1. ‘Quarantines’ for Coronavirus
At the time of writing, 57 million people have been quarantined in China to attempt to stop the community spread of coronavirus. Moreover, around 300 million workers have been sent home and told not to come to work in order to reduce the spread of the disease. So, if you live in China, you are probably familiar with the situation and you are already trying to find ways to pass the time.
If you’re not in China, you also have a risk of being quarantined. For example, if you’re traveling and you come back to the United States, you can end up in one of twenty quarantine stations all over the country. This can happen if you scan positive for COVID-1 9, but also if anyone else around you are confirmed to be infected with the virus. This means that if one passenger is coughing, everyone on the plane may end up in quarantine for up to two weeks! That goes for confirmed accidental infections in all other places too. Or, if you’re North Korea, you just quarantine all foreigners and keep your borders shut — which is exactly what they did.
The outbreak has also caused several quarantines to be established on cruise ships, most notably the World Dream and the Diamond Princess. The former held 3,800 people while the latter had 3,700. As there were hundreds of infected passengers on both ships, they were held in quarantine. The quarantine on the World Dream was lifted on February 9th after all 1,800 crew members tested negative for COVID-1 9. As of the time of writing, the Diamond Princess is still in quarantine, although the United States, Australia and Indonesia have evacuated their citizens. There have been six confirmed deaths from coronavirus on the Diamond Princess — all of them senior citizens.
European countries are also setting up their own quarantine centers but for the moment, the outbreak on this continent seems to be the strongest in Italy, where disproportionately more people have been affected — more than the rest of Europe combined’ You can leave quarantine after you get tested, usually several times. If you’re positive for COVID-1 9, you will be transferred to a medical facility where you will be treated as efficiently as possible. If your test results repeatedly demonstrate that you are free from infection, you will be free to leave.
Speaking of infections, what are the chances that you will get infected and if you do, what are the fatality rates?
2. Chances of Infection and Fatality Rates in case of Coronavirus
At the moment, there are 88,341 cases of coronavirus worldwide. Out of those, 42,612 are infected, 35,005 are in mild condition, while 7,607 are in serious or critical condition. 3001 people have died from the coronavirus, while 42,708 people have recovered from it and will go back to leading healthy lives once again.
The World Health Organization says that COVID-19 has a transmission rate of 2-3 people, which means that usually, one infected person will infect 2-3 others.
Additionally, the fatality rate seems to be around 3% so far, but this is subject to change as more and more people become infected. It’s impossible to calculate a fatality rate until the outbreak has ended — for instance, the fatality rate for those whose symptoms began showing between Jan 1 st Jan 1 0th was 17.3%. However, after February 1st, the fatality rate has dropped to 0.7%. Of course, drastic improvements in patient care as well as learning from past experiences have allowed doctors to bnng this down, but as this hasn’t been verified as its own cause-effect relationship, the public has to assume that it’s just temporary and that the virus may become deadlier again.
While we cannot give you an exact number, you get the picture — it’s pretty small. If you’re careful, you are very likely to stay healthy and free from infection. So, with all these numbers in mind, what’s the chance of you contracting C OVID-i 9?
3. Managing your Exposure Risk to Coronavirus
Risk exposure can easily be controlled through your own personal actions. If your city has been quarantined, you have already been instructed by the authorities, but if it hasn’t, you’re still free to walk around. That means you have to control where you go, who you talk to and what you do.
To minimize the risk of exposure to coronavirus:
- Don’t travel to China.
- Don’t travel to countries that have been marked as unsafe by the authorities. Major hotbeds for coronavirus activity at the time of writing are China, Italy, Iran, South Korea and to a lesser degree, Japan.
- Avoid contact with people you don’t know. If you must talk to someone, keep a safe distance while you talk and avoid being face-to-face with them.
- Whenever you have a choice between going anywhere where infected people may be and staying home to self-isolate, always choose the latter. This does not mean that just because there was one infected person in your city, you have to stay home. Only take that kind of precaution if the virus is actively spreading through the community and your destination would be crowded.
- Carry hand sanitizer and integrate frequent and detailed hand washing with water and soap into your lifestyle. That one routine wash at a friend’s house, done completely on muscle memory, may save you a whole lot of trouble and even your life.
But what if you’re spending time only with your closest friends and one of them accidentally sneezes in your direction and you feel tiny droplets hit your mouth?
With all the panic about the coronavirus going on, you start to wonder and overthink.
And the next morning, you feel a bit queasy you promptly decide to get tested. Just in case.
What should you do?
4. Testing for Coronavirus
First of all, don’t immediately run to the hospital. Stay home and think about your symptoms for a minute — are you exhibiting a common cold or the dreaded virus on the news?
If you decide you may still have the coronavirus, call your doctor and explain the situation. They will ask about symptoms – if you have a fever, a cough or trouble breathing. Usually, early-stage coronavirus infection would display these symptoms. If you tell your doctor you have those symptoms, they’ll ask about your travel history in an attempt to determine where you may have picked up the virus.
If your doctor concurs with you, they will contact the CDC’s Emergency Operations Center, who in turn will send people to test you for the virus if you fit their criteria for testing.
The CDC has created a test kit to determine whether a person has coronavirus or not. You will be tested multiple times in 24 hours, and if you show up positive, you’ll be quarantined. However, it would be more likely that your friend just got some Dorito dust in their nose and you were being paranoid.
Also, the CDC is currently developing a serology test for the coronavirus, which means that after this outbreak is contained, they will be able to ascertain exactly how many people in the United States had coronavirus. The test will analyze the presence of specific antibodies to determine if the person had a COVID-1 9 infection. Serology tests are sometimes better than specialized tests because they can be conducted at various hospitals and clinics instead of only at the CDC.
So, if you’re watching the news and you’re uneasy, is there something you should do?
5. Preparing for the Coronavirus at home
The best thing to do if coronavirus isn’t present in your community yet is plan. Notice which surfaces and objects you touch most and which could pose a potential infection. Also, take note of the people in your life and ask would-be guests how they’re feeling before they come over. If you do have guests and you’re suspicious one of them may have spread the coronavirus into your home, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, Clorox and some boiling water will save the day — if you manage to prepare!
As senior citizens and people over 50 are the most prone to this disease and are also the largest percentage of critical cases and fatalities, special care will be needed for any seniors in your family. Sit down, talk to your family about precautions and plan ahead in case one of you somehow gets infected with the virus.
Pick one room of your house to be designated as the “special care” room, in case someone in the family gets infected and has to be separated. Whenever possible, you will want to equip this room with some sort of entertainment for the sick person — they’re going to spend some time in there and the virus will already be bad enough.
If possible, and in an open and friendly fashion, find out more about your neighbors and if they could somehow be a bridge for the virus into your community. Also, you’ll want to make a list of aid organizations in case you and your family need anything. These should cover information, healthcare services, resources and support.
Finally, you may want to include organizations that offer mental health and counseling services and food. Take all of that info, put the rest of your personal information, personal contacts and community contacts in it, put a phone number to every name and organization and now you have an emergency contact list. Just in case.
If your child is sent home because their school closed down, it likely means that the coronavirus is nearby and shutting down that specific school helps contain it. Nevertheless, keep an eye on your children.
6. Preparing for the Coronavirus In your Community
With humans, herd immunity is important. The fewer of us infected with the virus, the sooner this outbreak is going to be contained and ended. That means we have to band together as a community of humans — not just in the US, but all over the planet as outbreaks like this may make all of our lives miserable and even short.
Today, humanity is fighting the coronavirus on two fronts — the microscopic and the macroscopic one. In order to beat it at the microscopic front, we must exercise precautions so we’re forced to close down schools, cancel events, switch to remote work or distance ourselves socially. And eventually, using these methods, we’ll beat the coronavirus.
But there is another, deeper issue that has been brought up with the outbreak of the COVID-1 9. For a few days, maybe even weeks, everywhere in the world there were people looking at people of Asian descent, covering their mouths in fear and ignorance. The panic from the virus brought out the worst in some of us and we can’t allow it to take us back into such racial primitivism.
Also, we’ll need to fight the survivor’s stigma in the months after the coronavirus is contained and eradicated. People cannot be shamed, avoided, picked on or ostracized for being sick or for having been sick and we must all agree that stigma of this type is unacceptable.
7. Living with the Threat of Coronavirus
While the threat is real for all of us, there are specific measures to be taken by some groups due to special circumstances.
8. Your Businesses and Coronavirus
Businesses can take several measures to limit the spreading of the coronavirus. If you’re a business owner or manager, consider the following:
- Make sure your sick employees do not come to work from the moment they report their sickness or you notice them, up until 24 hours after they stop displaying symptoms without using any medication. If they are still on medication, send them home no matter how healthy they look! They may still be carrying the virus and you don’t want to infect your entire workplace.
- Separate, isolate and send home any employees that are visibly sick.
- Employ flexible sick leave policies.
- Employ flexible off days to enable your personnel to care for their sick families if necessary.
- Don’t ask for a doctor’s note for everything!
- Make sure your staff knows that sending someone home is not a punishment, but a preventive measure to protect the entire company and the community at large.
- Encourage everyone to wash their hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer as often as possible without disrupting the workflow.
- Make sure your work place is well-stocked with soap and hand sanitizer and that there is sufficient space for your entire workforce to maintain their hygiene.
- Ensure that the work place is properly cleaned and disinfected as often as possible. Dedicate special attention to maintaining a cleaning routine of objects and surfaces going through most frequent contact with people.
- Stash disinfecting wipes in all commonly used areas.
- Make plans for all of your employees. What if one of them stops coming? What if they all get infected? Train your employees to be able to fill each other’s work stations if possible. Remember, older people are at an increased risk so you will have to provide special care as an employer.
- Be prepared to make changes in management such as suppliers, priorities and even temporary suspensions of the work flow.
- Encourage employees to work from home whenever possible.
- Explore staggered shifts to limit contact between your employees.
- Set up triggers and procedures to keep your business running properly in case of a coronavirus epidemic.
- Cancel your travel to foreign countries. It’s dangerous out there, and you’re needed at home and in your business until this is over.
9. Pregnant Mothers and Coronavirus
NOTE: Pregnant women should always consult their doctor for medical advice. While the guidelines below are taken from the CDC, pregnant women should not follow the instructions of non-medical persons and should directly address a qualified professional.
Pregnant mothers should apply the same preventive measures as anyone else — washing their hands, keeping everything as clean and as disinfected as possible and isolate themselves from potentially infected people. That being said, pregnant women are not more at risk of the coronavirus simply because of their pregnancy. However, they present an increased risk of contracting viral respiratory infections due to the long list of physiologic and immunologic changes going on in a soon-to-be mother’s body.
While no pregnancy problems been confirmed to be caused by COVID-1 9, mothers were at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes with SARS in 2003 and that virus is very similar to today’s coronavirus.
Therefore, just in case, let’s keep all the pregnant people extra-safe.
10. Children and Coronavirus
NOTE: the guidelines below are based on the CDC’s guidelines, but they are no substitute for qualified medical advice. Always consult a medical doctor for any health questions concerning your child.
Unlike some viruses where the kids are most at risk, coronavirus actually poses a far smaller risk to children and young people than to their older counterparts. The information for all three deadly zoonotic coronaviruses is the same — SARS, MERS and COVID-1 9 all fare worse against young people and have severe limitations to their infection rates among that age demographic.
Of course, children should be encouraged to maintain their hygiene as best they can, which includes washing their hands and teaching proper respiratory manners. There are infected children and babies in the hardest-hit countries and it has been shown they can develop severe complications and suffer hard consequences, but their numbers are extremely low compared to the thousands of critically ill and deceased older people. Usually, the infected children’s bodies will exhibit symptoms of the common cold, but they will rarely escalate.
11. Living In Quarantine for Coronavirus
If you have been tested and confirmed to be infected, don’t worry — now you get to recover completely by yourself, with nobody bothering you except the occasional doctor’s visit. The millions of people in China learned very quickly that boredom is a disease just as much as the coronavirus is, albeit far less deadly. If you live in an area that has been hit by the coronavirus outbreak, make sure to plan ahead and set up as many activities to do by yourself. This will prevent you from losing the mental battle while winning the physical one.
standards at all times by washing your hands whenever possible, washing your
clothes regularly, showering when coming home and using hand sanitizer with a
high alcohol content.
When the time comes for you to leave the quarantine area, you will be cleared as healthy and released. As of that moment, you are clean and free from coronavirus. If instructed to do so, continue your recovery efforts.
12. How to take care of someone Infected with the Coronavirus?
First of all, if you are not a medical professional and you find yourself caring for a person infected with the coronavirus, seek qualified medical advice from a professional healthcare worker.
Generally, you will need to know the person’s health requirements. This can be cleared up by the doctors – they’ll give you some instructions and guidelines about the person’s specific condition. Keep the patient isolated but monitor their vital signs in case something bad happens and he requires emergency care. Make sure you maintain contact between yourself and the medical professionals that diagnosed your patient. All unnecessary visitors should be reduced to a minimum and all pets should be kept away from the infected person. When caring for a sick person, make sure to follow proper produces for personal protective equipment (PPE). Consult your doctor or health authorities for instructions.