Owliver’s guide to COVID-196 min readReading Time: 5 minutes
Eight months into the pandemic, the world is opening up again and we have to ensure we are ready for what lies beyond our homes. Here is a detailed overview of everything about COVID-19 that you need to know.
What is COVID-19?
The Coronavirus Disease, abbreviated as COVID-19, is a disease caused by a virus. This disease got the status of a pandemic in March 2020 when almost all countries of the world reported the presence of cases.
The disease mirrors a regular flu. However, it can have serious consequences for elderly people and people with other medical conditions. So, we need to be careful!
This is what the virus looks like-
Did you know that coronavirus gets its name from the Latin word ‘corona’ which means crown?
That’s because of the little spikes all around its body!
How is the virus transmitted?
Allegedly, the story of its origin stars a bat, a pangolin, and a human in China. However, the more important thing to know is how it can be contracted.
The infection can be transmitted from infected people to others who are in close contact through respiratory droplets, by physical contact, or by contact with contaminated objects and surfaces
In simple words, the virus could enter your body if:
1. an infected person sneezes, spits or coughs around you and you are without a mask.
The particles in the air can enter through the nose or mouth.
2. you touch a contaminated surface with your hands (and then touch your face before sanitising). A contaminated surface is one that has been touched by an infected person (with hands that have touched his/her face or that have had exposure to contaminated droplets).
How does the virus work?
Outside a human/animal body, the virus cannot multiply.
It is only upon entering the human body that the virus attacks existing cells in the body. The virus enters through the nose and mouth and rests in cells. Once inside the cells, the virus multiplies breaking out of the cells and infecting neighbouring cells, further multiplying its hold.
Luckily, our body’s immune system kicks in to remove any foreign element.
However, there are times when the system is too weak to work without any external help. The point where the virus particles interfere with the normal functioning of other cells is the point where one gets sick!
What are its symptoms?
Commons symptoms of the virus are the same as a regular flu- runny nose, dry cough, fever, and weakness.
In serious cases, heavy breathing/ shortness of breath is an important symptom.
As a side note, you must have heard about the word, asymptomatic, in relation to Covid. A person who is infected with a disease but does not show symptoms is called an asymptomatic carrier. COVID-19 has reported many cases of asymptomatic patients.
How is Covid-19 tested?
The virus is detected through a simple test. A Q tip (like an ear bud) sample is taken from the nose. The result comes out within 48 hours.
If the result comes out positive, the person is required to take rest and stay in quarantine. This measure ensures that the disease does not spread.
How can you stay safe?
There are four simple ways to avoid contracting the virus-
1. Wash your hands, regularly, for the length of a rhyme!
A proper scrub for 20 seconds with liquid soap can keep the infection away.
Sanitize whenever soap is not available.
This is particularly important when you have gone out, touched new objects or been around new people.
For inspiration, follow The Singing Walrus.
2. Wear a mask
Whenever outside or exposed to someone from the outside, wear a mask!
Ensure that you do not touch your face before washing or sanitizing.
Also, always cough or sneeze into your elbow, never into your palm.
3. Stay home!
Unless absolutely necessary, avoid going out.
Spend time with your family at home!
What are board games, books, art etc for!?
4. Maintain distance
Whenever you are outside your home or in the company of new people, it is important to maintain a physical distance.
Maintaining distance from people does not mean that you have to have to lose connect. Stay connected through video calls; send your loved ones virtual hugs; check in on them with regular calls; look through old photographs to revisit happy memories.
There is a simple way to help the world heal.
Keep yourself safe and avoid the spread!
Also, keep worries at bay! We are all in the care of wonderful doctors, nurses, scientists and other frontline workers who are working hard to ensure that all of us stay safe.
To do our bit, we must lend a helping hand to those who are less fortunate than us. Think about how you can help. Can you help with food? Masks? Spreading awareness? Wishing well? Even a smile goes a really long way to make someone’s day! After all, we are all in this together!
We must remember, this too shall pass and soon our world will return to normal.
Till then, stay home, wear a mask, and spread kindness and gratitude!