What is COVID-19, and What Can You Do to Help?

The world is experiencing an unprecedented pandemic right now as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to shut down schools, workplaces, cities and countries as a whole. We want to provide you with some helpful information as you go into your weekend wondering what you can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to keep yourself and your loved one safe. 

What is the Coronavirus? "Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans." (World Health Organization)

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus? "Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death. " (World Health Organization) If you think you may have contracted Coronavirus, please take the following Alberta Health Services COVID-19 Self Assessment

How does the Coronavirus spread? "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COVID-19 is mainly spread from person-to-person, usually via close contact (within six feet). It can spread through physical contact like handshaking if someone's hands are contaminated with the virus. And it can also spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The virus may also spread from person-to-person through surfaces that have been touched by those infected." (Health.com)

What does it mean to 'Flatten The Curve'? "The "curve" researchers are talking about refers to the projected number of people who will contract COVID-19 over a period of time... The curve takes on different shapes, depending on the virus's infection rate. The faster the infection curve rises, the quicker the local health care system gets overloaded beyond its capacity to treat people. A flatter curve, on the other hand, assumes the same number of people ultimately get infected, but over a longer period of time. A slower infection rate means a less stressed health care system, fewer hospital visits on any given day and fewer sick people being turned away." (Live Science)

 Practice social distancing! Do you best to maintain a 6 foot parameter around anyone you interact with, and avoid interacting with others at all if possible. Hunker down at home and 'self isolate.' Historically this method has proven to flatten the curve, and it already is helping to keep COVID-19 at bay. Stock up on essentials and stay home, you will save lives!

For updates on how the virus is moving through the City of Calgary and what you can do locally to help the city pull through, visit the city's official webpage.

Stay healthy!

Posted by Ken Richter on


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