Hello and welcome to my first blog post! I had planned to lead with something appropriately fun and light-hearted – like a comparison of 2020 Tech and Star Trek technology, but it’s April 5, 2020 as of this writing and everyone is talking about…. Coronavirus!
Disclaimer – I’m not a medical professional – just a long-time student of science and concerned person like the rest of us.
Best official COVID-19 site I’ve found so far: The CDC site found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
Also – can’t go wrong with this one, either.
But wait – what is this COVID-19 I’ve been hearing about. I thought we were talking about coronavirus? The official name for the novel (new) coronavirus first identified in Wuhan China towards the end of 2019 is coronavirus disease 2019.
Want to sound all medical? Just say COVID-19. ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease.
What are the symptoms? Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. The incubation time (time from exposure to someone getting sick) can be 2-14 days. The average seems to be about 4 days, but the variability is why the current recommendation is 2 weeks of self-quarantine after traveling or suspected exposure.
How does it spread? Mainly, it’s person-to-person, either between people who are in close contact with each other (less than 6 feet) or through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Is there anything new I should know?
Well… many communities and states have issued stay at home orders – so I’m sure that you’re reading this from the comfort of your couch. However, if you do have to go out (for medical appointments, food shopping or essential work activities) many places are going to Universal Masking recommendations.
No, you don’t have to wear a mask at home, but wearing masks when you’re out and about or cannot practice social distancing has been shown to reduce person-to-person transmissions.
If you’re not a sewer or don’t have access to surgical face masks, see my instructions for a no sew face mask:
My opinion (only) on wearing gloves. Gloves are a great way to protect your skin from coming into contact with unsavory things – but personally – I don’t wear them in the grocery store because of the potential for cross-contamination. What is cross-contamination you ask? Well – imagine this scenario:
- The previous person who used your grocery cart unfortunately sneezed all over the handle.
- You grab the cart with your gloved hands. You’re protected, but…. then you touch your tomatoes, spreading I’m not sure what to your salad….
- Instead – I wipe handles and other surfaces with sanitizing wipes… and am very mindful of what I touch. Washing produce and containers before I put them away is the new reality in my house.
And Finally – I know you’ve heard this a million times but no COVID-19 post is complete without these helpful reminders…
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (I like to hum happy birthday for timing – because it’s more fun than setting a timer). Or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your face (i.e. eyes, nose, and mouth) with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with others who are sick. Social distancing – it’s what the cool kids are doing. Stay home if at all possible.
Stay home if you are sick. Please.
Cover your cough. (Your mom was right).
Clean and disinfect surfaces you and others touch frequently
Be kind to each other. Stigma isn’t good, and at times like this we need to stand together as a community – locally and globally – but from an appropriate social distance 😊.
Wishing you and your loved ones health and happiness during this time….