First, let’s understand COVID:
1)COVID is a lung virus. It can cause from mild chest congestion to cough to shortness of breath to severe respiratory distress to pneumonia to death. It doesn’t tend to infect the nasal passages like a cold or flu. Read up on how to tell one from the other to know when to go to the Urgent Care/ER.
2)COVID is 3.4% fatal as of this writing. The flu is 0.05% +/-. So it’s hundreds of times more deadly. Most deaths are 80 years of age and up as well as people with pre-existing conditions. Children under 7 have been surprisingly largely spared from infection. We don’t know why.
3)It is possible but unlikely that you will catch COVID from someone sneezing on you unless they do so right in your face, although it is spread by droplets. Instead, you are more likely to catch it from touching a contaminated surface and then touching your nose or mouth, which we do dozens of times every day. It is this fact that drives the whole prevention plan.
4)The virus may stay virulent up to 9 days on flat surfaces. Think cash, credit card machines, ATM’s, shopping carts, door handles, gas pumps, light switches, doorbells, community pens, the use of ipads at urgent care for check in, hand shaking, etc. etc.
5)The incubation is 2 to 14 days and you may be contagious for days before you are sick and days after you are recovered. We don’t know the rate of transmission (how contagious it is) yet but it’s thought to be similar to flu.
Things we can do depending upon localized risk, where you are at the time, your job, etc.:
1)Wear a surgical mask in public places. The entire purpose is to keep from infecting oneself by touching the mouth or the nose. Not touching the face is the #1 preventative and so hard to avoid.
2)Fist pump or elbow tap. No more hand shaking. Always been a terrible thing anyway. Glad to get rid of it.
3)Don’t touch community objects with your hand/fingers if you can avoid it. Open doors with your hip, use a paper towel to pump gas, flip lights on with a knuckle, use your knuckle at the ATM, on credit card machine, etc. Then use Purell afterward, if you can find any not being hoarded by the crazies.
4)Keep hand sanitizer in your pocket, car, by the door of your home and office. Use it often.
5)Wash your hands for 10-20 seconds several times a day, especially before you take off your mask or before you eat. If you must reuse a mask know the inside versus outside!
6)Wipe community surfaces with wipes whenever able. Carry wipes that are at least 60% alcohol or that contain bleach for just this purpose, again if you can find any that are not being hoarded by the crazies.
7)If you must sneeze or cough into your elbow/clothing wash them.
8)Teach your kids these rules as best you can.
9)One resource suggested that COVID 19 may be sensitive to zinc like the cold virus is. I don’t know. If so then Zycam Oral Spray for Colds and Cold-eze lozenges may be good to have in stock.
Don’t panic like the Costco raiders are. Be smart. Have some food stocked up. Rotate is regularly. And remember – WASH YOUR HANDS AND DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE.