By Grace Kalil '20
What is Coronavirus?
A type of virus that infects humans, typically leading to an upper respiratory infection. There are several different types of human coronavirus. Most people will be infected with at least one type of coronavirus in their lifetime.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a disease caused by the new coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019. The first reported case can be traced back to December 1st, 2019. It is highly contagious and can be quickly spread from person to person through droplets from a cough or sneeze. Typical symptoms include cough, fever, and shortness of breath. COVID-19 can affect all age ranges. The incubation period is 14 days. Currently, there is no specific treatment for COVID-19.
What is Quarantine and Social Distancing?
Social Distancing is an important thing. It is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Examples of social distancing is online schooling, calling and FaceTiming friends instead of hanging out with them, and only exiting your house when necessary. Quarantine and self-quarantine are practices that you should follow if you have been travelling. Self-quarantine should last 14 days and includes staying at home, not having visitors, not sharing things like utensils and towels, and washing your hands frequently. These practices are necessary to “flatten the curve.”
How Can You Protect Yourself from COVID-19?
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. All people that are able to should be practicing social distancing and self-quarantine (if you have travelled). While this may be boring, frustrating, or not something you want to do, by staying at home and limiting your contact with others, you are helping to flatten the curve and protect others who are more at risk. Another aspect is practicing hygiene. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. If you are sick, wear a facemask to prevent spreading the illness to others. If you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick, do not wear a facemask. They are in demand and should be saved for caregivers. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, phone, keyboards, sinks, etc.
COVID-19 in Missouri:
As of March 21st, there have been 73 positive cases of COVID-19 in Missouri. 3 people have died from COVID-19. Governor Mike Parson has been giving daily briefings about COVID-19 on Facebook (link below). On March 21st, Mayor Lyda Krewson and County Executive Dr. Sam Page issued a stay at home order in St. Louis City and St. Louis County to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the area. The restriction starts on Monday and requires people to stay at home when possible.
Under the restriction, residents can still:
Visit a hospital or doctor’s office,
Go to the grocery store, gas station, pharmacy
Pick up food from a restaurant
Go on a walk or run with your dog
Go to work
Go to worship services
Video from the CDC about Handwashing