How is this coronavirus spread?
COVID-19 is primarily spread through respiratory droplets, which means to become infected, people generally must be within six feet of someone who is contagious and come into contact with these droplets. It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, Symptoms of COVID-19 appear within two to 14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. A recent study shows the mean time for symptoms to develop is 5.1 days.
How long will this pandemic last ?
We don't know but current estimates put this out 3 to 6 months. We will update this section if we know more.
Is COVID 19 the same as the flu ?
No, it is a different virus. Flu is caused by the influenza virus which is an orthomyxovirus. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the virus SARS 2 (there was a SARS 1 in 2003 which was more deadly but spread less easily). SARS 2 part of a larger family of viruses called coronavirus. Recent research show SARS 2 attacks both the lower and upper respiratory systems making it easily spread to others and at the same time harder to cure should our immune system not be able to handle it. Bottom line SARS 2 causes a disease with different symptoms than the flu, spreads more easily and kills in greater numbers.
85% of the people may have no or mild symptoms while the other 15% will experience severe respiratory issues resulting in pneumonia and in some cases this will lead ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome). More about the virus and disease progression in a separate blog post
How is COVID 19 treated ?
There is currently no FDA approved medication for COVID-19. People infected with this virus should receive supportive care such as rest, fluids, fever control, and in some cases oxygen to help relieve symptoms. For severe cases, treatment may require ventilators to help facilitate breathing and other therapies to support vital organ function.
How long can a virus live on surfaces?
The best answer I've seen on this is from John Hopkins and rather than plagiarizing I'll just point you to their info. https://hub.jhu.edu/2020/03/20/sars-cov-2-survive-on-surfaces/
Bottom line, while it can live a long time on different surfaces it loses it ability to infect the longer it sits on those surfaces. Other good news regarding surfaces "one of the few mercies during this crisis is that, by their nature, individual coronaviruses are easily destroyed. Each virus particle consists of a small set of genes, enclosed by a sphere of fatty lipid molecules, and because lipid shells are easily torn apart by soap, 20 seconds of thorough hand-washing can take one down. Lipid shells are also vulnerable to the elements; a recent study shows that the new coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, survives for no more than a day on cardboard, and about two to three days on steel and plastic. These viruses don’t endure in the world. They need bodies." (source Ed Wong, Why the Coronavirus Has Been So Successful The Atlantic
Will summer or warmer temps stop the virus?
Nobody knows either way, the virus is too new at this point.
Someone I live with is getting tested for COVID-19. Should I self-isolate and get tested as well?
If a household member is a suspected case, you may need to be isolated. Check with your Doctor to be sure.
What does isolate in your home mean?
- If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you must stay at home to prevent it spreading to other people. You might also be asked to stay at home if you may have been exposed to the virus. Staying at home means you: do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
- Have symptoms of COVID-19 (coughing, shortness of breath and/or fever).
- Isolation also applies to people getting ill and think they might have COVID-19. Symptoms, especially early on, may be mild and feel like a common cold. Symptoms could include a combination of cough, body aches, fatigue, and chest tightness. Some people may not develop fever or fever may not appear until several days into the illness.
- ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
- do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home You do not need to wear a mask in your home.
- If you need to go out to seek medical attention, wear a surgical mask (if you have one) to protect others. You should stay in touch by phone and on-line with your family and friends.
What does quarantine mean ?
Separate people and restricts their movement if they were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. This could include exposure to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 or a person with the symptoms of COVID-19.
Are for people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed to (in close contact with) someone who is sick. This could include members of your household, co-workers, or others you spend a great deal of time with (and are within six feet of for 10 minutes or more).
Can be voluntary, but public health has legal authority to issue quarantine orders to people who were exposed to a contagious disease.
Stay at home or in another location for 14 days so they don’t spread the disease to healthy people.
Can seek medical treatment from a health care provider. In the case of COVID-19, they should CALL a provider or clinic first to get instructions BEFORE going to a health care office, hospital, or urgent care. If they have a medical emergency, they should tell the 911 dispatcher they are under quarantine for COVID-19.
How can we help prevent the spread of coronavirus?
In simplest terms if we treated everyone like they had the virus and visa-versa then we could stop the spread. The real bummer here is that a bunch of people will get infected but remain asymptomatic, which means unknowingly they will spread the virus.
Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene and keeping your distance from others when you are sick is the best defence against most viruses. You should:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Cover your cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser.
- If unwell, avoid contact with others (stay more than 6ft from people).
- Exercise personal responsibility for social distancing measures.
Should I wear a facemask/will it protect me ?
If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
If you are not sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers. April 2 CDC has amended its early statement "CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission." https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover.html But also be aware are homemade devices safe? "So far, the evidence is scant and mixed, and while a few ideas show promise, there is some concern that stopgap measures could make things worse. A study published April 2 in The Lancet found that the coronavirus could survive on cloth for at least a day and on surgical masks for up to seven days." nationalgeographic.com/science/2020/04/coronavirus-what-you-should-know-diy-masks-and-ventilators. Also please be aware that membranes of the eyes are possible entry place for the virus. Short answer to the question.... maybe
Why are people hoarding toilet paper?
I have no idea, if you do let us know ...