Written by Troy Brashear, Jr.
COVID-19, also called Coronavirus, has taken the world by surprise over the recent weeks. The world almost seemed to pause for a moment. Events, schools, and even the entire National Basketball League just stopped. It felt like months pass over the course of a few weeks. Entire countries like France and Italy are on lockdown. I wonder if the world has ever felt like this before, almost like we are stuck in a hole. I’m a little too young to have experienced much at only twenty-two years old, but I could have never imagined an epidemic of this scale would have ever happened in my lifetime.
According to the Centers for Disease Contol and Prevention tells us so far, we know that older people with underlying health conditions such as diabetes and heart or lung disease are at greater risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Although they’ve discovered that these individuals are at higher risk, everyone is still at risk no matter the degree. There are steps we can take to prepare and prevent.
When the coronavirus began to make global headlines, everyone went into preparation mode and started to stock up on supplies like food, water and toilet paper in case of a possible quarantine. I was luckier than most at my home because my parents have a membership to Sam’s Club so we already bought in bulk and had a lot of toilet paper, paper towels and tissue before the virus broke out. We also stocked up on non-perishables like most.
Store shelves are emptying a rapid rate, but there were two types of items that seemed to barely be touched when we went to Sam’s recently— fruit and vegetables. We were very surprised because these are the things people should be buying. Fruits and vegetables are jam-packed with essential vitamins and nutrients to combat the virus. We bought so much fruit, vegetable, and juice. Vitamin C will be a huge help in boosting your immune system to protect yourself from the coronavirus. My family has always been calm, cool and collected during crisis times such as hurricanes. We are always prepared and we like to stay informed.
When it comes to being informed, be very careful where you are getting your information from. Facebook and Twitter may be more convenient, but with different cases, such as politics and pop culture news, these are the places where misinformation tends to spread more.
For this situation, in particular, the best places to find your information are the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). These are the most trustworthy sites to get COVID-19 facts and tips from. It’s best to get your information directly from the highest sources available. The information could also easily get mixed up, coming from your favorite news media organizations, so be wary.
The CDC has some recommendations for protecting yourself and others from spreading the virus:
⦁ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
⦁ Distance yourself from other people if the virus is spreading in your community.
⦁ Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
⦁ Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
⦁ Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
⦁ Stay home if you’re sick.
⦁ Cover your mouth with a tissue or the sleeve of your shirt if you cough or sneeze and immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer.
⦁ Wear a facemask 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, because if facemasks do become in short supply we would like to save them for those who are sick or for caregivers.
⦁ Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as phones, mice and keyboards, remotes, steering wheels, etc.
⦁ Clean dirty surfaces.
⦁ Disinfect using common EPA-registered disinfectants, like Lysol or Clorox. If you do not have any you can dilute bleach with 5 tablespoons (1/3 cup) of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
The coronavirus may seem intimidating, but if we take proper caution and take into consideration advice from the CDC and WHO, we’ll be alright. Be smart, be wise, be safe. The CDC has also recommended against gatherings of 50 or more people. as this increases the chances of spreading the virus. I understand we still want to be social and have fun, but do the right thing. Do the SMART thing.