Updated: Jan 20, 2021
Covid-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. The first case happened in China in late December 2019 and since then, it has infected 4.7 million people and claimed more than 300,000 lives around the world and is still counting. Because of this worldwide phenomenon, the infection was declared as a Pandemic by the WHO.
Signs and Symptoms:
COVID- 19 infects people in various ways depending on the physical condition of the person. In most cases, people with a healthy body will only develop mild to moderate symptoms without requiring hospitalization. For people with advanced age or people with underlying medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease (Heart Failure, Stroke, Heart attack, etc.), diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer they are most likely to develop more serious symptoms.
How can someone get the virus?
The virus primarily spreads via droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose of the infected person when they cough or sneeze. As this happens, an uninfected person can either inhale or engulf the tiny particles which will also cause them to get infected. Another means to transmit the virus is when these particles get in touch with the common objects used daily such as mobile phones, telephones, doorknobs, elevator buttons, grocery items, etc. Once a healthy person touches these contaminated objects and touches their face, the virus can enter their body through the nose, mouth, or eyes.
Most common symptoms include:
Less common symptoms:
aches and pains.
loss of taste or smell.
a rash on the skin, or discoloration of fingers or toes.
difficulty breathing or shortness of breath.
chest pain or pressure.
loss of speech or movement.
On average, it takes about 5 to 6 days from when an infected person shows symptoms. Healthy people who developed mild symptoms can be managed at home whereas severe symptoms or mild symptoms for people with underlying conditions should be reported immediately.
Be sure to call the hospital first before visiting to make sure they are well prepared.
Key things to note about COVID
It has no cure and no vaccine yet
It can easily be transmitted
No one has immunity from it
Reinfection from those who are previously infected is possible
What should I do now that the lockdown is over?
Due to the aggressiveness of the virus, lockdown protocols have been imposed in almost all countries around the world to limit or stop the spread of the infection. But as months passed and a drastic drop in the daily cases was noted, lockdown measures are also starting to get lifted. However, this does not mean that it is already 100% safe and the chances of transmission are gone.
Continue to practice good hand hygiene.
Washing hands frequently or using alcohol or alcohol-based sanitizers should still be done every time you touch any surface in public places. You never know who touched that surface before you so always be cautious and clean your hands after touching these. This goes to grocery items, elevator buttons, door handles, and even money. If possible, you can also sanitize these items before touching them.
Still avoid huge crowds and maintain 1 meter (3 ft) distance from another person at all times.
One meter or 3 feet is the safest distance in case someone coughs or sneezes. Mass gatherings may no longer be prohibited in some areas, but it is still safe to avoid these places because no one knows if someone in there is infected.
Don't throw your unused face masks or face shields just yet.
You'll still need these items to protect you. If someone sneezes or coughs, this is your first line of protection.
Always avoid touching any part of your face when you are in public areas.
It's easy to forget that you may have touched something in a public area (which might be contaminated) then touch your face afterward. Make sure you won't fall into this trap. If you really can't help it, always sanitize your hands after touching anything.
Be sure to change clothes and/or take a bath every time you get home from doing any activities outdoors.
This will prevent any risk of the virus spreading all over your home. Your used clothes should be cleaned immediately to kill any virus that might have adhered on them
Leave your shoes outside.
Shoes can also be a mode of transmission of the virus - imagine a tiny infected droplet touches the ground and you stepped on it, then you'll carry the virus on your shoes until you come home. To add, this virus can live for more than 24 hours. If it isn't possible to leave your shoes outside, at least clean the soles of your shoes with any disinfectant.
Clean anything you will bring from outside.
At the moment, there is still no confirmed case through food or food packaging but to be sure, you can still wash packed foods with running water for safety. Fruits and vegetables should also be cleaned thoroughly with running water especially if you're eating them straight away. Any other products you’ll get, be sure to disinfect them.
Avoid shaking hands with anyone in the meantime.
If you wish to greet a friend whom you've haven't seen in a long while (during the lockdown period), you can say "Hello" or wave at them instead. Avoid any form of physical contact yet from anyone outside your household.
Continue to boost your immune system
Take vitamins c and zinc, get enough rest, exercise, and eat healthily - these are ways to keep your body in shape and good condition in fighting any form of infection. In case the above measures fail, at least you have a healthy body to combat the disease with.
Some positive effects of the pandemic
Surprisingly, despite the devastation made by this pandemic, there are still the bright sides that we could still look into.
1. Drop in the rate of pollution
Cities with a historically high concentration of pollutants in the air have seen a dramatic drop of up to 25-60% during the lockdown period. Without people constantly moving around and using vehicles, nature has begun to return to balance. This resulted in a cleaner atmosphere and improved air quality. Yes, Mother Nature is healing!
2. More time for family
Before the pandemic hits, we all have been very busy trying to make a living and running around to make ends meet. As our lives slowed down by this pandemic lockdown, we seemed to have been given the time that we failed to spend with our families. Now is the time that the relationship between family members is being rekindled and means to bond are being rediscovered.
3. Healthier lifestyle and good hygiene practice
Because of the fast-paced lifestyle we came to know before the pandemic, we have also been so lenient about our health. This pandemic has taught us how important our health is and regardless of how much money we have, health is still the greatest wealth. Many people are now investing in a healthier lifestyle and practicing good proper hygiene more than before.
4. Rediscovering passion and interest
Now that we have more time for ourselves, we were able to discover new talents or interests that we were not aware of during our busy schedules. Some people learned how to cook, while some learned how to play instruments. Others learned a new language and others learned a new skill. We thought that we already got stock with the knowledge we had but when we got this ample time to think, we realized that there's so much more that we can discover within ourselves.
5. Charity works are increasing
The COVID-19 threat made us keep ourselves inside our houses while we fear the spread of infection, however, this fear did not stop many people from reaching out to those who are in need and extending their hands to help others. Charity works to aid less fortunate households and people within the streets from all across the globe started surging. Even simple acts of appreciation for the frontliners are also outpouring.
6. Disconnection made us more connected
Even though our movements got restricted, we found different means to stay connected with the people we love. Social media has never been this beneficial in helping us get in touch with our far away families or friends. We have also become more wary and thoughtful for the safety of others against the pandemic.
It is still a long way battle to the end of this crisis but this does not mean we will end up losing. Tomorrow is not promised but we can still live a purposeful life despite the threat as long as we continue to be cautious and focused on the things that we have control over.
Stay healthy and safe!