COVID-19 (otherwise known as coronavirus) is quickly making its way around the Maryland region. People are nervous. Grocery stores are seeing record amounts of sales. And many are concerned about future closures and restrictions.
We can’t tell what will be coming in the future. But we can explain everything we know at this point. Arming yourself with up-to-date knowledge is the best way to calm nerves while also giving yourself the best chance at remaining healthy.
Any possible symptoms of COVID-19 should be addressed with a self-quarantine. Keep yourself separated from friends and family. The symptoms evolve as the sickness progresses, but these are the initial symptoms of the virus, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Shortness of breath
These symptoms can arrive anywhere between 2 and 14 days after someone is first exposed to the virus. However, a person can still be contagious and spread the virus to others even if they haven’t started experiencing any symptoms.
The more advanced symptoms of the virus are:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
While these are the main symptoms associated with COVID-19, they are not the only symptoms. Call your medical provider if you experience any severe or concerning symptoms.
It’s important to know that this virus doesn’t affect everyone the same. There are groups of people that are more susceptible to severe symptoms of the virus. These groups include:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
What To Do If You Get Sick
Your first indication of becoming ill is going to be your own feeling of being sick. So you need to be aware of the warning signs and pay close attention to any changes in your health.
And if you do notice a change in your health, you need to sequester yourself away from your family and pets. Take a room of your house and set up some bedding, changes of clothes, and anything you’ll need to occupy your time.
But even if you do this, you will still need to access shared areas. This can be done as long as caution is exercised. Wear a mask. Cover any sneezes or coughs. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly and instruct anyone in your house to do the same.
Seek medical attention if the symptoms get worse and it becomes difficult to breathe. But until then, try to treat your symptoms at home. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are going to be very busy so you shouldn’t add to that unless it’s totally necessary.
But if it gets to the point where medical attention is needed, be sure to call your medical provider before leaving your home. Tell them you are coming in and are showing the symptoms of COVID-19. This gives them the opportunity to take protective measures for the staff as well as other patients.
How To Protect Yourself
The best thing anybody can do at this point is to avoid large groups. Work from home if possible. Don’t visit restaurants or bars. Avoid using public transportation if you can. This is why most professional sports leagues have suspended play. The virus can be transmitted fairly easily from person-to-person so limited exposure to others severely limits the chance of contracting the virus.
Those in a high risk group are suggested to stock up on at least two weeks’ worth of medications and food. This will limit the necessity to go into public.
But when you do have to go into public, take precautions such as avoiding touching your face. An infected person can sneeze or cough on a public surface, then you can touch it, and infect yourself by introducing the germs into your system. Avoid this possibility by washing your hands before wiping your eyes or mouth or nose.
Leave a buffer zone of at least six feet between yourself and others in public. This way, an infected person has a smaller chance to spread the virus to you.
Strict attention to hygiene can give you a much better chance at remaining healthy.