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OPINIONS

Coronavirus or Corona, Queens – and How to Protect Yourself

We are living one of those moments in history – remember the others?

As many of us say, do you remember where you were when you heard that Kennedy was assassinated?

Remember where you were when you first heard the word coronavirus?

I don’t remember the exact time and day I heard the word coronavirus, but I remember it was early in February and I didn’t pay much attention to it. I remember President Donald Trump saying there were only five cases of it in the U.S. – all of which were linked to Americans who had recently come back from China – and that everything would be OK again soon.

I noted the word “Corona” more than “Virus” and thought it was related to Corona, Queens, thinking that maybe some Queens residents had gone on tourism trips or perhaps to see family and had contracted a containable, common cold-type illness. Corona of course is near Astoria, the historic Greek hub of New York so it caught my attention. I certainly didn’t foresee this spiral.

A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then. However, judging by myself, the information on the Coronavirus is still somewhat confusing.

So, in this column today, I am including some tips with information mainly from The Washington Post for your convenience.

Where did the coronavirus start?

The outbreak began in Wuhan, a huge city in central China. The virus was transmitted from animals to humans and from there to the whole world.

It was first diagnosed at the end of 2019, and has killed over 7,000 people . It has turned our lives upside-down and promises financial damage of biblical proportions.

How lethal is it and who are the most vulnerable?

About 2% of cases are fatal, but many experts say that rate will decline. Older people and those suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure are more likely to die.

It also appears that men are more vulnerable than women.

There is no evidence that children are more vulnerable than the elderly.

How can I protect myself?

Epidemiologists say the best way to prepare is to stay calm: don’t panic, experts say.

Also, wash your hands frequently with soap for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet and before eating. Do not touch your eyes, nose, and mouth.

You do not need to wear masks unless you are sick or working in the health sector.

Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze.

If you are sick from another illness, stay home and drink plenty of fluids.

What are the symptoms?

They are mainly respiratory. Coughing and difficulty breathing. Fever is also possible. The severity of the symptoms depends on the age of the individual and their immune system. Those suffering from coronary artery disease or diabetes are susceptible to pneumonia, and in the worst cases, can die.

Should I see the doctor?

Experts say it is a good idea to call your doctor if you have a fever and a cough.

And if you have difficulty breathing, high fever, weakness, or lethargy then definitely see your doctor.

How can I take the test?

This is a good question. If you are ill enough to need to go to the Emergency Room, they will give you the test. However, contrary to what President Trump says, most of us cannot take the test.

When will this nightmare be over?

It might follow a seasonal course, with a peak in the winter, before returning in the fall. It could be like another virus, like common colds or like a normal flu – but it can be different and worse, according to experts.

It is possible that in the meantime, some medical treatment can be developed, including a vaccine. Soon, I hope. But I’m not a doctor.

Most of the above information – as aforementioned – I obtained from the Washington Post, and I believe it is accurate.

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