Inside: Be properly informed, so you know how to prevent COVID-19, to keep your family safe. Learn about the virus, how it is spread, and most especially how to avoid being infected. Be alert of the symptoms of COVID-19 infection and get tested ASAP.
My heart bled knowing the demise of a dear doctor-consultant, the spiraling rise of cases in just a few days, and families not able to say goodbye to lost loved ones.
Eight months ago, at a moment’s notice, almost everything stopped. Employees started to work from home, public places like restaurants and churches closed their doors, and students began head-on with online classes.
Toilet paper and food vanished from the groceries in a whim, parents struggled with teaching their kids at home and submitting their job reports at the end of the day, and the government was challenged to find ways to stop the unseen enemy and help the people cope.
All of a sudden, our lives turned around because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new coronavirus infection spread globally and by March 22, 2020, according to data from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, confirmed cases have totaled to 316,000 with 13,592 confirmed deaths and 185 countries, areas or territories now affected.
- China, where it all originated had the highest reported cases at 81,416 with total deaths at 3,261.
- Italy was second for positive cases at 53,000 but highest reported deaths at 4,825.
- Spain was third at 28,572 positive cases and total deaths at 1,720.00
- Unites States came fourth for positive cases at 27,004. At least 249 deaths were reported on March 20th.
Well, good news was that more than 93,000 people worldwide have recovered, basing on the above stats.
For daily updates read from the World Health Organization website-click here.
Slowly, some countries were able to control their cases, like Korea and Italy, which epidemiologists labelled as flattening of the curve.
Many worldwide leaders opened their economy and with caution allowed businesses to open at minimum capacity, students were allowed to attend school in person at certain times of the week, and some employees were allowed to return to work.
Most recent numbers
And then, this second wave is happening at present and it is getting really scary!
As of November 22, 2020 the statistics are shocking:
More than 58 million ( 57,882,183 ) confirmed cases globally, with 1,377,395 deaths.
COVID-19 has affected every area of our daily lives from our jobs, schools, travel, activities, food and grocery shopping, and a lot more.
Of course, we need to understand what this pandemic is all about.
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019.
It is one of the Coronaviruses which causes common colds and the more severe illnesses previously identified, the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome ( SARS-CoV ) first reported in 2003 in Guangdong Province in southern China and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome ( MERS-CoV ), which was first reported in Saudi Arabia in 2012. Although there have been so many deaths reported with these two virus infections and global spread as well but lesser, considered only as epidemics, unlike this COVID-19 which is now pandemic.
The incubation period for COVID-19 is 1-14 days, which means that if you are exposed, it will take 1-14 days for you to present with symptoms. Thus, if you have traveled somewhere, you are advised to isolate yourself for 14 days before returning to work or seeing other people.
How is COVID-19 transmitted?
COVID-19 is transmitted by droplet infection. If somebody who is affected sneezes or coughs without cover, the droplet can lodge in any surface for some time, and if somebody touches that surface, and in turn touches their nose, mouth, or eyes, he can be infected.
Breathing in of the droplet when the sick person coughs or sneezes in front of you could also be one of the ways that you can get sick. Thus, stay away from a sick person for at least 2 meters or six feet.
A study done by researchers from the National Institute of Health, the CDC, and UCLA confirmed that COVID-19 can spread on surfaces. The researchers found that COVID-19 can survive with enough “viable virus” on plastic for up to 72 hours and on cardboard for up to 24 hours.
Thus our kids’ toys and educational materials including books need to be disinfected.
COVID-19 has also been found to survive on steel for up to 48 hours, and on copper for up to four hours.
Best to clean your electronics including your cellphones, and to wash your hands after opening up packages.
The COVID-19 is spreading exponentially.
The World Health Organization states, “It took over three months to reach the first 10,000 confirmed cases, and only 12 days to reach the next 100,000.”
Thus, it is really important to observe social distancing.
Who can get infected?
Practically anyone can have the infection. Some may be asymptomatic and some will have symptoms. The most vulnerable are the elderly, those with co-morbidities, like hypertension, diabetes, heart problems, cancer, chronic kidney disease, and children.
Although affected children are only a small percentage, a new study from China has shown that kids can become very ill if affected. The most vulnerable in kids are infants.
Our special kids especially the non-verbal ones, usually cannot express how they feel, and this makes them more prone. Your observations as special needs parents are so important and timely for proper management once they get sick.
Related post: What to do when your Sick Special Child is so Irritable
Safe to say that most people who die are in the age range of 70 years old and above, but bear in mind that any age can get the virus. If you get infected, it is really important to isolate and observe social distancing to stop the spread.
In the early days, people have been so complacent that they still went for their holidays, attended big gatherings, and never isolated themselves, thus the rapid spread globally.
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Luckily, around 80 percent have mild symptoms and recover in the comforts of their homes.
The spread is by droplet infection, thus, the virus goes to the lungs and causes respiratory symptoms.
It usually starts like regular flu:
- Body weakness or tiredness
- Dry cough
Other symptoms include the following:
- Aches and pains
- Nasal stuffiness
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
Adults usually have these:
- Body pains
- Shortness of breath
- Very dry and sore throat
One in 6 infected grown-ups becomes seriously ill, with continuous fever and difficulty of breathing, thus develop pneumonia, fluid in the lungs, or multi-organ failure, leading to death.
This is the time when they need to go to the emergency without fail!
Related post: How to Spot COVID Toes in your Special Child
What to do if you have symptoms
When you develop symptoms or any of your kids at home, including your special child, go get tested ASAP in any one of the test centers in your place.
Some places like South Korea and now the United States and Canada have drive-through test areas where swabbing is done with you comfortably sitting in your car. How cool is that?
Then isolate to prevent the spread of the virus.
You can recover at home if your symptoms are mild. And you are lucky if you are!
Otherwise, run to the emergency or ask somebody to bring you or call the ambulance when you feel you have difficulty breathing and having a high fever.
At this time, it could be life-threatening and should not be ignored.
For young kids, including your non-verbal special child, these are the severe signs and symptoms to get you rush him to the emergency:
- Bluish lips
- Very fast or deep breathing
- Rising of the chest
- Unable to talk in sentences, if they are verbal
- Very weak
- Very high fever, not controlled by drugs
How can your families be protected especially your special needs kids?
Social distancing is really vital to contain COVID-19.
It involves deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid the spread of any illness.
Everybody needs to do the following:
1. Avoid crowds and public places. It makes sense that some schools have been closed as well as daycares, masses are canceled, social gatherings and meetings are prohibited, as well.
2. Have a distance of at least 6 feet or 2 meters with other people, especially those who are sick with coughing or sneezing. Practice this even when you are shopping in grocery stores.
3. Self-isolate for 14 days after you arrive from travel, including cruising.
4. Avoid touching other people, including handshakes and hugs.
Other important measures to follow to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
1. Wash hands as often as you can. You might need to wash the hands of your special needs kids if they can’t follow your instructions.
2. If unable to wash your hands, use the sanitizer if your hands are not visibly dirty.
3. Avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes with your hands.
4. Sneeze or cough into your sleeves or a tissue paper and throw it away immediately.
5. Wear masks, especially if you have symptoms.
6. Don’t visit your older relatives, like grandparents because they are vulnerable especially if they have other medical conditions. Just call them every day to check on them. If they need groceries, order them online for delivery.
How to easily understand the COVID-19 Pandemic ( It all makes sense ! )
Now we learn why we need quarantine, self-isolation, social distancing, and washing our hands frequently, among other things!
We need to reverse this COVID-19 fast pandemic to slow pandemic and it is possible!
Is there a treatment for COVID-19?
There is no definitive treatment for this infection. No antibiotics can cure COVID-19. It is a viral infection and treatments are only supportive.
Paracetamol or Acetaminophen for fever, rest, and sleep, lots of water, fruits, and Vitamin C are suggested and hospitalization with oxygen or ventilator support for those affected by severe pneumonia.
Isolation is very important to prevent spread.
Prevention is vital, thus practice social distancing all the time!
Exciting updates on vaccines for COVID-19
From the start of COVID-19 infection, several scientists all over the world tried to discover the genome sequence of the possible vaccine which could prevent the occurrence of COVID-19 in the future.
The scientists, in collaboration with Pharmaceuticals have developed experimental vaccines that utilize genetic engineering to harness cells to produce pieces of the virus that are recognized by the immune system.
In the early months of vaccine research, the first 45 volunteers for the experimental COVID-19 vaccine were injected with the test vaccine on March 16, 2020, and the scientists observed them for 6 weeks.
The volunteers ranged from ages 18 to 55, including tech company operations manager Jennifer Haller who is the first study participant.
Concerning side-effects were monitored to guide them for larger trials moving forward that will assess its efficacy.
It is expected to take a year to 18 months to fully validate any potential vaccine.
At present, the World Health Organization (WHO) reports that there are more than 150 Covid-19 vaccines that are being developed with around 44 candidates in clinical trials and 11 undergoing late-stage testing.
With encouraging results, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top US infectious-disease expert, says that the country may start giving the vaccine to priority groups, like the healthcare workers and the elderly, by the end of December.
The only FDA-approved drug for COVID patients is Remdesivir, based on several clinical trials, which showed that it shortens the length of the illness. Other studies are still ongoing for the treatment of COVID.
Protection from COVID-19 is the best way to face this pandemic!
It can’t be over-emphsasized: practice isolation- stay in your homes as much as possible so you don’t catch the virus and if you have it with only mild symptoms, stay away from people so you don’t spread the illness.
The most effective way to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 is to always wash your hands, cover your cough with the bend of your elbow or tissue and maintain a distance of at least 2 meters (6 feet) from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Use masks at all times, whether you have symptoms or not, especially if you are in public places or in closed spaces.
Now being on the second wave of the pandemic, with the spiraling of cases, let us prioritize to protect ourselves and our families.
Let us follow what the government is telling us and our health authorities.
And PRAY because our GOD is greater than the COVID-19 and He will restore everything soon!
Check out the Global updates from the World Health Organization website- click here!
Originally published: March 22, 2020 Updated: November 22, 2020
How are you and your family coping with the COVID-19 pandemic? Has anybody been infected and how was it managed? Share your experiences and let us learn from each other.