Coronavirus: what you need to know and how you should prepare

The current situation 

There are now more than 100 confirmed cases in the U.S., with 31 of those in Washington state, which also has the first related deaths (nine). 

92,312 confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, with more cases popping up outside China than inside.

3,131 deaths have been linked to the virus. Deaths worldwide exceed those from SARS. And 48,190 individuals have recovered.

The U.K. announced its first local transmission of COVID-19 in a man from Surrey, England, who had not traveled abroad recently, the BBC reported.

Sub-Saharan Africa confirmed its first COVID-19 case in a man in his 30s, the Post reported. 

Though some people’s illnesses will be severe, the vast majority are COVID-19 illnesses are probably going to be relatively mild, even asymptomatic (a recent report from China looking at over 72,000 infected people shows 80% of cases are mild). 

How is it spread? 

Early evidence suggests the coronavirus mainly spreads through respiratory droplets that float through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Those droplets can either land on you; making you sick, or they can fall onto a surface and take up residency for some time.

Newer research suggests that COVID-19 may also spread through people’s feces. A person doesn’t wipe efficiently, traces of poop cling onto their hands, they touch a doorknob, and boom, the virus has a new home. 

How long can Coronavirus live on surfaces and does disinfecting work?

Coronavirus can live about 9 days on most surfaces at room temperature. 

To disinfect surfaces, use a solution with 62-100% alcohol or low concentration bleach. 

If using wipes, wipe once and throw in trash so as to not spread onto another surface. 

Do masks work? 

Don’t bother with the face masks. Health experts largely agree they won’t help; unless you’re already sick, in which case they can shield people around you from your own coughs and sneezes. 

Things to remember

• Stock up on bottled water, canned goods, and other non perishables. 

• MRE’s or “meals ready to eat” can be purchased from stores like Sam’s Club. 

• Stock up on any items you may need in the event of a quarantine. 

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

• Alcohol (any cheap vodka) 

• Aloe Vera Gel 

• Tea Tree and Lavender Oils 

1. Fill bottle 1⁄4 to 1⁄3 of the way with alcohol 

2. Add 10-15 drops of each essential oil 

3. Fill the remainder of the bottle with aloe vera gel 

Note: Hand washing with regular soap and water is always best for killing germs! 

Foods to help boost your immune system 

Boosting your immune system in conjunction with good hand-washing and disinfecting practices can aid in the prevention of coronavirus. 

• Ginger 

• Garlic 

• Broccoli 

• Watermelon 

• Sweet Potatoes 

• Elderberries 

• Acai Berries 

• Honey 

• Spinach 

• Turmeric 

• Oyster 

• Almonds 

• Mushrooms 

• Papaya 

• Oranges 

• Lemons 

• Limes 

• Grapefruit 

• Miso 

• Green Tea 

• Black Tea 

• Sunflower Seeds 

• Kiwi 

• Red Bell Peppers 

• Shellfish 

Non-pharmaceutical interventions and cleaning tips 

• Stay at home when sick. 

• Cover coughs and sneezes with tissue (then throw away) or with elbow or upper arm.

• Wash hands often with soap and water (at least 20 seconds; sing the happy birthday song twice). 

• Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you don’t have soap and water accessible. 

• Routinely clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and items such as phones, toys, tv remotes, computer keyboards, desks, door knobs. At least 3 times a day. Can use bleach water solution. 

• Try not to touch surfaces and objects that are used and shared often.

• Try to keep distance from people who are sick.

• Limit hand shaking, hugging and kissing.

• Wash hands before touching eyes, nose or mouth.

• Wash hands before and after eating and using the bathroom. 

• Wash your laundry with hot water.

• Most people don’t give bleach enough time to work its magic, though, so make a point to apply it, let it sit for a while, then wipe it clean. 

• Use liquid soap as opposed to a bar. 

• Dry your hands with paper towels, not cloth towels, to avoid spreading microorganisms around. 

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