Educate yourself about COVID-19

Educate yourself about COVID-19

Protecting yourself from the corona virus is the most important thing on your mind at this time, especially if you are in one of the vulnerable groups of people with heart disease, lung disease or any disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, cancer, or if you are a smoker or old or any age. Even though you may be in one of these groups, getting COVID-19 is not a death sentence as the people who have recovered have shown us.

In this article, I will share with you some insights that I have gleaned from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Dr. John Campbell, former nurse and nurse educator, who brings practical and theoretical experience to discussions about COVID-19

Scouring the mainstream media daily for country specific and worldwide information about the virus may be depressing but it is a good way to inform yourself. Also, view the worldwide updates on the progress of the virus in terms of confirmed cases, death and recovery numbers at the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 dashboard. Scroll down and click on the map. I also encourage all of you to go to the WHO's website to get a phone number. Add it to your phone and follow the instructions. You will get WhatsApp updates about COVID-19.  

Since I learnt about the mysterious novel corona virus, creating havoc in Wuhan, China, I have been glued to the news channels and, among other things, have discovered that a lot of people are now experts on the corona virus and have been selling all kinds of remedies. Follow the recommendations of most of these people who provide (mis)information to your peril!

The virus is new. It has never passed this way before. So how do these people  know exactly what will cure it? 

We need to be questioning, instead of allowing ourselves to be pulled every which way by everybody with a cure for the virus. 

Here are some dos and don’ts of battling COVID-19.


Don’ts
1. DO NOT drink bleach and ethanol or any other alcohol that is not approved for human consumption. Nor should you drink excess amounts of any drinking alcohol, thinking that you will prevent yourself from catching COVID-19. What you will be doing is sending yourself to an early grave! Most people who get the disease will survive. Take a chance on being one of the survivors, instead of being stupid. Bleach and ethanol were not made for human consumption! Let’s be smart!

2. DO NOT mix chemicals, unless you are a chemist. The reaction may be deadly. One or the other can do an effective job of cleansing your home.

3. DO NOT touch your face unless your hands are clean.

4. DO NOT visit elderly relatives and hug and kiss them. You may be asymptomatic and be sentencing them to a horrible death.

5. DO NOT share information in jest that you know could be detrimental to gullible people.

6. DO NOT think that COVID-19 is a grand hoax. Open your eyes and see what is happening around you.

Dos
1. Wear masks if you need to go out into crowded places. Health officials in the Western World dissuaded the population at large from wearing masks because they claimed that wearers won’t derive any marked benefits. However, people in parts of Asia, for example China and Japan, have been wearing masks for generations when they are ill to protect others from their germs. The Chinese have credited the wearing of masks by its people to slow the number of cases in that country. As a matter of fact one infectious disease expert from China expressed surprise that people in the West were not wearing masks.

Jeremy Howard, from his research, believes that wearing masks may be beneficial in the fight to slow the spread of the Corona Virus. Watch video. A significant percent of people with the disease are asymptomatic and are walking around unwittingly spreading the virus. If we wear masks and are asymptomatic, we would be doing our part to slow the spread of the disease, because we will be trapping our germs. This does not mean that we need N-95 masks. They are in scarce supply. Leave them for the medical personnel. Here is an approved website where you can learn to make your own masks. If you don’t like those instructions, YouTube has many instructional videos on the topic.

2. Wash your hands with soap and water and clean surfaces with antiseptics and disinfectants.

3. Call your elderly relatives. Leave supplies for them on their steps or by their doors. Wave at them from a distance.

4. Learn a new skill.

5. If you have never kept up with the news, this is a good time to start. There is new information about the virus that is being discovered every day as China and other countries share what they have learnt about the virus. This information can help us to be smart when trying to protect ourselves from the virus.

6. Observe quarantines and other social distancing measures. The idea is to slow the spread of the disease to manageable levels so that hospitals will be able to take care of all the ill, without having to make difficult choices. The disease will be with us until a vaccine is ready for use or until we have all caught it, survived and become immune to it. A vaccine is at least one year to eighteen months away, according to the experts. So, we need to see these measures as the new normal for a while and adapt.

7. Get your news from reputable sources. Staying safe during this crisis depends on us getting the correct information. 

These are a few things that you can do to protect yourself and to slow the spread of the disease. Are you going to be in the 5% of those who will get the disease, be critical and need extended hospital stay and may or may not survive? You don’t know, but you can do your very best to protect yourselves and the vulnerable in your society.

While you ride out this storm, you may want to read the following articles:

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional but chose to share this bit of information after reading and hearing about the misguided actions of some people that have been causing them harm.

What are you doing to occupy yourself while you are house bound? Share in the comments section below.


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