It’s finish a year after the first known case of the coronavirus surfaced in China, the threat of the virus has overtaken normal life in the United States, and phrases such as “social distancing” and “contact tracing” have lodged themselves in our collective vocabulary. From unemployment statistics to drug trials, new information about this pandemic is constantly emerging, and dozens of theories about the disease are advanced or disproved every day. As the pandemic enters its second year, questions arise over everything from how we put vaccines in the arms of the people who need them most at why new virus variants are emerging now. We’ve put together a guide to everything you need to know about this pandemic – whether it’s how to entertain your kids or how this outbreak is affecting the economy. We will update it regularly to help you keep track of all aspects of this rapidly changing situation.
What is the coronavirus and when it became a pandemic
Coronavirus 2019 is one of hundreds we know of and one of seven known to infect humans. These viruses affect the lungs and also cause fever and sometimes gastrointestinal problems. The World Health Organization has declared the coronavirus situation a global emergency in January 2020 and a pandemic in mid-March. The pandemic will likely end, but some experts now say it is possible that the virus will become endemic and stay in a less lethal form. We don’t know exactly when and how the virus passed from bats to humans, however. efforts are underway to trace SARS-CoV-2 back to its origins.
Symptoms of covid19
The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. Others include diarrhea and loss of smell or to taste. Some people develop severe blood clots. The disease is mercurial–sweet enough for some and fatal for others. Scientists i can’t definitively say why, But women are less likely to die than men. We know that older people, especially those with underlying health issues, are more at risk. And children do better than adults, but for babies, toddlers and children with other conditions disease can be serious. On the long road to recovery, people have lived “brain fog”, heart problems, and an avalanche of others long haul problems.
Social distancing and safety issues
Social distancing is about stay away from others for long enough to slow the spread virus. When you need to be near other people, such as at the grocery store, delivering food or going for a walk, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend staying 6 feet. To enforce this, many states have implemented shelter orders on site at certain times of the pandemic. As the places began to reopen—And canceled plans to reopen—everyone has questions about what is safe. You should always avoid traveling, especially by plane. Scientists are still trying to figure out exactly how the virus spreads in the air, especially in dense cities. To navigate life amid the pandemic, some public health experts have also started to color coded guides. But there’s no sure-fire way to calculate the risk. The only way to avoid spreading Covid-19 is to follow all public health guidelines we have as many as possible.
How long does the coronavirus last on surfaces (and how to disinfect them)
Coronavirus can last up to two or three days on some surfaces, it is therefore important to regularly clean and disinfect heavily affected objects and surfaces like doorknobs, remotes and meters. Having said that, we now know that you are much more likely to get the coronavirus from shared air rather than a shared surface. One of the most important things you can do, of course, is wash your hands! You will want soap or disinfectant, but if you can’t find it in stores, you can also make your own disinfectant.
Wearing and making masks
The CDC recommends wearing a mask otherwise double in public places where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. They are a must have, and here some of the our favorites. When you refuel, remember that not all masks are created equal, but all you need to make your own fabric mask is a t-shirt and two rubber bands.
New virus variants
All viruses mutate over time, as they spread from person to person. The novel coronavirus is no exception, but recently several new strains have emerged which appear to be more contagious. The good news is that, so far, the vaccines we have are still effective enough to protect against these newer variants. As scientists boost genetic sequencing at trace these mutations and others more effective and vaccination campaigns continue, the advent of these strains means that it is more important than ever to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Testing, treatment and vaccination
The latest test updates
Recently, in particular during the holidays, many people assumed that a negative test meant it was safe to reunite with others. But as we know from superspreader event from last fall in the White House, we need to do more than just tests to prevent the virus from spreading. And even the test results themselves do not necessarily take into account the nuances of the disease.
At the moment, there is no definitive treatment for Covid-19. Some researchers have studied chloroquine, the medicine for malaria touted by President Trump, but there is no evidence that it is viable treatment. Others are considering using a anti-flu medication and Crispr to treat the disease. The antiviral Remdesivir can also be useful, although expensive. The hope is that research will find old drugs effective in treating Covid-19, thereby simplifying the drug discovery process. Overall, however, research on Covid-19 drugs has proven to be quite messy.