COVID-19 Care Package

It’s been just over six months since the first known case of coronavirus surfaced in China, and less than that since the threat of the virus overtook normal life stateside and phrases like “social distancing” and “contact tracing” became lodged in our collective vocabulary. From rising unemployment statistics to promising drug trials, new information about this pandemic emerges constantly, and dozens of theories about how the disease spreads and can be treated get advanced or disproven on any given day. In recent weeks, debates have raged about everything from reopening schools to whether “COVID parties” are a thing (they’re not!). We’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about this pandemic—be it how to keep your children entertained or how this outbreak is affecting the economy.

❓ From social distancing to viral spread to staying sane, here’s everything we know and advise about the coronavirus.

📦 The Covid-19 virus can linger on objects for as little as a few hours or as long as a couple of days, depending on the surface. Here’s the research.

😷 If you’re planning on going out in public anytime soon, you’re going to need a mask. Here are the best ones you can buy, or how to make one at home.

🧼 It’s not just your hands that need washing—your gadgets, clothes, and home need it too. Here’s how to properly disinfect your stuff.

💻 Some of you are work-from-home pros, but if you’re new to it, here’s how to stay productive without losing your mind.

😔 It’s hard not to be anxious about a global pandemic, but here’s how you can protect yourself and your family without spiraling, and how to not hate the loved ones you’re quarantined with.

✂️ It may still be a while before you can see your hairstylist, so here’s how to cut your hair at home, plus other ways to keep yourself lookin’ fresh.

🦠 Read all of our coronavirus coverage here (source).

The Risks – Know Them – Avoid Them

Symptomatic people are not the only way the virus is shed. We know that at least 44% of all infectionsand the majority of community-acquired transmissionsoccur from people without any symptoms (asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic people). You can be shedding the virus into the environment for up to 5 days before symptoms begin.

Infectious people come in all ages, and they all shed different amounts of virus.

5 Coronavirus Facts to Share

NBC-2.com WBBH News for Fort Myers, Cape Coral & Naples, Florida

This information doesn’t mean you should panic, but you do need to take the pandemic seriously. Everyone has a responsibility — not only to protect themselves, but to protect their friends, family, neighbors, and community. You don’t want to be a vector for the virus, and the best way to curb the outbreak is to strictly practice social distancing.

1. People are contagious very early on in the infection, potentially even before they’re symptomatic. A study conducted by researchers in Germany found that nine people infected with the novel coronavirus were shedding huge amounts of the virus — thousands to millions of copies — as early as Day One of their infection, when they had only mild, cold-like symptoms. In fact, virus levels in the nose and throat were highest on that first day and declined in the days after. This suggests that infected people are shedding the virus even before they are symptomatic.

2. It can take up to 11 days for symptoms to appear after infection. Research has shown that the median incubation period is five days. That means some people will develop symptoms sooner and some will develop them later. The study also reported that only 2.5% of people showed symptoms two days after exposure, and 97.5% of people were symptomatic after 11 days. This means that if you’ve come into contact with someone who has the virus, you need to quarantine for the full 14 days to be safe. This timeframe is especially important because you can be highly contagious during this time and not even know it (see point above).

3. The virus lives on surfaces for up to three days. In an experiment, scientists created an aerosol that contained the novel coronavirus to mimic how it would be spread by a sneeze, a cough, or an exhale. Then, they sprayed that aerosol onto different surfaces to see how long the virus could survive. On copper, the virus was detectable for up to four hours, on cardboard for up to 24 hours, and on plastics and stainless steel for two to three days. This means that objects can remain contaminated for a much longer time, and people can become infected with the virus if they touch the object and then touch their face. You can also get infected if you inhale a sick person’s sneeze, cough, or exhale.

4. The rate of the infection is growing exponentially. The WHO estimates the infection rate for the novel coronavirus is between 2 and 2.5, meaning that every person who gets sick will infect another two or three people. At that pace, the number of people with the virus will double every six days. This rate has led epidemiologists to predict that 40% to 70% of the population could contract the virus if extreme social distancing measures aren’t taken.

5. It’s not just old people who are getting seriously sick. A lot of young people have blown off the risk of Covid-19 because most of the deaths have been reported in people over the age of 60. However, a new report by the CDC found that in the U.S., 38% of people who were hospitalized for Covid-19 were between the ages of 20 and 54, and 12% of ICU beds were taken up by people aged 20 to 44 years. Even if the virus doesn’t kill you as a young person, it can still make you very sick.