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What is the coronavirus?
Contrary to popular belief, the coronavirus has been around since the 1960s. This virus can express genetic variations, which makes it immune to old treatments.
Annually, millions of people around the world get infected with the coronavirus, but they only present with mild symptoms of the flu.
However, every now and then, the virus gets mutated to a vicious form that causes more severe symptoms, such as pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The most prevalent epidemics were the SARS and MARS that occurred in 2002, and 2012 respectively.
Nowadays, we are dealing with a new form of coronavirus that’s referred to as Covid-19, which is spreading around the world with most of the cases located in China.
How dangerous is the coronavirus?
Everyone is panicking over the coronavirus and how contagious and deadly it is. Most of the panic out there is the result of audiovisual and written media outlets, which profit off clickbait and misinformation.
Unfortunately, this news is not helping anyone, as the last thing we want to do is to panic.
“What you are consuming can consume you…”
Does this mean that the coronavirus is not dangerous? No.
It just means that there are several parameters in play, and people should be more conscious to avoid spreading the infection further.
The global lethal rate (LR) of the coronavirus is approximately 2-3%, which is inferior to many other infections, such as the seasonal flu. However, the real danger behind this virus lies in how contagious it is.
As you probably heard on the news, health organizations around the world are reporting thousands of new cases every day.
Note that most of the deaths reported are seen in older individuals with weak immune systems and those who have concurrent maladies, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and chronic respiratory disease.
In summary, the coronavirus LR is not that high; however, it is extremely contagious and could reach millions of people.
How to protect yourself during the coronavirus outbreak
The protection against the coronavirus requires the cooperation of both the government and the people.
The government’s role involves the quarantine of sick individuals and maintaining a high vigilance at airports, seaports, and other types of borders.
However, our role as citizens is far more important!
To protect yourself and your loved ones from catching the coronavirus, there are some precautions you could take. These include:
Wash your hands frequently
Washing your hands regularly will kill all the microbes and prevent infection. The process of getting infected is usually via the hand-mouth route, so by killing all the viruses on your hands, you will drastically reduce your risk of the coronavirus.
As you can deduce, this step is helpful in the prevention of all transmissible infections, including the common cold, strep throat, and other respiratory diseases.
A common question people ask is: “should I use soap and water or hand sanitizer to clean my hands?”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), using soap and water is the preferred option for hand hygiene, while hand sanitizers should be used if soap and water are not available.
Avoid touching surfaces
The coronavirus can survive for several hours on dry surfaces, such as door handles, tables, and faucets.
Therefore, it is best to avoid the unnecessary touching of surfaces, especially in public places. Nevertheless, if you happen to be in contact with these surfaces, you should wash your hands as soon as possible to kill all the accumulated germs.
Avoid contact with sick individuals
This one is very straightforward. If you see a person with flu-like symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, runny nose, chest pain), keep your distance.
Coronavirus is transmitted via airborne particles, which means that the closer you are to a contaminated individual, the more likely you’re going to catch the infection yourself.
However, you should keep in mind that the rates of the seasonal flu far exceed coronavirus infections, so we should not be paranoid.
Wear a mask in densely populated areas
If you turn on the TV right now or read a newspaper, you’ll find conflicting opinions about the efficacy of masks in the protection against the coronavirus.
What you should keep in mind is that there are two types of masks:
- Surgical masks
- Air filters (e.g. N95)
The WHO recommends the use of surgical masks in highly contaminated areas; however, there are no current guidelines that warrant the widespread use of masks, especially in areas with a few or no cases.
Go to the hospital if you experience symptoms
If you go to the hospital once you experience flu-like symptoms, you will reduce the chances of contaminating other people.
Additionally, the prompt management of the coronavirus infection may decrease the risk of complications and pulmonary disease.
How to stay calm
One could easily panic about the coronavirus if he/she doesn’t have enough information about the topic. Moreover, the media is not helping in this avenue since all they care about are views and clicks.
Therefore, you should learn more about the coronavirus by reading articles published by the WHO and CDC to make sure you’re comfortable with the transmission of the disease and how you can protect yourself and your family. This way, you will be prepared. And believe me, there is nothing that’s going to make you feel less anxious than being prepared.
Inform your coworkers and loved ones
This tip falls as a part of the first one. When you are comfortable with the information you have on the coronavirus, don’t forget to inform your friends, family, and co-workers about ways to protect themselves.
Being in an environment that’s well-educated about the dangers of the coronavirus can be very soothing since the chances of someone panicking are low.
Practice mind fullness
Back to the basics!
When you feel anxious and stressed, you could always practice yoga, meditation, and other calming activities to soothe yourself.
It doesn’t matter which activity you choose, what matters is that it makes you feel calmer and decrease your anxiety.
Put things into perspective
Although the coronavirus is a real danger, the fatality rates are relatively low, and the death toll is considerably low when compared to more deadly diseases.
Also, do not forget that an average of 90 people die every day because of car accidents in the US alone! And around 800,000 people die every year due to heart attacks.
Statistics like these can help you put things into perspective to realize that the coronavirus is not that scary after all.
However, and like we said, this virus poses the most danger to older individuals with concurrent medical conditions.
An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure!
Perhaps this tip is the most important one to stay calm.
Applying the prevention measures we mentioned earlier can make you feel like you’ve got a hold on the situation, which induces feelings of calmness and reduces anxiety.
Covid-19 is a scary disease that’s affecting thousands of people worldwide. However, we should not panic!
The most important thing to do in this situation is to get educated on the subject from reputable sources and avoid clickbait articles that only care about profit.
You can also follow the tips we mentioned to stay calm and avoid getting anxious about this infection.
If you have any questions or more tips about Covid-19, feel free to share them in the comment section below.
Results may vary. Information and statements made are for general purposes and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. Her Own Health does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by Her Own Health are not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, see your physician.