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How Do We Fight the Coronavirus?

illustration of a virus

Every now and then a news story will be so big that the entire world pays attention. 

We’re currently seeing one news item all over the internet, tv, and radio. We're of course talking about COVID 19, aka the novel coronavirus you’ve been hearing so much about. The big question on everyone's mind is how do we fight the coronavirus? 

For the past few months, this virus has been making headlines around the world. Now the World Health Organization is calling this an official pandemic. Many big events around the nation are being canceled due to concerns of spreading this virus among big crowds, including the hip South by SouthWest music and tech festival, in-person classes at Stanford University, now there's a postponed Coachella, and the new James Bond film is being delayed for a later release as well. 

The numbers change all the time, but as of Tuesday, March 10th there were over 100,000 cases worldwide, 600 in the US, and as many as 8 "presumptive" confirmed cases here in Virginia. 

Naturally, there are a lot of concerned conversations happening all over the globe on how to deal with this virus and what the myths and realities involved are. For this, we defer to the experts at the US Center for Disease Control and The World Health Organization. Here are some of their statements regarding COVID19 to keep in mind. 

First of all, it’s a virus that can impact anyone. This is NOT exclusively impacting people of Asian descent, and all humans are susceptible to the coronavirus.  COVID19 can’t be transferred from goods manufactured in China or any place with a significant outbreak. Hot water showers and baths won’t prevent or destroy this virus. Only potentially burn you. Similarly, snow and cold weather also won’t do anything to prevent the virus. 

So, what can we do? 

Experts are encouraging everyone to use basic daily preventative measures. Wash your hands for about 20 seconds before you eat, when you go to the bathroom, and before touching your face. Soap is a big help in this situation because soap and water can actually make the virus fall apart. Disinfect often touched items like your smartphones, doorknobs, remote controls, and so on. If you feel sick, consult your physician and stay away from the public to avoid potentially spreading illness. While these are not high tech solutions, preventing the spread of germs is the most important thing we can do right now. 

This is a serious issue and is having economic, social, and health impacts worldwide, but by working together on some prevention methods we can keep our friends, family, and communities safe and healthy. 

For more updates and general information on COVID19 check out the CDC and WHO websites. Remember folks, prevention is key. 

MORE ON THE CORONAVIRUS

Coronaviruses have been studied since the 1960’s, but this new strand - the novel Coronavirus - was discovered in early 2020 after the outbreak began in China. Coronaviruses are zoonotic diseases, meaning they are transmitted from animals to humans. While the exact relationship is still fuzzy, evidence suggests this novel Coronavirus is closely related to a similar virus that was transmitted to humans via bats.

What does one experience while under the influence of the Coronavirus? Patients show signs of upper respiratory infection, fever, body aches, diarrhea, vomiting, and it could also lead to pneumonia - similar to experiencing the flu. 

As always, rely on the expert opinions of medical professionals if you feel like you may be getting sick. Other than that, stay clean and healthy by following daily individual preventative practices like washing hands and cleaning frequently touched objects. After all clean and healthy people are needed for a clean and healthy community!