All over the world, cases of people diagnosed with COVID-19 seem to increase. Policymakers around the world are struggling to slow down the rapidly escalating reports of COVID-19 patients. Unfortunately, throughout Europe and the United States, the situation is no longer in it’s infancy. Singapore and South Korea are among the few countries who have taken prompt action through the policy of maximum testing and ban on travel. In countries like India, where the outbreak is currently in the beginning stages, the cases are increasing everyday. With limited resources, developing nations would have to face tough consequences if the rate of infection increases beyond the capacity of resources available, with the poor being the most affected.

This article has been written with the intent to educate people about COVID-19; how people can protect themselves from this disease and how to slow the spread of this pandemic.

Coronavirus outbreak is escalating rapidly everyday. Proper sanitization has extensively helped to avoid further infection

It is estimated that around 2,008,164 have been infected with COVID-19, and that number is likely to increase every day. Of them, 486,247 patients are estimated to have recovered. These survivors and their first-hand encounter with this disease- their experiences with symptoms, testing and treatment- have taught us important lessons about its transmission and progression.

The most important lesson is this- as the world panicked, those who stayed home survived this disease best.

 

If we can slow down the spread of virus, we can save thousands of lives.

1. The transfer of coronavirus is rapid like wildfire

Social distancing, proper sanitizing and washing hands might be the only ways to reduce the chances of being infected with COVID-19, but don’t completely eliminate the chances of contracting it. COVID-19 is a respiratory disease which spreads through droplet transmission- coughing, sneezing, saliva or discharge from the nose. It may be possible that a person can contract COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.

The virus also survives on surfaces of different elements for different periods of time. The CDC recommends routine sanitization of frequently touched surfaces. 

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Along with washing hands during regular intervals, proper disinfection of frequently touched surface is equally important

Practicing strict social distancing is the most important precaution, as being around those infected does not eliminate the chances of contraction entirely, despite taking precautionary measures.

It has become clear over time that this virus is exquisitely suited to spreading.

2. It is more than just a flu or a cold

Even though there are some similarities between the symptoms of COVID-19 and the common flu, they have some significant differences. People who have the flu will typically experience symptoms within 1–4 days. The symptoms for COVID-19 can however develop between 1–14 days.

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The symptoms of coronavirus are more severe and last for almost 14 days

“It is not the flu,” said Chiara DiGiallorenzo, a 25-year-old based in Miami who’s been battling COVID-19 since March 6, emphasizing that many people who get it are “fighting for air.” The patients have reported that even though the illness started with fever and fatigue, common symptoms of the flu, they have felt something different as they were left short of breath and could feel growing tightness in their chest. Other symptoms reported include a debilitating “brain fog”, that made it impossible to focus, and fatigue.

According to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association, as many as 98% of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized had a fever, between 76% and 82% had a dry cough, and 11% to 44% reported exhaustion and fatigue.  

 

Infectious diseases expert Dr. Anthony Fauci shares what makes COVID-19 so insidious, busts myths about the virus and breaks down why adhering to public health guidelines is paramount.

3. People should get serious about this, even if they’re not diagnosed

Most patients diagnosed with mild COVID-19 symptoms, like a slight fever and dry cough, are said to recover on their own. But belonging to the low risk category shouldn’t result in negligence. The younger generation should realize that if the virus transfers to those less strong, it can be deadly. It is important for people to realize the gravity of the situation. Nobody is invincible.

One in five people who contract COVID-19 require hospital care. Around 15% of cases experience a severe infection requiring oxygen to help with respiratory symptoms. 5% experience critical infections, requiring ventilation. With the limited number of ventilators and services, keeping up with the growing number of patients has become increasingly difficult. Health professionals around the globe are facing ventilator shortages, as they race to treat those critically ill with the novel COVID-19 respiratory disease. Those at a higher risk of severe or critical infection include older people and those with underlying health conditions.

It is in the hands of every single person to stay at home to help slow down the spread of the virus.

 

Connor Reed, a British man who works at a school in Wuhan, explains how it felt to have Covid-19 

4. Give and accept support

Coronavirus has plunged the world into uncertainty and constant news about the pandemic can make us feel relentless. According to a recent survey conducted by Indian Psychiatry Society, there has been a 20 percent rise in mental illness cases.

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With the spread of pandemic, the mental health of patients and people associated to them is affected

Even in the midst of such a pandemic, people have been diagnosed, treated and supported well. During this difficult period, those who are affected, require mental and physical support. Even though some are fortunate enough to have someone to take care of them, there are people who require support during these times of isolation.

It’s a great time to reach out to a friend or relative and check in. The fear of unknown consequences of this deadly disease can be traumatizing. Even the healthiest patients, who are not old and don’t have any medical history have succumbed.

Dr Manu Tiwari, Head of Department, Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences, Fortis Hospital (Noida), said the numbers can rise in the days to come. “The lockdown has had a massive impact on the lifestyle of people. They are staying indoors with limited resources. They are now suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and even alcohol withdrawal syndrome,” he added.

 

5. Don’t freak out and panic-shop

Ever since the news of the outbreak was reported, people have been panic shopping, especially toilet paper rolls. Panic buying is a human response to a crisis, not specifically due to a shortage of food supply, but driven by fear.
Hundreds of toilet paper rolls are not going to help you overcome the illness. People need to stop hoarding and practice conscious shopping.

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Panic shopping has led to emptied shelves and shortage of essential products for those in need

People should be empathetic towards older people who aren’t able to buy groceries because the shelves have been cleared out. Due to panic shopping, there are shortages in essential goods supply and medicines, especially for those in need. While all this panic buying may keep the hoarders on the safer side, it is not sustainable and causes unnecessary scarcity in the market, making essential items inaccessible for those in need. At the same time, such sudden demand surges and change in buying patterns impact the supply chain significantly. Effective steps such as home delivery of essential goods have already been initiated by the government.

 

6. Cut back on the news

The news coverage of the Coronavirus is everywhere. You wake up, switch on the news, scroll through social media and see endless posts about coronavirus. Suddenly you’ve got a headache and your throat begins to feel dry. The symptoms are there when you’re worried but disappear when you’re distracted.

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Constant news and updates on the coronavirus pandemic has led to stress and anxiety among people

News reporters are constantly reporting about cases and situations that can be a bit depressing and upsetting.
Staying updated and informed about the current situation is important. It is equally important to maintain a positive outlook.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) – recently shared advice on how to deal with stress during the coronavirus outbreak.

It stated:

  • Avoid watching, reading or listening to news that could cause you to feel anxious or distressed.
  • Seek information mainly to take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones.
  • Seek information updates at specific times.
  • Think about switching off or limiting what you listen, watch or read.

There is also a lot of fake news going around. Try to figure out the authenticity of the news and make sure that you do not spread any news from an unverified source.

7. Focus on the upside

Patients who were previously diagnosed said that they persistently worried about what would happen to them as the effects of coronavirus seem different for many people. These concerns not only affect the patient’s mental health but also traumatizes the family. It is important to face this pandemic with optimism and positivity by spending valuable time with family.

Patients recommend focusing on the silver linings, if you can, rather than getting bogged down by the negatives.
People should look at the bright side of quarantine. We have an opportunity to spend time with family, connect with each other and reaffirm the way we behave and live our lives. As we’re temporarily separated from loved ones, it is important to take this time to love yourself a little more.

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On the flip side, the pandemic has enabled people to spend more time with their families and loved ones

Celebrities around the world are encouraging people to stay home. Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson became the first known celebrities to openly share their diagnosis when they released a statement on March 11.

Olga Kurylenko, known for playing Camille in the James Bond film Quantum of Solace, said “Locked up at home after having tested positive for Coronavirus,” she wrote in a post on her Instagram. “I’ve actually been ill for almost a week now. Fever and fatigue are my main symptoms. Take care of yourself and do take this seriously!”

8. Stay strict on Social distancing and self quarantine

Social-distancing and Self Quarantine are the most effective steps to stay protected against coronavirus, as well as, saving the lives of others. These decisions should be strictly followed because there have been cases where older people have died after refusing ventilators and saving it for younger patients.

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Social distancing deprives host for the virus to breed; thereby slowing down the spread of coronavirus (Getty Images)

Singapore has introduced new laws governing social distancing during the coronavirus outbreak that could see offenders serve six months in jail. Such policies by Singapore is key to epidemic control as the situation there seems to be under control.

9. It is not just the older population

The risk of death starts to climb noticeably after age 60. With each passing decade, the ratio of deaths to confirmed infections looks grimmer. Without question, this virus is going to reshape the world’s demographics.
In South Korea, the outbreak took off when the virus first emerged and infected people who were mainly young, between the ages of 20 to 29, who made up to 30% of the total confirmed cases. Regionally, it is noticed that there are young and healthy people who were really sick.
While 38 percent of patients in Italy have been over 70, 37 percent have been in their 50s and 60s, according to a study  published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. About a quarter are adults younger than age 50. In France, health officials said more than half of the country’s 300 patients in intensive care units are under 60, The Associated Press reported.

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Coronavirus is observed to be more fatal for older people, even though there have been many reports of young people with severe symptoms

 

Just like working united can help us fight the pandemic, Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub also believes that if all stakeholders work united towards sustainability, threats from climate change can be thwarted.

Earth5R’s Global Sustainability Hub is a cross-sector and cross-country collaboration in pursuit of UN Sustainable Development Goals. It is an excellent opportunity for governments and the private sector to engage with communities, use Sustainability-based models to drive economic change and create social and environmental impact. The project brings experts and experiences of multiple sectors together which drives collective learning. Under this project, we work with policymakers, scientists, entrepreneurs and various other types of leaders and take them to grass root levels to understand ground realities for better decisions, policy-making, and innovations.

This article was based on Huffington post –

https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/living-with-coronavirus-diagnosed_l_5e77a00dc5b62f90bc4c9f3a

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