Note: I am not a professional in this area by any means, but I do have a science background (I will be graduating from UAB in May with a Bachelor’s in Neuroscience and a Master’s in Public Health). All of the COVID-19 information provided here is based on a compilation of CDC guidelines, WHO guidelines, the news, and my Public Health background.
What is Coronavirus? What is COVID-19?
The coronaviruses refer to a large group of viruses that can cause anything from a cold to respiratory (breathing/lung) problems. Most people have probably had a coronavirus in the past, but it was probably in the form of a common cold and was easily treatable. While, COVID-19 is a new form of coronavirus that our bodies have never been exposed to before. This means that our bodies are not ready to fight it, which is why so many people are getting sick.
Who can it infect?
- Anyone and everyone can be infected by COVID-19
- Usually, however, it is most dangerous to people who are over the age of 60 and have other health issues
HOW does it travel?
- From surfaces (ex. Door handles, phones, tables, etc.)
- From other people
“I am young and healthy… why should I care?”
- Because even though the young and healthy are likely to recover from the virus, they can easily pass it on to other people
- For instance, let’s say a 16-year-old becomes infected with the virus. This will lead to the entire 16-year-old’s family becoming infected, perhaps some of their friends as well. Then, the family and friends might expose the virus to everyone they come in contact with. This puts more and more people (who may not be as young and healthy as that 16-year-old at risk).
- More people getting sick = more people needing to go to the hospital = overcrowded hospitals with not enough room to take care of everyone = less chances of recovery for many people who are sick and need care
Protect Yourself and Others
- Stay at home!
- Talk to your friends over the phone, Facetime, Google Hangout, Skype, etc.
- Don’t go to restaurants!
- Clean surfaces!
- Use sanitation wipes and sprays to clean surfaces you commonly use
- WASH YOUR HANDS
- You have probably heard this over and over for the past few weeks … but it’s because it works!
- Your hands touch so many things and carry so many germs. It’s the easiest way for the virus to travel, so wash your hands frequently (and especially before touching your face or eating)
- Fun fact: most people don’t know how to wash their hands
- Don’t believe me?
- Watch this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d914EnpU4Fo&feature=youtu.be
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Use a tissue or cough/sneeze into the inside of your elbow
- And then wash your hands ☺
- Keep up your personal bubble
- No handshakes
- Substitute: elbow bumps!
- No hugs
- Substitute: air hugs!
- No kisses
- Substitute: air kisses!
What are the symptoms?
- Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
Are there any treatments?
- This virus is new, so scientists and doctors are still developing treatments. It is expected that it will take 1 year for a treatment to be made and tested.
- Currently, washing your hands and staying home are the best forms of “treatment” because you are avoiding getting the virus in the first place
Oh no, I think I’m sick! What do I do?
- Don’t rush to the doctor … call first and tell them you think you might have the virus. Then, they will tell you what to do.
- If you rush to the doctor, you might get other people in that doctor’s office sick
- STAY HOME IF YOU’RE SICK
- You could just have a cold. Or maybe you just have allergies. Both of these things are also in season, so sometimes it’s hard to tell what you might have, but you shouldn’t risk getting other people sick.
- The best way to help yourself and other people is to stick to yourself and enjoy some time at home.
I am taking questions! If you have any questions about the virus, the science behind it, what it can do, what you should do, etc., ask me and I will do my best to answer it (I am by no means a professional on the topic, but I have been keeping up with it)! To ask a question, just drop it in this form: https://forms.gle/BrgFEomEpvNZJs9A9
I can publish another article with all your questions answered at GirlSpring.com!