The COVID-19 situation is changing quickly.  Now for some medical facts about the virus that has taken a prominent place in the news as it has moved from China to other countries.  This is a new virus thus people do not have any immunity to it. There is no vaccine for COVID-19 although one is being developed.  A usable, safe vaccine may be many months away.

COVID-19 has an incubation period of at least 14 days. Influenza has an incubation period far shorter, one to four days.  This means that a person who is infected with COVID-19 will spread the virus for at least 14 days without appearing to be ill.

That is a long time in which to pass on the virus. Many, many people can be infected by one person and depending on the environments surrounding the viral shedding person, such as in a plane, prison, nursing home, etc. the amount of spreading can be ridiculously high.

With influenza, the infected person feels sick quickly and has less time in which to spread the influenza virus. Even with the shorter incubation period for influenza, the numbers of infections are very high, higher than with COVID-19.

So, what can we do to prevent getting COVID-19, novel coronavirus 2019, and quite frankly also the regular yearly influenza?  There are measures you can take to help you to avoid getting ill. It is not a given that you cannot fight back against COVID-19.

The earliest data for COVID-19 viral infections is that it quickly affects older adults with pre-existing/underlying medical conditions of the heart, lungs, and kidneys. The immune system in older adults is less robust than when they were younger, so they have a decreased ability to fight off infections and diseases. This is the group that is dying from COVID-19 infections.

Since the older age group is at increased risk to be infected with COVID-19, there are certain precautions they can take to protect themselves.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.
  • When you have to be in public or travel, stay away from anyone who may be sick and wash, wash, wash your hands with soap and water and keep hands away from your face: nose, eyes, mouth.
  • Keep enough of your medications and any medical supplies you will need for several weeks on hand.
  • Avoid crowds
  • Avoid plane travel due to planes being poorly ventilated
  • If you rely on anyone for support, be sure you have backups if he or she becomes ill.

What about the rest of us? Let’s start with the very obvious. Do not kiss or hug people when greeting them.

Also, avoid polite handshake for now. No high fives that involve touching another person’s hand.  Simply go with the “no” touching approach.  100% of not making physical contact.  Viruses are passed by physical contact, but also by other measures such as droplets of virus floating in the air, even after the infected person has left the area.

Scrub and wash your hands with soap and water. Use soap and lots of water and rub between your fingers, backs of hands, wrists, tips of fingers, all over and do this for at least 20 seconds. This beats using hand sanitizers when eliminating germs that have gotten onto your skin. If you are leaving a public bathroom, use the paper towel to open the door for your exit.

If it was one of those places that only have a blow dryer, I hate these, use the sleeve of whatever you are wearing to grab the doorknob.  No need to take extra germs with you. Just do not touch any doorknob, in a public place, with your bare hands.

Hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial wipes are okay if you do not have access to soap and water. They are easy to carry with you but really are not as effective as soap and water hand washings. The alcohol content in hand sanitizers varies and can be irritating to your skin. You should use a sanitizer with at least 60% or higher alcohol content, rub hand together for at least 20 seconds and let the skin air dry.

I cannot stress this important anti-virus measure enough. Refrain from touching your face, mouth, nose, and eyes.  You will not believe how many times during the day you will unconsciously bring your fingers up to your face, mouth, and eyes.  Just stop touching your face! “No touching face” will be something you will have to remind yourself of all day long. Wash your hands before touching your face at all times.

Do you know those plastic collars that pets have to wear to keep them from licking, chewing on an area of their body that has recently been operated on or being medicated? A plastic cone/collar placed around the neck would be perfect for keeping our hands off of our faces, but alas are probably considered inappropriate. They do come in different sizes.

For heaven’s sake, stay home if you are sick. Not only will you infect others, even if you do not have COVID-19 which is the most likely cause at this time, but you also run the risk of picking up another infection since your immune system is already being attacked. It would be helpful and ethical for employers to made adjustments for workers so they will feel free to remain home if ill.

Cover your nose and mouth with the inside elbow area of your arm when sneezing or coughing. This will prevent some of the aerosol sprayings of viral droplets from being jettisoned into the air for others to inhale but will also leave viral droplets, perhaps in the form of mucous, on your clothing which will need to be removed and laundered.

Removing your shoes which you were wearing outdoors is a good practice. You will not only avoid bringing viruses into your home but will also avoid fecal-borne bacteria that will give you diarrhea which is not a symptom of COVID-19 viral infection but should be avoided none the less.

Only wear a face mask, there is already a shortage of these in some areas if you are sick. But then again, how about the stay at home rule if you are ill?  Healthcare professionals will be wearing the masks to keep them from contracting the virus from the ill patients they are treating. Plus wearing a mask may give you a false sense that you can 100% protect yourself.

Go ahead and get that flu shot, the one for influenza that is not COVID-19, but is making far more people sick and causing far more deaths than we are currently seeing with COVID-19. Vaccines are being developed for COVID-19 but none are available at this time. When the vaccine becomes available, it is a good idea to get one if you are considering traveling on planes.

Points to take away are;

  • COVID-19 is currently killing the elderly with underlying medical issues prior to viral infection. If possible, the elderly with coexisting medical problems should not go into public areas.
  • COVID-19 does not seem to be harming children. Children had not died from COVID-19 and the only children infected with the virus have received it from a family member. Children are dying from regular influenza.
  • Practice aggressive handwashing for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, many times a day and certainly before eating and when being out in public.
  • Do Not Touch Your Face without first completing the above handwashing.
  • As of today, March 06, influenza is making far more of an impact on Americans than COVID-19. Novel coronavirus 2019 is now called severe acute respiratory syndrome or SARS CoV- 2.
  • Tiny droplets of COVID-19 virus can remain in the air after the infected person has left the area.

Infections

  • COVID-19: Approximately 101,781 cases worldwide; 260 cases in the U.S. as of Mar. 6, 2020.
  • Flu: Estimated 1 billion cases worldwide; 9.3 million to 45 million cases in the U.S. per year.

Deaths

  • COVID-19: Approximately 3,460 deaths reported worldwide; 14 deaths in the U.S., as of Mar. 6, 2020.
  • Flu: 291,000 to 646,000 deaths worldwide; 12,000 to 61,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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16 COMMENTS

  1. I think if our media are allowed to talk openly and candidly about the USA response to this virus, the governments arrogance and hypocrisy will be exposed. We expect countries like China and Korea to go to the ends of the world to contain and stop “their” diseases meanwhile back in the States if precatuions and testing is going to disrupt our economy, it is the ecomony that we will protect first.
    Patients with flu symptom wait in our waiting rooms, are checked in, handled by the nurses, Drs and Techs, pre lab work unmasked. That is how we role. I know, just did that in between posts.

  2. It is amazing to see the extent to which some countries are going to to stop the spread of the Virus. A co-worker of mine described what the Vietnamese are doing to bring back their people who were working from the area in China that was affected 1st. Airplanes were prepared everything wrapped in plastic and all the passengers doned full PPE suits and masks and shields. Everyone tested. China built hospitals in days for patients with the virus. All the quarantines occurring in the hard hit countries. Meanwhile. Here in the US Nada. The hospitals in the area I live and work are just business as usual. The standard trainings are occurring for bariatric sensitivity, Quality care to LGBT patients, HIPPA compliance, active shooter education ect… . Some mention of performing the usual preventative measures but no specific training or mock drills. This response is much different from the Ebola training, preparation and planning that went on than. I have not seen any planning going one, no expectation or preparation for an influx of sick patients. strictly business as usual. Many coworkers have gotten ‘the flu’ and all have gotten the flu shot. Some may or may not have taken sick days. No one has been tested for COVID-19. One Dr described to me being sicker than he has ever been 104 temp., Pneumonia the works. He was told the Pneumonia did not settle in the area of the lung usually affected by COVID-19 so he would not be tested.

  3. This is not selective of the virus, but purely the impaired immunities that a lot of older people have. A lot of those flu deaths are “guess who”…older people. Even ones that are home bound, they get it from family, kids, etc…and they are gone. Flu season is the death zone for them. In a nursing home you can get it from the staff, etc. I would recommend all to open a folder to start saving research on keeping your immune system in top shape.

  4. Sorry carol. The vaccines being touted are dna altering medicine that’s how they stop the virus attaching. Take that vaccine you become Frankenstein untested wiping all human history away. I can only see genetically modified immunity of humans having very bad consequences. Do not take any vaccines for this. The next virus that comes through will be the death of all that took it from the “form to fit” *changing the receptor so the virus cant attach) dna changes untested science gave us all. Bit disappointed to see this article.

    • Sorry Pablo, you are talking nonsense. Vaccines cannot and do not alter DNA. Carol has spent her working life in medicine, she knows what she is talking about whereas you are clearly a victim of the large and well funded anti-vaccine disinfo campaign.

    • Thanks Ian. Your welcome to defend a fellow editor. It’s not anti vax. It’s actually where every science goes to these days . Genetic dna changes to repel disease or whatever. Ever since the human genome was mapped science pins it’s hopes that this pathway will take us to the future. From pre birth onwards. The fact you call that conspiracy vaxxer is baffling. The fact is this is new unsupported science, downright dangerous. Who calls themselves gods to genetically alter humans?.

    • I repeat, vaccines do not alter DNA. There is a vast body of disinfo out there about vaccines so ask yourself the obvious question – who is financing this anti-vaccine disinfo and why are they doing so?

    • Sorry I didn’t know you were best buddies with Bill gates. Who in 2015 claimed “inovio” could alter dna through an electrical current as a vaccine for malaria. “Dna vaccines work by delivering genetically engineered dna to cells via electrical current” Wistar produced it . Hundreds of thousands of scientists work daily to get patents for their corporate financiers. Health is not human any more it’s become fiat. Maybe check bill gates public info from 5 yrs ago . Science does change quickly in the modern era

    • Pablo, No vaccine alters cell DNA in any way. Vaccines create a situation where the body will recognize a virus or bacteria as harmful because the body has built up immunity to that small, killed amount of antigen that has been introduced into the body via the vaccine. When the body senses that the virus/bacteria is attempting to climb on board and do its destruction the antibodies stop the invader. We can either get immunity by this method or actually having the disease in the past. I am no on board with getting polio or tetanus by the method of previously having the disease. This is all a sound scientific process designed to keep the human race from being killed off by the various bacterial and viral diseases that would do just that. I guess you are a trump supporter and do not believe in science and are ignorant to this process….that would be the only reason for you to believe that DNA is being altered by vaccines.

    • Inovio bill gates produce both a malaria and hpv human dna changing vaccine. Read the CEO Joseph Kim. My original post was gates own words from his press release. Then there’s the federal government NIAID Vaccine Research Center scientist have initiated Phase 1/2 studies of a universal flu vaccine strategy that includes an investigational DNA-based vaccine (called a DNA ‘prime’)
      Transhumanism. The holy grail for globalists. The most censored debate. The controllers are so close to destroying humanity they won’t allow debate. You deny it even exists. At least we know which side you truly stand on. Bye I won’t bother your site again. I’m not american so thought the trumptard ad homenin was funny. I quote even usa government funded research not alex Jones (my kids live in tel aviv)

    • Seeing as you have a Jewish surname and your kids live in Israel, I take it you’re Jewish? Not that there’s anything wrong with being Jewish, but there is the whole issue of the legions of Jewish trolls employed by Israel to spread disinfo, maybe you’re one of them?

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