Coronavirus (COVID-19) Precautions and Preparations 2020
Things to do to keep yourself, family and friends as safe as possible, symptoms and actions to take if you think you may be getting sick and preparations you should make just in case things go bad.
- What is a Coronavirus?
It is a virus named for the crown-like spikes that protrude from its surface. The coronavirus can infect both animals and people, and can cause a range of respiratory illnesses from the common cold to more dangerous conditions like Pneumonia.
- How contagious is the virus?
According to preliminary research, it is much like influenza, transmitted primarily by touch, coughs and sneezes, though it is also possibly transmitted through the air. Scientists have estimated that each infected person could spread it to somewhere between 1.5 and 3.5 people without effective containment measures.
- Where has the virus spread?
The virus originated in Wuhan, China, and has sickened tens of thousands of people in China and at least 41 other countries.
- How worried should I be?
While the virus is a serious public health concern, the risk to most people outside China remains very low, and seasonal flu is a more immediate threat.
- How do I keep myself and others safe?
Washing your hands frequently is the most important thing you can do, along with staying at home when you’re sick.
1. Don’t panic!
2. Wash your hands, often! Use soap and wash them for at least 30 seconds under running water. Or use hand sanitizer as an “out and about” backup.
3. Stop shaking hands with strangers! Bow or elbow bump (which the Ebola doctors adopted in dealing with people during those outbreaks).
4. Think it through now, not when you or close family are already sick. Make a plan and make sure everyone in the family knows the plan (after all, you might be the one who gets sick, so they need to know what you have planned and prepared, and their role in the (hopefully unlikely) event that things go wrong).
5. Make sure everyone in your family washes their hands, often!
6. Prepare for contingencies like quarantines affecting essential supplies. No need to go mad, but prepare to stay at home (or “shelter in place” as emergency management officials are prone to call it) for perhaps as much as 2 weeks.
7. Wash your hands!
Items to stock up on:
Hand sanitizer – this virus is mainly spread by touching surfaces that are infected. If you can’t immediately wash your hands after opening a door, using a checkout pen or touching some other common surface in public, then use hand sanitizer.
N95 mask/respirators are all the rage, but are already scarce and getting very expensive. They are also by no means completely effective, but they help, as much by containing coughs and sneezes of the wearer as by stopping the virus getting to you, so they are a worthy item of wear to show your consideration of others. Do not panic if you can’t get any: improvise. A scarf is almost as effective if wrapped like you are going out into an ice storm. CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
Toilet paper – no need to go mad, 3 rolls per person per week will provide enough even if someone is sick, but not something to run out of!
Lysol and/or Clorox spray and wipes & Bleach
Pasta and/or rice to add to those tins we all have tucked away in cupboards
Granola and/or protein bars
Disposable plates, cups and utensils, plus trash bags
Tylenol and/or Advil plus Flu medicines
Special items for children as necessary
Symptoms and actions to take:
For confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death. Symptoms can include:
- Shortness of breath
Full information can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/index.html
If you exhibit any of these symptoms and think you may have picked up COVID-19:
· Stay home except to get medical care
· You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
· Call ahead before visiting your doctor
· If you have a medical appointment, call the healthcare provider and tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure. This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses.
The latest situation summary updates are available on CDC’s coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) web page.