- Like the flu – people at the highest risk are those who have chronic poorly controlled medical conditions on a such as diabetes or high blood pressure, the elderly, and newborn babies.
- it’s a little more deadly than the flu: 0.5% of people infected with the flu virus die from the illness, whereas so far around 2% of people infected with coronavirus die from it.
- It’s a lot more contagious than the flu – it appears the incubation period is longer so seemingly healthy people can carry the virus for weeks before they develop symptoms and may be able to pass on the virus to other people during this time. Epidemiologists believe there will be a global epidemic as coronavirus spreads and this is the reason travel bans have been imposed
- The vaccine is being developed and there has been progressing but its estimated it will not be commercially available for a year
- So healthy people should not fear being infected with the coronavirus any more than they fear the flu – it will likely cause a mild respiratory illness for most patients (like many other bacteria and viruses that are passed around in the winter)
- BUT the rapid global spread of the virus that is predicted will mean that we can expect more deaths in vulnerable populations when exposed to coronavirus. So to protect more people, we should expect and comply with further shutdowns and even more restrictions on travel and group gatherings.
In short: don’t be afraid of getting coronavirus – there is a high likelihood you will be exposed. But do worry about passing it around and exposing babies, elderly people and people with chronic illnesses
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
- Stay calm but take it seriously. This will likely be bad but it’s not the end of life as we know it.
- Stay home if you are sick or there is someone sick in your house
- Leave medical supplies for healthcare workers. If you stockpile them there won’t be enough for hospitals and out healthcare workers won’t be able to stay well to help sick people recover and control the spread of infection at the front lines
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and cover your cough
- Minimize your exposure to other people
- Cancel all non-essential travel
- Avoid large-scale gatherings
- Work from home if possible
- Minimize direct contact with others including handshakes and hugs
- Reduce your trips out of the house. If possible shop for 2 weeks groceries at once or consider having groceries delivered
- Again to summarize: keep calm and continue preparing. If we respond calmly and thoughtfully we can reach the best outcomes
If you are concerned you might have a cold or flu see your primary care doctor or find one. If you have risk factors for coronavirus the cdc can coordinate testing to be done at your doctors office. Or at the very least you can be screened for, diagnosed with and treated for other Infections.
Update: Bethany Medical Clinic is now offering COVID swab and antibody testing. Use the button below to schedule an appointment today!