Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only. Consult your local medical authority for all medical advice.
News about the deadly virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019 is everywhere. The virus is officially called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It is also called Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 2019-nCov, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2. The disease the virus causes is called COVID-19.
Although there are many useful and reliable sources for information, there is an enormous amount of misinformation circulating the internet and social media. Some major media outlets are even complicit in downplaying the magnitude of this situation. Many young people are adopting a “whatever” attitude which is a serious threat to those who are at high risk.
What Coronavirus symptoms look like, day by day.
Reliable online information sources for Coronavirus and COVID-19
The following resources are reliable sources of information:
- The World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Disease Outbreak pages contain up-to-date and global information.
- World Health Organization Dashboard Global Map.
- The US Coronavirus.gov.
- John Hopkins University and Medicine offers a Covid-19 Interactive Map by the Center Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).
- Infection2020 is an online Covid-19 tracker that tracks for the United States.
- WorldOmeter keeps tracks of Coronavirus infections, deaths and recovery rates worldwide.
- The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Index.
- The US Food and Drug Administration.
- The UK’s National Health Service.
- The US National Library of Medicine’s Medline Plus.
- National Institute of Health also offers resources about Coronavirus.
- The WhiteHouse.gov’s 15 Days to Slow the Spread PDF.
- Information about Coronavirus from Czech Republic Government and the Ministry of Health.
- Covid19Info is a new website that also tracks Coronavirus cases across the world.
- Tracking cases in Spain (site is in Spanish), but community. Information provided by Spanish Ministry of Health.
- Coronavirus Disease, Maps and charts provided Oxford Martin School (University of Oxford).
Shareable media about COVID-19
The following resources are easy to share on social media platforms, email, and more.
- Facts About COVID-19 (Image).
- Facts About COVID-19 (PDF).
- Downloadable resources from the WHO.
- Exponential growth and epidemics YouTube video.
Quick facts about Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The following information should not be used to make a medical diagnosis and is for informational purposes only. Please consult your local medical authorities for all medical advice.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus.
“The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.” Source: World Health Organization.
How Coronavirus Spreads
“Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth.” Source: World Health Organization.
There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus and the recommended way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure.
The CDC reports that the virus spreads, “Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.”
“Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself.” Source: CDC.gov
How to protect yourself
Takes these steps to protect yourself:
- Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
- Maintain social distancing (keep at least 3 feet or 1 meter distance between yourself and others).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Self-isolate by putting distance between yourself and other people.
- If you are sick, stay home. Do NOT go to a doctors office without first calling your doctor. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
- Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose.
- Immediately throw away used tissues and wash your hands.
- If you are NOT sick then you do not need to wear a facemask.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Source: CDC.gov and WHO.int
Spread the word to “Flatten the Curve”
Even if COVID-19 is “unavoidable,” delaying infections will flatten the peak number of illnesses to within hospital capacity and significantly reduce deaths. However, spreading an educational awareness is crucial because many people are actively ignoring the threat. For example, the Coronavirus pandemic is not preventing college ‘spring breakers’ from partying. See this USA Today interview, ‘If I get corona, I get corona’.
The following image, courtesy of thespinoff.co.nz, is an excellent illustration of the importance of flattening the curve.
Although the virus is highly contagious, it will help tremendously if we can avoid contracting it all at once.