Everything You Need to Know About COVID-19
If you have picked up a newspaper or glanced at a television screen in the past month, you are almost certainly aware that a coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading across the United States and throughout the world. Unfortunately, much of the news coverage surrounding the disease has been more dramatic than informative, so you may not be fully aware of exactly what COVID-19 is, and how you can protect yourself against it.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common questions that people have about this disease:
What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is a type of coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that can cause symptoms that are similar to those experienced by individuals with a common cold. The illness is spread from person to person through the respiratory droplets that are expelled when an infected individual coughs or sneezes.
How Long Does it Take for the Symptoms of COVID-19 to Appear?
For some people, the symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, coughing, and shortness of breath) can begin to appear as quickly as two days after they are exposed to the disease. However, studies have shown that it can take up to two weeks for many patients to start experiencing the symptoms of this illness.
How Deadly is COVID-19?
Having reviewed more than 72,000 cases of COVID-19, researchers from China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that the overall fatality rate of this illness was 2.3%. However, they also noted that this rate was highly dependent on a patient’s age and health status.
Their results showed that the case-fatality average rate (CFR) for patients aged 80 and above was 14.8%. The average rate for those aged 70-79 was 8.0%.
Individuals who were already critically ill when they were infected with COVID-19 had the highest fatality rate. The Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that roughly 49.0% of patients that fell into this category died as a result of the disease.
Is There a Vaccine for COVID-19?
At the time of writing (March 2020), there is no vaccine for COVID-19. According to Anthony Fauci, MD, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “It will take at least a year to a year and a half to have a vaccine we can use.”
In the interim, the experts at the National Institutes of Health and most medical professionals are advising people to take precautionary steps to reduce their chances of being infected with COVID-19.
How to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
There is a wide range of simple and straightforward steps that you can take to significantly reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, including:
Washing Your Hands Regularly
That bathroom door handle or New York City parking meter that you touched a few hours ago was almost certainly used by dozens of other people before you got to it. When your hand comes into contact with such an object, it can pick up the viruses left behind by those individuals – including COVID-19.
To reduce your risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 after touching a dirty object, the World Health Organization recommends that you wash your hands regularly throughout the day. You do not need to use any special chemicals to rid your hands of dangerous viruses. Soap and water will do the trick.
Avoiding Touching Your Face
If you are like most people, you probably touch your face hundreds of times each day without even realizing it. However, if you would like to protect yourself against COVID-19, you should try to avoid doing so.
That’s because respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19 typically make their way into your system through your mouth, nose, and eyes. When you touch your face, you make it much easier for viruses to move from your hands to these vulnerable parts of your body.
If you absolutely must touch your face, take a moment to disinfect your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer first.
Avoiding Unnecessary Contact with Other People
When you shake another person’s hand or get change from a cashier at a Los Angeles parking garage, you run the risk of picking up whatever viruses that individual may be carrying. If you wish to avoid becoming infected with COVID-19, you would be wise to avoid coming into contact with other individuals wherever possible.
When you meet a friend or acquaintance, a friendly wave or nod is likely a better option than a handshake. And if you need to find parking in Los Angeles, consider booking online instead of paying in-person.
Disinfecting Surfaces in Your Home Regularly
The counters, faucet handles, and light switches in your home are touched dozens of times each day. Every time they are used, a new batch of viruses is transferred on to them. If one of those viruses happens to be COVID-19, your entire family could be at risk of contracting the disease.
To lower your family’s risk of becoming infected after touching a dirty surface, disinfect those surfaces regularly using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
Call Your Doctor if You Feel Unwell
If you start to develop a fever or a bad cough, it can be tempting to grab your belongings and head to the nearest hospital as soon as possible out of fear that you have been infected with COVID-19. However, since visiting a hospital may increase your exposure to viruses and bacteria, doing so is not advisable.
The World Health Organization recommends that individuals who feel sick take a few minutes to call their physician to discuss their symptoms before taking further action. They will be able to provide you with advice on what you should do next.
The Bottom Line
COVID-19 is a disease that has the potential to infect a significant portion of the world’s population. For individuals who are elderly or have other health concerns, there is a very real risk of death from this disease.
As such, if you wish to reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 or spreading it to your vulnerable friends or relatives, you would be wise to take preventative steps. Something as simple as washing your hands after touching a San Francisco parking meter can potentially save a life.
We recommend researching parking places beforehand to find hourly parking that does not require minimal interaction and physical contact. You can find in cities such as San Francisco parking garages, lots that you can scan in and out. These SF parking spots have zero physical contact. Learn more about the WayPass, available in SF, NYC, and LA.