The virus itself is currently called SARS-CoV-2, the disease that the virus causes, called COVID-19, all according to WHO who wants to set this naming standard.
The infection has reached a large number of countries and hundreds of thousands of people have been infected.
WHO is no longer announcing pandemics along the old 6-degree scale they used to. But many experts are starting to say that we should probably start assessing it as a pandemic. That is, a pandemic is when an infectious disease is spread across much of the world and affects a large proportion of the population of each country.
It is very likely that the Coronavirus will cause many infected in the world – far more than we already have. And that’s why you need to prepare yourself accordingly. The precautionary principle is sound. Fear the worst and hope for the best.
The virus is highly contagious and with today’s globalized world, it will spread all around the world. This in combination with the fact that the virus can infect during the incubation period (however unusual) and that the disease has a long course. Expect up to 2-3 weeks from sickness to medical care. This means that people who are contagious but not very sick will walk around the community and spread the infection at the beginning of the disease. Because they do not know that they are infected.
What if I get infected?
From getting infected to starting showing symptoms can range from 2 days up to 14 days. The first and mild symptoms are fever, cough, difficulty breathing.
One of the most dangerous complications of COVID19 is ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a form of lung injury) caused by the virus and is the one that causes severe breathing difficulties. The oxygenation of the blood decreases and can eventually become life-threatening at low levels. If you end up in intensive care, you will probably get help with breathing. But in mild symptoms, you will be able to manage without medical care.
You are very likely to experience only mild symptoms.
So, given that you have become infected and are statistically “normal” you will:
- With 81% probability of having mild symptoms (fever, cough, etc.) and do not need to seek medical attention.
- With 14% probability you get so bad that you need to be hospitalized.
- With a 5% probability, you will be so bad that you need intensive care.
- With about 2% probability you die. About 49% of those in intensive care die from the disease.
SO YOUR CHANCES ARE VERY GOOD TO DEAL WITH LIFE IN CONFIDENCE EVEN IF YOU ARE INFECTED!
So purely medically, there is no greater risk of being discharged, although it is significantly more severe than the flu. If you become infected, the likelihood is that you will need hospital care.
Reduce the risk of becoming infected or infecting others
Unfortunately, face masks will not prevent you from getting infected. The most common route of infection is to take yourself in the face. A mask is good for preventing fingers from getting into the mouth and nose. Unfortunately, one can probably get infected through the eyes, so just a mask will not help. That is why you may have seen pictures of Chinese healthcare professionals with goggles. However, the face mask helps you to remind yourself that you are getting on your face and can reduce the number of times a day you take on your own face. Furthermore, on the other hand, it protects others from being infected by you. Coughing holds virus drops that otherwise could have transmitted the infection to others in your vicinity. So you can wear a mask for the sake of others if nothing else.
Should you use a mask make sure to buy a mask that meets the N95 standard. The mask should hold tight against very small droplets, therefore the mask needs a tightness that prevents the droplets from passing through. A surgeon’s mask is not fine enough.
N95 masks can make it harder to breathe, so if you have trouble breathing because of the virus, the mask can make it worse. At the American Infection Protection Center CDC, more has been written about this.
Should you wear mask make sure to wear it correctly.
WASH YOUR HANDS
This simple technique can take you far to keep the infection away. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and at least 30 seconds. Have a habit of washing your hands immediately after you have been out with people.
This can be reasonable as the virus has started to get a firm foothold in society. The virus is spread mainly through microscopically small droplets that can travel in the air from, among other things, exhaled air and cough.
Avoid crowds and minimize getting close to people. Keep 2 meters away. Be extra avoidant for people who show symptoms. It is not more difficult than that.
It probably won’t stop you from getting infected but it may take longer before you get it. This reduces the risk of overloading the healthcare system and it may be that you have the opportunity for better care if the resources are not so strained. If you become infected or suspect you have become infected, self-insulate yourself at home.
Social disturbances and your own preparation
Panic can be more dangerous than the disease itself
A new virus that currently stands without any vaccine can be daunting. It is probably this fear that makes our own media and authorities do everything too reassure us that we as a country are prepared and that the risks are low. A panicked society can become a very dangerous society. It is more uncommon than people think to act irrationally in a crisis situation. However, for obvious reasons, pandemics are less studied than other crises. But when people start consuming far more than they need, it can be far more serious problems to deal with than the virus itself.
So it is all about preparing for the social disruptions that may come.
Prepare mentally and practically that you may quarantine, either that you cannot move freely or rentuat that you have to stay at home for a longer period (weeks).
Hamstring creates a lack of supplies
When people see that quarantine is on the way, they will want to prepare, which means everyone is bunking up on supplies. Probably the large mass will do it at the same time.
No one can prepare their logistics chain for such a rapid increase in demand, deficiencies (goods run out) arise which can create problems to get hold of basic everyday goods. In Hong Kong and Singapore, toilet paper has become a hard currency. Not because there really was a real shortage of toilet paper but because the bunkering itself created a temporary shortage.
If you have only mild symptoms – stay at home
If you have mild symptoms and there is a large spread of infection in the community, it may be unwise to visit the hospital unnecessarily.
It may be that you are healthy but are infected by others in overcrowded hospitals that are no longer able to safely separate infected from non-infected. So you both save on healthcare capacity for the really serious cases and protect yourself from unnecessary infection by staying home if you have mild symptoms. Assume that you are infected and act accordingly. If you get more severe symptoms call the healthcare before and get confirmed that you really should visit a hospital.
- Mentally – act like extensive dissemination will occur. Pass the OMG phase already now it is completed.
- Make sure you have supplies so you can basically manage at home for 30 days without leaving the home.
- Among other things, be sure to pick up medicines that you have on prescription so that you have a good time ahead. Get
- these out before it gets a crisis.
- Make sure you have food that lasts for at least 30 days.
- Make sure you have fever-reducing tablets in case you need to treat high fever yourself. Paracetamol may be preferred as it
- does not strain the kidneys.
- Make sure you have a fever thermometer.
- Build a financial buffer if you risk an extended period of time without income or with reduced income as a result of needing to be home and/or sick. Talk about these preparations with your household and plan for how to take care of each other without getting infected yourself.
- Start training now to take less of a face. Get routine on good hand washing. Hold and touch less in areas that many others have taken in (door handles, public transport, elevator buttons, etc.), use knuckles or objects as a buffer. Exercise on alternatives to handshakes (elbow bumps).
- Make sure every household member has personalized towels, wash them twice a week.
- Daily clean surfaces at home where people often touch with detergents.
- If the weather permits open windows for ventilation.