Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Don't be scared, be prepared
With the ever evolving coronavirus pandemic, it has become a scary time. We are being bombarded with so much information from the media, Facebook, internet and word of mouth. The uncertainty is making us nervous and perhaps experience feelings we haven't before. Not long ago, corona was a refreshing beverage we enjoyed with a wedge of lime and good company. However, this version of corona is something that does not occur regularly, so it is understandable to be confused, frightened, nervous and perhaps act differently than we normally would. During this difficult time, it is essential we work together as a community, be understanding and most importantly remain calm.
We have some of the best medical professionals in the world, and a healthcare system of the highest standard. The government is undertaking extensive measures to ensure the safety of all Australians.
What is coronavirus?
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. It was first diagnosed in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in December 2019. Although similar to the flu virus, COVID-19 wanted to be different to its friends, and decided to mutate into a new version. Scientist around the world are conducting extensive research to improve our understanding.
For majority of the community, symptoms are very mild and generally presents as a cold:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- it may seem more severe in the male population due to man-flu
Those who are more vulnerable such as elderly, immunocompromised or having significant co-morbidities may experience a more severe rare presentation:
- Shortness of breath
- Respiratory failure
Should I get tested?
Probably not. If you simply have a sniffle, stay home, blow your nose, eat soup and netflix and chill.
The department of health has set a pretty clear guide on who should get tested. This changes daily, so for the most up to date information please visit: https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/novel-coronavirus-2019
As of the 15th of March, it is recommended to get tested if:
You have a fever
Respiratory illness (i.e. shortness of breath or or cough)
You have returned from overseas in the last 14 days
Have had close or casual contact with a confirmed case in the previous 14 days
But if you like swaps up ya nose and down your throat then:
Ring the COVID-19 24-hour hotline 1800 675 398, or a GP or emergency department, to arrange for testing and appropriate care.
Post testing - self isolate for 48 hours until you receive a call with your test result.
Spread love, not Coronavirus
The best way to reduce the rate of spread is by 4 easy steps:
- If you are unwell, use your sick leave. Stay home and relax
- If possible, work from home
- Avoid large gatherings
- Stop kissing random people
Wash your hands! Soap and warm water is best. But also hand sanitiser with greater than 60% alcohol. If the wiggles can do it, SO CAN YOU! Hot potato, hot potato.
Cover your mouth when coughing/sneezing
Common sense really. Use a tissue or your elbow. Followed by hand hygiene.
We are all in this together! As a community, this time can be made much easier if we simply show love. There is no reason to purchase 30 packets of toilet paper, or 20 packets of pasta. Leave some supplies for the elderly and vulnerable so they too can manage through this time. Call your loved ones and see how they are going. Post a happy selfie. Tell a joke. Let's pick up the mood!