- Jesus Arambula
Coronavirus in Bay Area
(Picture from SF Chronicle)
People around the world worry about their health as the coronavirus spreads even further. There have been a few people in the bay area infected with the virus, and now is the time to take care of yourself and prevent the coronavirus from spreading. But for those who don't know much about the virus, let's clear up some things first.
What is the coronavirus?
The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and it is the first time we have encountered it. Like many other viruses, the coronavirus spread through animals. Those who were first in contact with the virus worked or shopped at local seafood markets in the center of the city. The virus spreads through person-to-person, but there have been other cases where human contact wasn't involved.
What are some of the symptoms?
The virus causes respiratory infections like pneumonia. People who were infected reported coughs, fever, and other breathing difficulties. In some other more severe cases, there have been cases of organ failure. Given that this is viral pneumonia, our common antibiotics won't work, whether a person can recover or not is dependant on the person's immune system. Those who have died from the virus were already in poor health.
How to protect yourself?
Wash your hands
Wet your hands with clean, running water, apply soap, and leather your hands between your fingers and under your nails. Scrub for 20 seconds and rinse.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing/sneezing
Wash your hands afterward. If you don't have a tissue, cover yourself with your elbow instead.
Use face masks
They block liquid droplets, but they don't block air particles.
Seek medical help by phone
If you have a cough, flu, or respiratory problems. Also, if you have traveled somewhere, share your travel history with a healthcare institution.
Even if you haven't recently been in affected countries like China or Iran, avoid human interaction with other people. The last confirmed case of coronavirus infected someone who hadn't been overseas and who did not report interacting with anyone who had traveled recently either.
Things to buy
Hand sanitizer, tissues, and facemasks are a must buy. Other cleanings and disinfecting products like Lysol or cleaning wipes work just as beautiful.
How many people have been affected?
As of February 25, the virus has affected 80,000 people globally. In China alone, there have been 2,663 deaths, and 12,000 people have recovered from the virus. Italy has recorded 229 cases with 7 deaths. South Korea has recorded 893 cases with 8 deaths. The virus seems to be severely affecting the older population, with very few cases on children.
The following statistics come from worldometers.info.
Represents the risk of dying in a given age group.
Why is it worse than ordinary influenza?
Because we haven't encountered this virus before, we still don't know how dangerous it is. The mortality rate of the coronavirus is 2%. The seasonal flu's mortality rate is less than 1%. Also, the coronavirus doesn't have a vaccine, unlike the flu. The strangeness nature of the virus makes it more deadly to those with weak immune systems like the elderly as well as those with existing respiratory problems. As previously stated, washing your hands and avoiding contact with people is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading.
Just in case the virus happens to spread even further, it is essential to stock up on resources that you might need later on in the future. Try to buy many cleaning products previously stated and use them daily to protect yourself from the virus. Buying these products in bulk may seem like a waste of money, but it's always better to be safe than sorry. Staying at home is very important to prevent the virus, so try to buy things to keep you busy as well. Recreational activities like board games or video games are good examples to pass the time while indoors.