Recently, the coronavirus, or COVID-19, has been flooding the media, and for good reason. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been over 100,000 people who have died from the virus and thousands more who have been affected worldwide. In this blog post, we will be discussing how you can protect yourself and what steps you should be taking in your day to day life. Keep reading to learn more!
With international travel bands, city lockdowns, and self-quarantine going on, it’s important that you stay up-to-date on what is going on. Keep up to date by checking the CDC’s website, pay attention to your local and federal government, and distance yourself from others. While successful steps are being made, it’s crucial that we do our part to help. Take it seriously and advise others to do the same.
WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS?
Starting off, it’s important to understand what the coronavirus is. The coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations around the world, including the United States.
On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared this outbreak to be a “public health emergency of international concern” which you can learn more about onsite.
Coronavirus is a virus that can exist between humans and animals. The animals that have been correctly diagnosed include camels, cattle, cats, and bats. However, the primary animals that have been linked are bats, due to the virus having its origins in bats. While the virus may have started in China, recently there have been cases in the United States. These cases are believed to be the result of imported cases from international travels (not just those who have visited China), people who have come in close contact with a known case, and community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown. Recently, Italy has come out with outbreaking cases and has also limited travel access.
The complete clinical background is still being discovered, but what we do know is that reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms have been shown to appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. It’s also been seen to impact people who are older or already ill, specifically those who have underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. However, there are still ongoing investigations and this is an evolving situation. For more updates, the CDC can be used as a resource.
WHAT CAN I DO TO PROTECT MYSELF?
First, it’s important to understand how the coronavirus spreads. As of now (March 20, 2020) there is no current vaccine to prevent the virus. The best way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The virus is thought to spread through person-to-person contact, which is why you have been advised to stay within six feet apart from each other. It can also be transferred through forms of coaching and sneezing, and then unintentionally inhaling that. Just as you would avoid a person with a cold or flu, you should do the same for the coronavirus.
WASH YOUR HANDS
You should always be washing your hands, but now it’s more important than ever. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and scrub them with soap and water. Your hands come into contact with an abundance of surfaces, leaving you susceptible to germs and bacteria that were on those surfaces. Think about it, our phones, door handles, car doors, steering wheels, laptops, everything we touch has come in contact with other things. Washing your hands can help stop the transfer of germs and bacteria which can then help you limit your exposure to the virus and the spread of it.
STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE
Just like we mentioned before, touching your face can lead to the spread of germs and bacteria. Our nose, mouth, eyes, and ears lead directly into our bodys, and can serve as entry ports for germs and bacteria to enter our bodies.
ONLY GO OUT IF YOU NEED TO
Many places have enforced that people self quarantine, work from home, and only go out for necessary things like food and medicine. The whole point of this is to limit exposure with other humans. Avoiding close contact with people who are immunocompromised, already sick, or elderly adults. These people are the most vulnerable to infection. Many large cities have legally implemented this tactic and some states are beginning to strictly enforce this. Pay attention to your local and state governments to see if your community is placed on lockdown. So far, the federal government has not issued any type of national lockdown but pay attention to the news and make sure that you’re informed on everything.
PRIORITIZE YOUR HEALTH (MENTAL AND PHYSICAL)
The Coronavirus has put all of us in an uncomfortable state. With all the news, business closures, and travel bans, it can cause a ton of anxiety and fear of the unknown. Self quarantine can also feel lonely. We as humans thrive on connection, which can be difficult to get when we’re shut in our homes for the majority of the day. During this time it’s important to prioritize your health, both mental and physical. With the lack of outings, it’s completely normal to feel more isolated and lonely than usual. Take time to take care of your body. Whether that is an at home workout, cooking more meals, organizing, or simply watching a good movie, find what works for you. Understand that this time is new for all of us and that we’re all going through this together. Utilize aspects of digital or virtual connection.
Stay up to date on what is going on around you. There are new updates daily that can have a heavy affect on your life and your community. Many businesses are posting updates about their status and the status of the government. Visit your local government sites to know what’s going on around you.
AFM Healthcare is following closely to the CDC’s recommendations that are pertaining to the Coronavirus and will be posting updates about our Oviedo and Winter Park locations throughout all of our accounts. This includes social media too. If you’re having symptoms of Coronavirus, please call our office before coming in. We can set up televisit appointments. We do urge you, if you’re feeling sick with any of the symptoms, avoid going to public offices like emergency rooms or urgent care clinics. For more information about what we’re doing or questions about what to do if you’re feeling symptoms, connect with us today! We’re here for you.