COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic affecting over 196 countries, areas and territories. This unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the virus has impacted each and every person globally. The greatest concern is about what it is doing to the quality of people’s lives as city and country boarders become locked down and economies begin to suffer as the ebb and flow of life as we speak comes to a screeching halt.
Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating. More than 375,000 cases have been recorded worldwide and the virus is in nearly every country with numbers growing by the hour. Now, countries in Europe and the U.S are becoming the new hubs of the outbreak as the virus spreads.
Despite all the daily discouraging local and international news, there is hope, you have to believe it. The virus will go away when it is ready to. In China, the center of the original outbreak, the worst now appears to be over as China is prepared to lift the lock-down in Wuhan. There is also a lot of data that has been gathered from the first 72,314 people diagnosed with Covid-19 from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention that sheds some light into the most vulnerable to the virus. You can keep up to date on the WHO’s website. Here are some general recommendations from the WHO that everyone should continue to follow.
WHO recommends that everyone do the following:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently.
- Maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance with anyone coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Practice proper hygiene by covering your mouth with a tissue or your bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
- If you have a fever, cough or find it difficult to breathe, seek medical help as soon as possible.
Why do you have to practice social distancing?
When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
First steps to take if you start coughing, sneezing or have difficulty breathing:
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.
When and if you should use a mask:
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Common myths about COVID-19 that are not true:
There might be some news and content out there that may tell you that certain practices will help in fighting the coronavirus, myths like that does not help the global fight against the outbreak, so make sure to look at the important myth busters that WHO have put together in the link below.
All the FAQs on COVID-19
To know more about the virus, how to protect from it, how to prevent the spread and everything else, head to the following dedicated FAQs page. And make sure to keep a track of this information and update yourself as often as possible.
What can you do immediately?
Keep practicing the preventative measures above and take a deep breath and be grateful for what you do have and the things that are making you happy during these difficult times. As athletes we know just how much positive energy and mental strength affects your performance and your ability to overcome adversity. You cannot control what goes on outside but you can take proactive measures to protect yourself and those around you. Stay tuned next week for some easy and inexpensive ways to keep your immune system strong during these challenging times.