Coronavirus FAQ (very long, and in no particular order)
Q. What is "coronavirus"?
A. Coronavirus actually refers to a class of viruses, and not just one. The most famous coronaviruses to date are the common cold, and influenza (the flu).
Q. What is COVID-19?
A. Covid-19 is a novel (new) coronavirus, which has resulted in today's pandemic.
Q. Why is it called COVID-19?
A. It's short for "Coronavirus Disease 2019"
Q. Where did it come from?
A. My research tells me that this originated in Wuhan, China, and is associated with bats.
Q. I heard the COVID-19 virus escaped from a lab. Is this true?
A. I can't speculate on this, because I've found no true evidence to confirm, or deny this claim. (Short answer, I don't know.)
Q. COVID-19 is just a hyped up flu, so why is everyone in such an uproar?
A. This is a BIG misconception! COVID-19 is much worse than the flu.
Q. How is it worse?
A. Since it's initial discovery in December 2019, COVID-19 has already spread around the world to at least 172 countries. As of this writing, there have been over 1 million confirmed infections, and more than 54,000 deaths worldwide in only 4 months just from COVID-19.
Q. What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
A. Confirmed symptoms of COVID-19 are dry/hacking cough that won't go away, a fever equal to, or higher than 100.4F, (approx 38C), and unusual shortness of breath, even when doing little, or nothing. (pneumonia, accompanied by fever)
Q. How does it spread?
A. If an infected person coughs, or sneezes, the virus is released into the air in small droplets of bodily fluid (saliva, and/or fluid in lungs). Such droplets can land on other people, and surfaces.
☣️ Coming into contact with an infected person runs a high risk of infection, especially if they cough, or sneeze on you.
☣️ Touching an infected surface, and then touching your face.
☣️ Sharing ANYTHING that goes in your mouth, eyes, or nose.
These are the primary ways it's known to spread.
Q. I've heard there's a high-risk group? Is that group more likely to get infected?
A. In the case of COVID-19, this doesn't speak of the risk of infection. ANYONE can become infected. Those in the high-risk group are those most likely to suffer life threatening symptoms, and possibly die from COVID-19.
Q. Who's in this high-risk group?
A. The following people are classified as high-risk
☣️ Anyone age 60, or older
☣️ Anyone with underlying breathing issues (COPD, Emphysema, and the like)
☣️ Anyone with ANY underlying heart conditions
☣️ Anyone with severe/terminal afflictions (ALS, Cancer, MS, diabetes, and many more)
Q. I'm not in the high-risk group. Am I still in danger?
A. Absolutely! Though the vast majority of people outside the high-risk group do recover, not everyone does, so there is at least some danger to everyone.
Q. I'm not sick. How can I protect myself, and others?
A. Here are some things you can do...
☣️ STAY AT HOME WHENEVER POSSIBLE!
☣️ If you must go out, be sure to remain a minimum distance of 6 feet (approx 2 meters) from everyone, whenever possible. It's also advised to wear at least a cloth mask, when leaving your home.
☣️ Wash your hands often, either with soap and water, or a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. (Always use soap and water, if your hands are visibly dirty)
☣️ Do not touch your face, if you have not recently washed your hands!
☣️ Be sure to regularly disinfect commonly touched surfaces, such as countertops, doorknobs, light switches, car door handles, steering wheels, and more. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will do the trick.
☣️ If you have visitors, make sure they're NOT sick, (do NOT allow a sick visitor into your home!), and that they wash their hands, and remain at least 6 feet (approx 2 meters) away from EVERYONE in your home, until they do.
☣️ If you've been out shopping/working, around others not living in your home, or you believe you may have come into contact with an infected surface, come home, strip down, toss your clothes in the washer, then shower BEFORE going near others in your home.
☣️ For the shopping/outings, you should also disinfect your keys, wallet (and everything in it that you touched), purse/pocketbook (and everything in it, if you went in it at all), and any items that you brought home with you, or used while you were out. (See sources below for more details on cleaning/disinfecting groceries)
Q. I have COVID-19, or am caring for someone who does. How can I protect others? (And myself, if I'm a caregiver of a COVID-19 patient)
A. Here are some things you can do...
☣️ If you have life threatening symptoms, dial your local emergency number to get help. (USA residents should dial 911)
☣️ WEAR A MASK, WHENEVER POSSIBLE!
☣️ WASH HANDS OFTEN, AS ABOVE! Especially, right after coughing, sneezing, or using the restroom.
☣️ Cover your cough/sneeze with a tissue, and immediately throw it in the trash.
☣️ Do not touch your face, if you have not washed your hands as indicated above!
☣️ Isolate sick individuals away from EVERYONE, if possible (in their bedroom for example). Communicating from a distance, or with technology is still ok.
☣️ If you have more than one bathroom in your home, designate one specifically for COVID-19 patients in your home. (No one else should use this bathroom!) and disinfect it often.
☣️ If you have only one bathroom, clear the way for the patient when they need to use it, then immediately clean, and disinfect the bathroom, before allowing anyone else to use it. (you must do this EVERY TIME the patient uses the bathroom!)
☣️ Food, water, and other needed items should be delivered to patients to ensure they keep a distance from others in the home.
☣️ DO NOT ALLOW VISITORS!
Q. How do I handle the fever of a COVID-19 patient?
A. You can use Tylenol (acetaminophen) as directed.
Q. I've heard that ibuprofen can make COVID-19 worse, or increase the risk of infection. Is that true?
A. There is much controversy around this particular topic, with no clear answer. If you're worried about this, you can use acetaminophen (or similar) for pain, or fever.
Q. Great! Well this is a lot of information, but where did you get it from?
A. Check the links below for my information sources.
☣️ CDC Coronavirus information (Webpage)
☣️ New York Times - Global outbreak map/info (Webpage)
☣️ The Coronavirus explained & What you should do (YouTube)
☣️ How to shop safely during the COVID-19 pandemic (YouTube)
☣️ How to keep coronavirus out of your home (YouTube)