I have studied the epidemiological factors of Covid-19 from a local and global level. Here are tips on how to survive the pandemic.
COVID-19 From a Medical Perspective
The term coronavirus is actually a class of viruses that cause respiratory illness. Covid-19 is a new addition to this class of viruses. This is why some people refer to it as the novel coronavirus. As of December 25th the world has recorded almost 80 million cases with just over 1.7 million deaths.
Viruses are opportunistic mechanisms, once they enter your body they literally take over the cells replicating functions. The virus then makes copies of itself and continues to use up the cells resources until the cell dies. Now there are 2 copies of the virus and they leave the dead cell to move on to other cells to continue the same process over and over again.
One thing that makes this virus unique is that in some patients it causes blood clots and in children it can cause MIS-C, which is Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children. This includes inflammation of the organs including the brain. Due to the virus being so new doctors are not completely sure of the long term effects even after recovery. Some people who have recovered months after being cleared of the virus are reporting symptoms such as fatigue, hair loss, memory loss, and shortness of breath.
This can be a scary time that has prompted a change in behavior and society worldwide. However, distribution of a vaccine has already begun. Also, there are many things that you can do to drastically limit your chances of catching Covid-19.
Things You Can Do to Prevent COVID-19 Infection
Social distancing is very important in limiting the spread of the virus. Studies from Japan and Germany have shown that particles from talking, coughing, sneezing, and singing can transmit the virus. The amount of distance between people is vital as some may have it and are asymptomatic. When they come into contact with others who do not have the virus and respiratory droplets are exchanged. That person could come down with the virus and suffer the ailments effects.
Some governments have mask mandates put in place to protect the population. Depending on the type of face covering some may not be 100% effective. However, anything that can put a barrier between you and droplets in public places can only help you.
Wearing gloves is an optional way to go one step further in protection from the virus. Public shopping facilities often have automated doors that you do not need to touch. Some may not, also shopping carts, credit card machines, and cash are used daily. Even though the virus is spread through droplets, these droplets can live for a short amount of time on inanimate objects. As humans we commonly touch things and touch our faces.
Wearing gloves can do 2 things, it can remind us not to touch our faces and it can serve as a barrier between us and objects in public places.
Another good thing to do is to make use of a good hand sanitizer after shopping or visiting public places.
Since the beginning of the outbreak health professionals have been advocating for people to wash their hands. As simple as it sounds this is one of the most basic things we can all do to limit the spread of the virus.
Every day we all impulsively touch things including our faces. This gives the virus a chance to enter through our mucosal membranes. Viruses have a lipid bilayer that surrounds them like an envelope. The lipid bilayer is not as tough as the ones found in bacteria. For example gram-negative bacteria which has a peptidoglycan outer layer can wall itself off due to environmental changes. The friction of handwashing can easily break apart the lipid bilayer in viruses. This makes handwashing a very effective tool.
Cleaning Groceries Before Putting Them Away
It is a common practice to wash our vegetables once we get them home from the grocery store. Now due to the Covid-19 pandemic it may be a good idea to clean all other items as well. A cloth dampened with warm soapy water or disinfectant wipes could be used to wipe down cans, gently wipe boxes, or food in sealed bags. It may be a good idea to do this as the products are handled by suppliers, shipment personnel, stockmen, cashiers, and usually other shoppers.
How to Deal With Receiving Mail and Packages During the Pandemic
Most viruses can live for periods of time on different objects. In relation to Covid-19, some scientists have discovered that the virus can live on plastic and metal for extended periods of time. As far as paper for envelopes and cardboard for packages, they have discovered that the virus does not live long on those types of materials. Therefore, the chances are reduced from contracting the virus through mail or packages.
However, there are some things you could do just to play it safe. These are things that I do personally in regard to mail and packages. You could open any package and mail outdoors. As with cleaning grocery packaging you can also use a damp cloth with soap or a disinfectant wipe to clean off a box that was delivered. For mail you could open it outdoors and let it air for a day or 2. Or you could wipe off the envelope with the method just mentioned.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2020 E Randall
E Randall (author) from Florida on December 26, 2020:
Thanks Audrey I appreciate it.
Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 26, 2020:
These are good safety measures for fighting the Covid virus. I practice taking precautions. Thanks for these reminders and good health to you!