Over 80,000 cases of the Coronavirus with over 3,000 deaths! China is quarantining people. A cruise ship was turned away by the Dominican Republic. They might cancel the Olympics in Japan this year.
Is your brain swirling around trying to figure out what is going on?
What on earth is a Coronavirus any way?
I’m glad you asked. We all know that viruses can cause our bodies to become sick.
A Coronavirus is a specific group of viruses. “Corona” means “crown” in Latin. if you look at a coronavirus under a microscope, these viruses look like a crown with little spikes sticking out of it.
Coronaviruses are a family of several viruses that make a person sick. Some kinds of coronaviruses cause the common cold, while other kinds cause the flu. Another type of coronavirus causes SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome).
There is a newly discovered coronavirus is called SARS Co-V2 ( severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2). This coronavirus causes a disease called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Most of the cases have been in China, but the disease is beginning to spread across the world. Some cases have been reported in the USA.
Symptoms include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The incubation period is 2 to 14 days. In other words, it takes 2 to 14 days from the time you are exposed to a sick person to when you come down with the disease.
Yes, you are right. It does sound a lot like the respiratory flu. CDC reported that this flu season (winter 2019/2020), there have been 15 million cases of the flu with 8,200 deaths. 54 of those deaths were children. People who are in the most danger when they get the flu are the elderly, young children, people with chronic medical conditions, and those with respiratory diseases. [learn more here: https://www.contagionlive.com/news/us-flu-cases-climb-to-15-million-with-54-pediatric-deaths-recorded-in-201920-season]
In China, the causes of death from Coronavirus Disease 19 are linked to age, too, with the elderly making up most of the deaths. Men smoke more than women in China and more men die from this disease than women in China. This may make deaths related to smoking, but we don’t know for sure. They are still gathering data on this in China and around the world. [learn more here: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/ ]
What Scientists Know & Don’t Know
Because the disease is so newly discovered, scientists don’t know much about it yet. But scientists all over the world are devoting a lot of time and money to find out how this disease works and how to stop it.
What scientists do know is that the disease is spread from respiratory droplets from an infected person. If a person has the virus, when they cough or sneeze infected liquid droplets are released into the air. They can land on a person or a surface like a counter or table.
Think about how often you touch your face, nose, and mouth, or rub your eyes. That is the way a person transfers the droplet from their hand to inside their bodies.
Why Is It Spreading Around the World?
Tom and Terri teach English in China. With the Coronavirus Disease 19 spreading through the nation, they desperately want to go home to America. They are not allowed to fly directly to the USA so they travel to Europe and fly in from there.
Sam travels back and forth to China once a month. He can’t wait to get home, especially with talk of a worldwide epidemic, or pandemic.
You see, the disease spreads because many Americans, Canadians, Europeans, Africans, Australians, Japanese, and Middle Easterners travel in and out of China. Some of these people have been exposed to Coronavirus Disease 19.
If flights or ships are blocked from China, people will simply fly to another place and fly into their destination from there. It is virtually impossible to stop a disease from spreading around the world when we live in a time that it is so easy to travel in and out of countries.
How to Avoid Exposure
You can’t really avoid exposure without asking everyone if they’ve had any contact with someone who has had any contact with someone who has ….
You see, the only thing you can do is practice healthy habits that prevent you from getting the respiratory flu each winter. [Learn more with 9 Easy Ways to Stay Healthy During Flu Season]
- PRAY! God hears our prayers. Pray for protection. Pray for healing for those who have the disease. Pray for wisdom for medical personnel and scientist who are seeking to study and treat the disease.
- Get plenty of sleep
- Eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables
- Stay dry
- Exercise regularly
- Get out in the fresh air and sunshine, avoiding people who are coughing and sneezing
- Target the most “germy” places in your home and keep them clean. Disinfect with bleach
- Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough with a tissue (or even your elbow)
- Get lots of rest when you feel under the weather to let your immune system do its job
- Shave facial hair for men–beards and mustaches are perfect environments for respiratory droplets to get caught and make their way into the nose or mouth to make you sick!
- Don’t pick your nose
- Don’t rub your eyes
- Don’t touch your mouth
- Wash your hands FREQUENTLY! I can’t stress this enough. In fact, this is the number one way to avoid getting any kind of virus!
What About Masks?
Masks are not helpful in preventing you from getting the disease. The germs drop on the mask and then get on your hands when you touch the mask to take it off.
However, if you are sick, a mask will prevent others from getting your germs.
Why Aren’t The Politicians In Washington Working Together?
I don’t know. They should. This is not a political issue; it’s a health issue.
Why Does The News Make It Seem So Scary?
Fear sells! People get scared and watch lots of TV which sells more advertising.
I wouldn’t get my updates from news channels.
Where Should I Get Updates On Coronavirus Disease 19?
I like to get my information from the CDC (Center for Disease Control). The CDC is filled with medical personnel and scientists who work hard to study diseases and find cures.
I go to this page on the CDC website for information: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary. They continue to update the page as information becomes available.
What Is The CDC Doing To Protect Americans?
Aggressively, CDC is working hard to communicate to the public, monitor the disease, train health care professionals, and issue travel advisories.
They have developed diagnostic kits that are being sent to hospitals and clinics throughout the country. Unfortunately, some of those kits were faulty and are having to be reissued. Replacements are on the way.
Educational documents, posters, and videos are being prepared and distributed to schools, hospitals, businesses, clinics, and government offices.
CDC is working on a vaccine and effective treatment.
Sometimes CDC is holding travelers from certain countries to make sure they are not bringing the disease into the USA.
Videos To Watch
If your children are asking questions are showing interest, I have found two videos online about Coronavirus Disease 19.
Here is a video you can watch with your children: https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/
Here is another video about the Coronavirus.
For those trying to make sense of this disease, Pastor John Piper has a wonderful article, How Do We Make Sense of the Coronavirus. Ultimately, we have to trust God in all things including health and safety.
The best thing we can do is pray.
Secondly, stay healthy, keep your environment clean, disinfect surfaces, and WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN!
Until next time, Stay Healthy & Happy Homeschooling!