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CORONAVIRUS Sparks Worldwide Concern
CORONAVIRUS Sparks Worldwide Concern
The dawn of 2020 ushered in many newsworthy headlines, but few have turned the heads of the masses as sharply as the arrival of a novel coronavirus that was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. In late 2019, Chinese authorities identified the new virus, which has resulted in scores of confirmed cases in China, and additional cases identified in a growing number of international locations.
Both the World Health Organization and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have closely monitored the coronavirus, which was named COVID-19 in mid-February 2020. The public is understandably concerned, but educating oneself about COVID-19 and coronaviruses in general can assuage some fears.
WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS?
Medical News Today reports that coronaviruses typically affect the respiratory tracts of mammals. Coronaviruses are responsible for between 15 and 30 percent of common colds. They're also associated with pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS.
Coronaviruses were given their name based on the crown-like projections on their surfaces (in Latin, "corona" means "halo" or "crown"). Coronavirus antibodies do not last or work for very long, so a person who becomes ill can catch the same virus again a few months later. Also, antibodies for one strain of coronavirus may not be effective against other strains.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
In 2019, a new type of coronavirus not previously identified was discovered in China. Like other coronaviruses, this virus, COVID-19, can be spread easily from person to person, particularly through respiratory droplets acquired when someone with the virus coughs or sneezes. Most often people need to be within six feet of the infected person for contraction. The CDC says that COVID-19 also is believed to be spread from animals to people. It's currently unclear if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching his oer her own mouth, nose or eyes.
Those confirmed as having the virus reported illnesses ranging from mild symptoms like fever, cough and shortness of breath to more severe illness. Reactions to COVID-19 can differ from individual to individual. It's believed that symptoms of COVID-19 can appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Those who have been in China or around others who have visited from China and are experiencing cold or flu symptoms are advised call their physicians.
PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
The WHO says that if a person is healthy, he or she only needs to wear a mask if this person is taking care of another with a suspected COVID-19 infection. One also should wear a mask if he or she is coughing or sneezing. More recently, it is recommended that we should all be wearing masks when out in public, especially since it is found that being asymptomatic can spread the disease easily.
Doctors advise that frequent handwashing, and in the absence of warm, soapy water, alcohol-based sanitizers that are at least 60 percent alcohol can be effective in preventing transmission of COVID-19. Also avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment for the disease; people should receive supportive care for symptoms. However, research into antiviral drugs, such as those for HIV and influenza, are being tested for their potential efficacy against COVID-19, Research into developing a vaccine for this novel coronavirus also is ongoing.
Concerned individuals should speak with their healthcare providers for accurate, up-to-date information about COVID-19 as global health organizations continue to monitor conditions and treatments.
Voices From The Frontlines
JODI O'STEEN, ZEPHYRHILLS
ER Trauma Nurse
How am I dealing with the COVID-19 crisis?
I do my part. I use social distance, only shop when I need to, wear a mask when I am around others and wash my hands and use hand sanitizer. I even found a way to make my own, it's very easy. I don't work overtime to keep myself from wearing myself down and I have lots of hobbies to relieve stress and boredom. I also meditate, which has been an amazing journey and is very easy to do.
Is there any way the public can help or ease our burden?
The fight against COVID-19 is still very overwhelming in the hospital. We hear we may have hit our peak but there are still a lot of very sick people to be cared for.
Please follow CDC guidelines, not what you may hear on the news or social media. Do your part as well, wash your hands, wear a mask, mind your social distancing and quarantine regulations. Yes, we are all getting bored and miss our family and friends, we want our businesses to open and we are all ready to get back to normal, but please be patient. There is a lot at stake here and we must keep vigilant about letting this virus wear itself out.
DAWN HOUTS, TENBEARS, N.H.
Compounding Master Herbalist
I don't know if it's called "front line" or not, but I'm out there. I'm a compounding Master Herbalist. I lived on the Kahnawake Mohawk territory reservation in Canada for awhile. I learned from various Medicine people. I am fortunate to have been chosen to learn the traditional ways and I continue to walk the path. I follow in the footsteps of my ancestors. My grandmother, who was part Mohawk, used to go to people's homes carrying her medicine bag filled with herbs and the herbal concoctions that she made using plant medicine. I find myself doing the same thing. It's definitely in my blood. Yes, I've been going to people's homes to help them. Yes, I carry my medicine bag filled with herbs and my herbal creations. Yes, I've been protecting myself and others from this sickness as much as possible. Since I am allergic to most conventional drugs, I ONLY use plant medicine. My way of eating, way of life, my passion and knowledge of plant medicine (herbs) are what keep me healthy. They are part of my daily routine. I'm a 14 year ovarian cancer survivor aka warrior withOUT chemotherapy or radiation.
My love, my passion for plant medicine... is my LIFE.
Walk in peace and strength... Dawn To Earth
CATIE MANSFIELD, TRINITY
Senior Staff Attorney, Pasco Sheriff’s Office
My name is Catie Mansfield and I am the Senior Staff Attorney for the Pasco Sheriff’s Office in Pasco County, Florida. The cases I handle are considered essential due to the nature of the material involved, therefore I have continued to work throughout the duration of COVID-19. I have also been campaigning for County Court Judge here in Pasco and recently qualified for the election in August. There is no doubt that this has been a stressful time for everyone. My advice to those working and those maintaining commitments to other aspects of life during COVID-19 would be to breathe and find time for balance. Taking the time to destress and find balance in daily life has helped me greatly to maintain a healthy mind. It has given me a sense of peace, which has allowed me to focus on areas of work that require accuracy and diligent attention.