects that you use, like doorknobs, your computer mouse, countertops, phones, and the toilet handle. Do this in your home and at work, and make sure these practices are being done at your child’s school or daycare.
For most people, COVID-19 isn’t life threatening. People who are most at risk are older adults and those who already have severe medical challenges such as heart, lung, or kidney diseases, or anyone with compromised health.
After reading several pages and following the links suggested by the CDC, you’ll notice repetition of what they are suggesting we can do to prepare ifthe coronavirus comes to our communities.Preparing means staying educated about the facts and not succumbing to fear. Facts trump fear.
To prepare, the CDC suggests:
1. If you are currently taking a daily medication, have extra on hand, a few weeks’ supply.
2. Have enough groceries and household supplies for possibly staying home for a period of time.
3. Check to see that you have over-the-counter medicines to treat symptoms of the virus, such as a fever reducer and other common items like Kleenex. (Most cases of COVID-19 are treatable at home.)
4. See all the precautions listed above, but overall, be prepared to stay home, avoiding crowded areas and people who are sick.
The symptoms of COVID-19 are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. The CDC suggests you stay homeand callyour doctor, if you experience these symptoms.
Being prepared, taking precautions, listening to the CDC, whose information is based in the reality of science, and staying calm are our best proactive defenses against COVID-19.I’m sure someday Spell Check will recognize the word ‘coronavirus,’ but by that time this virus will be history.