Covid-19 has spread to 197 countries or territories, infected over 4,00,000 and claimed more than 18,000 lives within a span of three months. So, what is this disease, how does it spread and what should you do to protect yourself?
The COVID-19 is a contagious disease caused by the newly discovered coronavirus. What makes it so dangerous is its high rate of infection, which has already spread across 197 countries/territories in just three months. Basic symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, and tiredness.
The COVID-19 primarily spreads through mucous droplets or saliva of the infected person. When an infected person sneezes or coughs they put others at the risk of coming into contact with these droplets, making basic respiratory etiquette extremely crucial.
In response to this ongoing public health emergency, John Hopkins University has developed an interactive dashboard to visualize and track reported cases in real-time.
Here are some important preventive measures recommended by the WHO:
“Preventive measures recommended by the World Health Organization. Source: WHO”
Are you experiencing any of these symptoms? The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a COVID-19 assessment bot that can quickly assess the symptoms and risk factors for people worried about infection, and help them manage the illness safely at home.
|Wash your hands frequently.||Touch your eyes, nose or mouth.|
|Cover your nose and mouth while sneezing or coughing.||Reuse the same mask or tissue. Dispose of any such protectors immediately after use.|
|Maintain social distancing.||Travel unnecessarily or hang out in large groups.|
|Seek early medical care.||Ignore your symptoms.|
The idea of ‘flattening the curve’ is to reduce the number of cases from a steep rise to a gradual pick so that the healthcare system is better equipped to treat patients. Under the present circumstances, the number of infected cases is more than the medical resources available, owing to the alarming rate at which the disease spreads.
Interactive chart on total number of deaths due to Covid-19 as on 26th March 2020. Source: Our World in Data
Social distancing and self-quarantine are increasingly becoming some of the best practices to tackleCOVID-19. Countries like Italy,India, and the UK have announced a nationwide lockdown to prevent its rampant growth. China has been under lockdown for over 3 months now. During such episodes, individuals are expected to stay indoors and focus on maintaining their health.
Video explainer on social distancing. Source: BBC
While physical health is vital, staying indoors constantly and consumingvolumes of negative news can causegreat panic. To stay calm, focus on self-care, family downtime, and self-growth. Use this time to pick up your old hobbies or find new ones. Read a book, journal, or get online and find new skills that can help you enhance your work productivity. Several courses online are also inclusive of hands-on training and worksheets that can boost your resume.
The WHO remarks on China’s protocol to fight COVID-19, “In the face of a previously unknown virus, China has rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile, and aggressive disease containment effort in history.” The country has made tremendous progress and has not had any new cases reported since March 19th.
For now, your best defence against the virus is to support your immune system with sleep, exercise, and good nutrition. Most importantly, wash your hands and practice social distancing so you don’t get infected in the first place.
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