On the 4th of February 2020, India confirmed its third case of Coronavirus in Kerela, India. As the news of Kerela declaring it a ‘state disaster’ came in, the United Kingdom also confirmed cases of the virus. Unfortunately, the virus has officially spread outside of China. Around 24 countries have been affected so far.
The virus spread from Wuhan, China. What makes it harder to distinguish the virus from other diseases or infections is that the symptoms are quite similar. According to the World Health Organization, some of the common signs are shortness of breath, cough, fever, breathing difficulties, etc. As there is no cure for it yet, the symptoms often worsen and lead to pneumonia, acute respiratory syndrome, and even death. Till now, Coronavirus has claimed over 300 lives.
The common symptoms and absence of a cure are creating a lot of panic in people. While there is a need for awareness, one should not panic. All you need is to know how to protect yourself from the virus. If you have not been to an affected area and there have not been cases near you, you are probably safe. However, it is better to take some precautions.
Coronavirus Outbreak: How to Prevent
Wash Your Hands Frequently
Touching infected surfaces and then our face is the most common way to contract any kind of infection. Since Coronavirus can be spread around like any other infection, wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Try not to touch your face often. You could also carry a hand sanitizer and use it if you are traveling.
Do Masks Help?
As the news of Coronavirus spread, masks across the nation sold out, while the price surged for the remaining ones. Although face masks do not guarantee safety, they do offer some protection. A regular surgical mask won’t be as effective as an N95 respirator. There are also incorrect ways of wearing a mask, which nullify its purpose. So, it is better that you learn how to wear it properly. Masks play a huge role in coronavirus prevention.
Avoid Uncooked Meat
Cook your meat properly, especially if you are in or around the affected area. Also, be careful when handling animal organs to avoid cross-contamination of food. It is believed that the virus spread from the Huanan Seafood Market. The wet markets in China put living and dead animals in close contact, which makes it easier for the virus to transmit. For now, the trade has been banned.
If you can, stay indoors. This advice applies to all, but more so to people who have a weak immune system. We get in contact with so many people when we step outside. If it is not necessary, avoid places like malls or metros where so many people are in proximity. It is an ideal place for the virus to infect many people at once. This is a must follow coronavirus precaution.
If You Are Sick
Since the symptoms of Coronavirus and the common cold are similar, it can easily scare anyone. But it is essential to know that the risk of Coronavirus is still pretty low. If you are sick, stay indoors and avoid unnecessary contact with people just as you normally would.
In case you have returned from an infected area and have been running a high fever, along with cough, sore throat, experience difficulty in breathing, or runny nose, then you should get it checked out. Instead of going to the doctor, call in advance and tell them about your case, so they can prepare accordingly.
Don’t be Xenophobic
The unfortunate outbreak of the virus has somehow made it okay for people to be xenophobic. Racist memes are doing the rounds on social media, along with, videos of people covering their faces when around someone who looks like a ‘Chinese.’
Dr. Alam from Ontario, Georgetown, said that “We saw this with the SARS and Ebola outbreaks. I did, however, think we learned from the past. It’s 2020.’ Unfortunately, fear and ignorance can push people towards behavior that a conscious mind wouldn’t adhere to.
Share the necessary information with loved ones, so they can protect themselves. If you see someone posting insensitive jokes, politely educate them. Many are not aware of the weight their acts carry. This is a time to come together to beat the disease and help mankind.