Some thoughts on Corona Virus transmission and protection – beyond the hype.
By Keith Bluel PT, DPT
Carona virus or Covid-19 is becoming more prevalent in the US at this time and is the top story for most news broadcasts including the health, politics, and business segments. At this time the CDC has a number of recommendations to minimize your risk of getting / spreading the virus and what to do in these times of shortage of personal protective devices.
First it is important to note that as of this writing there were 2 known and 7 presumptive positive cases in Arizona. As you may know there are several people including congressmen who have self quarantined out of an abundance of caution. There are no known cases in Yavapai county at this time. Remember swine flu? It was twice as easy to get swine flu from an infected person than it is to get Corona virus and that illness was only in the news for 6-9 months. Below are some ways to protect yourself and your fellow Arizonans to maximize every one’s health.
Protect yourself by washing your hands frequently and thoroughly (at least 20 seconds of suds while washing); use a hand sanitizer which is at least 60% alcohol; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; and get lots of rest (sleep helps your immune system). Also avoid contact with anyone who is sick – whether you think they have Corona virus or not. In Europe for example people are keeping 3 feet worth of distance between them and the person in line in front of them in the grocery store.
Protect your community members by staying home if you are sick; cover coughs or sneezes, clean and disinfect surfaces including light switches, door knobs, etc.; and only wear a face mask if you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is sick who cannot wear one. The CDC has demonstrated that wearing a N95 mask is not enough to prevent getting the virus alone. If you are cleaning surfaces then most major disinfectants will work. If you use bleach you can use 5 tablespoons per gallon or 4 teaspoons per quart.
Do not panic. Corona virus is not rampant in our community. It does not have negative effects for the majority of people and is primarily at higher risk for serious complications for those who are over 65 and/or have comorbid conditions such as heart disease, lung conditions, or diabetes. If you feel as though you are at higher risk you can always decrease your risk by visiting places you need to go at off peak hours.