COVID-19: The Facts

corona virus

The COVID-19 strain of Coronavirus has spread all around the globe. Large media outlets have been shamelessly capitalising on the outbreak. This is where B**b comes in. This article will separate the fact from the fiction, and give you the advice you need to keep yourself safe.

COVID-19 is a strain from the coronavirus family that has been recently identified and is spreading around the globe. Coronavirus takes its name from the Latin ‘Coronam’ meaning ‘crown’. This is due to its crown-like appearance. Common symptoms include a continuous cough and a headache.

Woman sneezing in to tissue

Myth-busting

COVID-19 can only infect the elderly.
this is not true at all, anybody can be infected by the virus. However, older people and people with pre-existing health conditions appear to be more vulnerable

Antibiotics can kill COVID-19.
Antibiotics can not kill COVID-19. They are only efficient in fighting bacterial infections, and COVID-19 is a viral infection. You should only ever take antibiotics if a doctor prescribes them.

Pneumonia vaccines can protect against COVID-19.
There are currently no vaccines or medicines that specifically combat COVID-19. Vaccines against pneumonia and other illnesses have no effect against COVID-19. Vaccination against other illnesses is still highly recommended to stay protected against other diseases.

You should buy large amounts of supplies. E.g hand sanitizer and toilet rolls.
You do not need to ‘panic buy’ supplies. Buying supplies in bulk can do more harm than good, buying these products leaves little left for the more vulnerable groups who actually need it.

Maintaining Hygiene

Image of a Coronavirus

Hygiene is your biggest weapon against Coronavirus, your own cleanliness can play a massive role in staying safe during the outbreak. You should make sure you frequently wash your hands and keep your environment equally clean. You should ensure that at work and at home, your environment is safe to be in. Cleaning places such as door handles and light switches where the virus may be dropped off/ picked up can help stop transmission.

Personal hygiene is another very large factor in protecting yourself. Hand washing, in particular, is key. This video from the NHS demonstrates how you should correctly wash your hands

key points

  • wash hands for 20 seconds (long enough to sing happy birthday twice)
  • use hot water and soap
  • do not wash hand under the water, wash them outside of the water and then rinse
  • drying your hands is just as important as washing them. Always use paper towels where possible
  • use the paper towel/ your elbow to turn off the tap to avoid picking germs back up
  • wash your hands frequently, and any time they may have become dirty. e.g after handling raw meat.

Respiratory hygiene is another way to stop the spread of COVID-19. Simple things like covering your mouth with a tissue/ your elbow when coughing or sneezing can help prevent the spread. Should you use a tissue, bin it immediately after sneezing/coughing into it COVID-19 is spread by droplets when you cough and sneeze. If you are too close these droplets can be inhaled. If not, these droplets settle on surfaces and are then picked up by others.

Following on from this, it is important to avoid touching your face as you may have picked up the virus from droplets on surfaces.

The Governments Response

Boris Johnson, the Chief Scientific Officer and the Chief Medical Officer announced today that we are now moving from the ‘contain’ phase to the ‘delay’ phase of their plan. This means that we have accepted the virus can not be stopped, we must instead delay the peak of the disease to make it easier to manage. In a sombre press conference, the Prime Minister warned of more loss to come.

Many more families will lose loved ones before their time

Boris Johnson, 12/3/2020

In summary

The Coronavirus epidemic is spreading quickly however mass panic is not the solution. Working together to stay clean and this stay protected is our best bet. Following the Government’s plan and listening to the advice of health organisations. For more advice visit The NHS Coronavirus webpage or The World Health Organisation Coronavirus Webpage. For further reading on disease and hygiene see my previous article: the rise of the superbugs