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What is the coronavirus?

If we were to turn back time and back four months, we would see glimpses of holiday cheer, crowded shopping malls, office parties, and family gatherings.  Little did we know what was in store for the coming months ahead, and how it would turn our lives inside out and upside down. What is Coronavirus? This virus has completely disrupted all of our lives and is causing many people to fight for their lives, including some of my family members.  I can not tell you the anxiety we are feeling as we await updates from doctors and nurses. It is amazing how much our lives have changed since December 2019.  

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, as an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.  COVID-19 stands for Coronavirus Disease in 2019.  

Even though many people who contract the virus will overcome it, there are some that will not.  WHO states that this virus causes mild to moderate respiratory illness and will not require any type of special treatment.  However, older people, immunosuppressed people and people with underlying health issues are at great risk of developing a more serious illness.  Individuals dealing with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer need to be careful and diligent about washing their hands and remaining home. They are at greater risk of developing a more severe illness if they contract the virus.  

COVI-19 is spread through droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes.  It can live on the surfaces anywhere from 24 hours to several days depending on the surface type (cardboard, plastic, metal, paper, glass, etc.)  The best way to protect yourself from contracting this disease is to make sure that you diligently wash your hands and practice social distancing guidelines by remaining at least six feet away from individuals.  If you have to cough and sneeze, you should do so into a flexed elbow to prevent your droplets from spreading throughout the air.  

There are no vaccines for the coronavirus as of yet, however, there are many clinical trials happening now to hopefully produce a treatment for the future.  

It can be scary having to live in the unknown and because these are such unprecedented times we are all walking through the unknown together.  I can not help but think, “What will my plan of action be if I or my asthmatic children contract this virus?” The truth is, I would treat it like any other sickness by self quarantining, taking acetaminophen and drinking a ton of fluids.  However, what if I was one of the people who needed more medical treatment? All of these thoughts race through my head and can cause one to become paralyzed by fear. As we all face this pandemic together, fighting as one human race, we can be assured that we will come through this life-changing event stronger and more thankful than ever.