With the constant rise in fatality rate of the coronavirus in the world, 720,000 plus people have been affected – as at 30th March, and the end is almost nowhere in sight. Scientists from all over the world are fighting to find a cure or a vaccine. Currently, testing has already begun for a proposed vaccine. According to health line, several companies are working on antiviral drugs and preventive vaccines. It can probably take months or over a year for drug or vaccine to complete clinical trials and become available for the public. While awaiting a positive breakthrough, here’s what you should know about Covid-19 pandemic that could save your life.
Social distancing is the best preventive vaccine currently:
Social distancing is not a coined up idea that was culled up due to the current on-going coronavirus pandemic. It has, in fact, been used in previous times. During the last great pandemic, the Spanish flu, it saved thousands of human lives and helped flatten the curve. Read about it here.
The current Shutting down of schools, churches and public gatherings are initiatives that were applied in 1918 that helped the world deal with the Spanish flu. Today, as the world grinds to a halt in a bid to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, the new world slogan during this period is “STAYHOME. STOP THE SPREAD. SAVE LIVES”
These measures includes closing schools, shops, eateries; travel ban and restrictions, transportation restrictions, enforcing social distancing and abhorring social gatherings. This one thing could stop the spread of this virus as it is transferred commonly by human to human contact. Prevention is not only better; it is the best as there is no cure.
These prevention tips will save your life:
- Wash your hands frequently and carefully with warm water and soap.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Stop human contact. No shaking hands. No hugs.
- Avoid sharing personal items.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow when you sneeze and cough.
- Clean and thoroughly disinfect surfaces.
- Practise social distancing.
- Avoid public places. Stay at home!
- Wash edibles properly.
- Self-quarantine if you notice symptoms.
- You may be infected but show no symptoms.
- You can still spread the virus.
- It has a longer incubation time.
- It survives in Air.
- Your nose and mouth are vulnerable.
- Wearing a mask alone will not prevent you from getting infected. Always wash your hands and practice social distancing!
Your immunity needs a boost, as well as your home:
The Covid-19 attacks the human immunity system, mostly. Although humans have no natural immunity for this Virus, there is the need to boost our immune system to withstand and survive the attack. The only treatment available is staying comfortable enough till your body heals.
Researchers say there are basic supplies you can buy now to prepare while you self-isolate at home. Cleaning and sanitary products like towels, extra sheets, pyjamas; Among your groceries should be fruits, veggies, canned goods with long shelf life; your health supplies should include a thermometer, cough medicines, zinc, vitamins – B complex, folic acid, and vitamin C.
Other supplies you might need includes clean water to remain hydrated, tissues, prescription medicines – if you have an underlying illness, herbal remedies like turmeric and ginger, gloves, soap, hand sanitizers, sponges, a first aid kit, amongst others.
You need an Action plan for the “stay at home” duration:
Plan for the period of staying at home. Make a household plan while stocking up supplies. Prepare food to store for a 2-4 weeks duration.
Long lasting basics like rice, paste, canned foods, beans, fruits, soups and sauces (stored frozen), etc.
Pet food is important for pet owners.
Fruits and vegetables can be stored in ways that extend their service life and make them more convenient for consumption.
Don’t underrate Contingency plans:
During the cause of social distancing, it is common to run out of supplies. Be sure to know how to get food delivered. Also, some super markets and grocery stores might be open around you. In as much as the need to replace finished items arises, limit your visit to the supermarkets to curb your chances of contracting the virus.
Efficient Communication is the key that could save your life:
The issue of communication is reiterated this period. You need to have the list of emergency contacts, friends, family and co-workers.
If you have a job, constant logging in, performing tasks and regular updates might be needed regularly.
Keeping in touch with family members and friends can save your mental health and life. If you eventually get infected, you will be required to self-isolate. Keeping in virtual contact with friends and family is a total life saver.
Getting a grip on your mental health helps:
As we all face uncertainty about the covid-19, staying calm is an ultimate weapon. Humans are social beings, the need for touch and connection with close people will always arise. Social distancing means changing this behaviour which can lead to mental health breakdown.
Some ways to combat this feeling while carrying on are:
- Focus on your effort and preparedness.
- Stay calm.
- Reach out and check on the well-being of others.
- Remind yourself that covid-19 is a serious but temporary illness and life will come back to normal soonest.
- Get a grasp on anxiety. Avoid panicking, Avoid people who are panicking. Limit your listening to the news. Embrace the uncertainty and be optimistic about the future to come.
- For people living with mental health issues, ask your therapist to schedule virtual sessions, stock up on your meds (home delivery option) and create an emergency plan with your mental health professionals (if managing it gets difficult).
- Find ways to stay busy.
Knowing when to get tested can save your life:
With implementing self-isolation and social distancing, it is still very possible to get infected. COVID-19 has a high infectious rate. Therefore, it is crucial to know when to consider getting tested.
If you’ve been exposed to the virus or show mild symptoms of COVID-19, call the help lines and do not go to the hospital or anywhere as you might be infectious to other people.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), symptoms to look out for are:
- Dry cough
- Shortness of breath
- A sore throat
- Stuffy/runny nose
- Body aches
These signs typically appear within 2 – 14 days after being exposed to the virus. In early stages, there might be little or no symptoms. Nonetheless, the virus can still be transmitted to others. If you have up to 4 of the above symptoms, you might want to get tested.
Mild cases can recover quickly at home with home care and self-isolation. In complex cases, the patient might need more medical attention.
The testing procedure includes;
- Swabbing the nose or back of the throat to collect samples.
- Take out fluid from the lower respiratory tract.
- Take a saliva or stool sample.
Test results are usually;
- Positive – if 2 genes are found within the SARS-COV-2 genome.
- Inconclusive – if only one gene is found.
- Negative – if no gene is found.
Sometimes, CT scans are ordered to gain additional insights to the spread of the virus.
Tests results may take a day or longer, however, new and faster methods are springing up to hasten the process of testing.
This is the when medical care is most essential:
Some of COVID-19 medical emergency warning signs are;
- Shortness of breath or breathing issues.
- Constant pain, discomfort, tightness, squeezes in your chest or upper abdomen.
- Problems keeping track of thoughts or confusion.
- Bluish skin tint around the lips, nails, gums and around the eyes.
- High, uncontrollable fever.
- Anyone age 65 or older.
- Weakened immune system.
- Smokes, chronic health issues or a cardiovascular disease.
Prevention strategies are extremely instrumental in stopping the spread of the virus. Practice good cleaning measures and encourage people around you to do the same.
Ultimately, you need the number for your local healthcare provider if you start to develop the covid-19 symptoms. A risk screen, prevention and care plan will be put in place for you, as well as medical advice on how to survive.
The COVID-19 emergency response team’s number in Nigeria is given below for different cities.