I want to assure you that I, Shungite Queen, am taking the COVID-19 pandemic quite seriously and taking every possible precaution. As a former advanced practice nurse, I am acutely aware of the importance of "flattening the curve."
As a small home-based, internet-only business with just one part-time employee, preventative hygiene is manageable. We are both feeling good and healthy, and if that changes, I will take the necessary isolation precautions - but so far, so good. Because I receive a number of supplies by mail, I have been disinfecting packages as they arrive, before opening them.
The following post is provided for educational and informative purposes only and is licensed by Blots.org under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Please consult your local medical authority for all medical advice.
For the latest news and updated information, visit the CDC's Coronavirus page.
News about the deadly virus that first appeared in Wuhan, China in late 2019 is everywhere. The virus is officially called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2. It is also called Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), 2019-nCov, 2019 Novel Coronavirus, and SARS-CoV-2. The disease the virus causes is called COVID-19. Although there are many useful and reliable sources for information, there is an enormous amount of misinformation circulating the internet and social media. Some major media outlets are even complicit in downplaying the magnitude of this situation. Many young people are adopting a "whatever" attitude which is a serious threat to those who are at high risk.
Reliable online information sources for Coronavirus and COVID-19The following resources are reliable sources of information:
- the World Health Organization's COVID-19 Disease Outbreak pages contain up-to-date and global information
- the US Coronavirus.gov
- the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Index
- the US Food and Drug Administration
- the UK™s National Health Service
- the US National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus
- the WhiteHouse.gov's 15 Days to Slow the Spread PDF
- Blots.org Coronavirus Resources Page
- Well-sourced map and date (Johns Hopkins)
Shareable media about COVID-19The following resources are easy to share on social media platforms, email, and more.
- Facts About COVID-19 (Image)
- Facts About COVID-19 (PDF)
- Downloadable resources from the WHO
- Exponential growth and epidemics YouTube video
Quick facts about Coronavirus (COVID-19)The following information should not be used to make a medical diagnosis and is for informational purposes only. Please consult your local medical authorities for all medical advice.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus."The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell." Source: World Health Organization.
How Coronavirus Spreads"Coronavirus disease spreads primarily through contact with an infected person when they cough or sneeze. It also spreads when a person touches a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touches their eyes, nose, or mouth." Source: World Health Organization. There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus and the recommended way to prevent the illness is to avoid exposure. The CDC reports that the virus spreads, "Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet). Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes."
At-risk individuals"Older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider about additional steps you may be able to take to protect yourself." Source: CDC.gov
How to protect yourselfTakes these steps to protect yourself:
- Clean your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
- Maintain social distancing (keep at least 3 feet or 1 meter distance between yourself and others).
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Self-isolate by putting distance between yourself and other people.
- If you are sick, stay home. Do NOT go to a doctors office without first calling your doctor. Call your healthcare provider for medical advice.
- Cover coughs and sneezes by using a tissue to cover your mouth and nose.
- Immediately throw away used tissues and wash your hands.
- If you are NOT sick then you do not need to wear a facemask.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Watch the WHO's short YouTube Video
Misinformation about COVID-19 is everywhere
Misinformation regarding the virus is spreading across every major social media website. A couple of examples of unfounded claims that are currently circulating include dangerous suggestions that drinking bleach and snorting cocaine can cure coronavirus infection.
Spread the word to "Flatten the Curve"Even if COVID-19 is "unavoidable," delaying infections will flatten the peak number of illnesses to within hospital capacity and significantly reduce deaths. However, spreading an educational awareness is crucial because many people are actively ignoring the threat. For example, the Coronavirus pandemic is not preventing college 'spring breakers' from partying. See this USA Today interview, 'If I get corona, I get corona'. The following image, courtesy of thespinoff.co.nz, is an excellent illustration of the importance of flattening the curve. Although the virus is highly contagious, it will help tremendously if we can avoid contracting it all at once.
How to spread the word
- Post media from the "shareable media about COVID-19" section above on your social network accounts.
- If you own a website, blog, or any web-property, copy and paste this blog post and publish it on your website. Because writing a blog post takes time, this blog post was licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 for free use so we can spread information as quickly as possible.
- If you own a website consider adding an alert or banner based on these free templates.
How to respond to skepticsThese are some common remarks from skeptics who have adopted a carefree approach to the pandemic.
"The virus is not dangerous for my age range."Response: What happens when all of the hospital ICU beds are taken and you get in a car accident? What happens when your parents or grandparents who are at risk become infected?
"This is no worse than the flu. Most cases are mild, it's going to be fine."Response: Many people have already had other flues or have been vaccinated. This is not the case for Covid-19, and it's spreading incredibly fast. A percentage of people who contract coronavirus will require intensive care. If too many people get infected too quickly, healthcare systems will not have enough beds. This results in postponed operations, no beds for accident victims, and not enough medical professionals to maintain a working infrastructure. Each of these results in additional deaths.
"I'm still not convinced this is a big deal."Response: Some people may need to hear personal stories in order to fully process the magnitude of the situation. Start by sharing these personal accounts from doctors in Italy who are having to leave people with preexisting conditions to die in hallways.