The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11 this year. A pandemic means a global spread of the new disease. Many people from all over the world have been infected by coronavirus because it can easily spread from person to person.
This highly contagious virus has disrupted many sectors, primarily the travel industry. Currently, a lot of countries have imposed lockdown measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.
At times like this, we need to know more information about the virus so we can protect ourselves, our loved ones and other people around us. In this article, we’ve written a complete info for you to stay informed, t-mates.
What is coronavirus?
Coronavirus is a family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses, fever, and more severe diseases such as SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus that was discovered in 2019.
The outbreak originated from Wuhan wet market in China in December 2019. It is believed that the virus possibly originated from bats.
According to WHO, coronaviruses that infect animals can transmit the virus to humans. People who are infected by the virus may not show any symptoms because there is an incubation period of between 2-14 days.
What are the symptoms?
After the incubation period, people who are infected by the virus may show these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
People who developed more severe symptoms need to seek medical attention immediately. These serious symptoms may include persistent pain or pressure in the chests, breathing difficulty and bluish lips or face.
How does the coronavirus spread? How long can the coronavirus survive on surfaces?
The virus spreads from person-to-person,between people who are in close contact with one another, which is within 1-2 meter. The virus spreads through droplets from mouths or noses. People who are close to the sick person can inhale the virus into their lungs and get infected.
Who is at higher risk of developing serious illness?
Older adults are at higher risk of developing serious illness from coronavirus. The reason is because they may have underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, lung or heart disease.
People with HIV and pregnant women are also more susceptible to COVID-19.
How to protect yourself from coronavirus?
1. Wear a Face Mask
Wear a face mask if you are sick, taking care of a person who is sick, or in a public place. Mask is effective at capturing droplets, the main transmission of COVID-19. Thus, wearing a face mask can provide some protection for us.
Now, what type of mask should you use? For daily use, you can wear a disposable surgical mask. Some people may wear a N95 respiratory mask. It is useful to protect us from small particle aerosols to large droplets, however, the daily use of this type of mask is not recommended because it may cause discomfort in breathing.
After you use the mask, remember to dispose of it properly. Don’t re-use a single-used mask.
2. Wash Hands Regularly
Now you’ve used a face mask. What else do you need to do when going out to public places? Yes, wash your hands regularly with soap and water at least for 20 seconds. You also need to clean your hands after you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose.
If washing your hands is not possible, you can clean your hands using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands, rub them together, wait until dry.
3. Do Social Distancing, Avoid Crowds
Social distancing is very important to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Basically, it is a practice of maintaining a safe distance of between 1-2 meters. To know more about what social distancing is, you can click here.
At times like this, you can implement social distancing by avoiding crowds. This means not attending any kind of social gatherings, not going out to bars or restaurants with a group of friends.
So far, the government has taken many measures to contain coronavirus pandemic. Some countries have closed schools, shopping malls, places of worship, and other public places. The aim is to limit contact between people.
If you really need to go out for some reasons, make sure to keep a safe distance between you and other people to minimize the risks.
4. Stop Smoking
Smoking makes people become more vulnerable of suffering a severe illness once they are infected by COVID-19. There is a higher risk of getting lung and chest infection after smokers catch coronavirus.
As we all know, smoking affects our body. It weakens our immune system and makes it harder to fight the infection.
5. Refrain from Non-Essential Travel
During this uncertain time, it is better to postpone your travel abroad and stay at home. With the spread of coronavirus, many flights are cancelled. Many countries also decided to put their countries under lockdown. So, it is better for you to do all activities such as working, playing and resting at home.
How to protect others from catching the coronavirus?
- Stay at home
- Seek medical care if you have the symptoms of coronavirus
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or into your elbow, not your hands
- Wear a face mask if you’re sick
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often
Those are all the information you need to know regarding the coronavirus. There are many myths about this virus that can trigger anxiety. Therefore, it is best to know the myths and facts of COVID-19 so you can protect yourselves.
Stay safe and healthy t-mates! This too shall pass…