(Update 27/05/20: Well, we’ve been in quarantine along with most of the planet for the last two months. Coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands of people and turned into a global pandemic on a scale no one could have imagined. Although it continues to be most dangerous for older people and people with underlying medical conditions, it has also killed many young and healthy people so no one is immune to this virus.
There has also been recent talk of a version of the virus affecting children and babies. Several children in Europe and North America have been admitted to hospital with multi-system inflammatory syndrome or MIS-C. Children are presenting with overlapping symptoms of severe COVID-19, toxic shock syndrome and Kawasaki disease. All of these children have tested positive for Covid-19 or have the antibodies which means they have been previously infected.
The WHO says to look out for fever, inflammation, hypo-tension, prolonged abdominal pain, skin rash, bloodshot eyes, and a racing heart. If your child has a fever and any of these other symptoms you should seek medical advice. Cases are still few and far between so there’s no need to be overly worried, just be aware and keep a watch for any symptoms your child might display.
As for everything else, quarantine measures are slowly being relaxed and life is starting to return to some semblance of “normal”. We still need to be careful, keep social distance, use masks when we are around others and wash, wash, wash those hands. Much of the world are doing their best to help stop the spread and protect those around them.
Unfortunately, there are always those that feel they are above everyone and the rules don’t apply to them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of anarchy against the system, but not when there is such a huge cost to humanity. I don’t play with other peoples lives. I respect their right to be safe and take that responsibility seriously. I expect others to return the favour.
This is not some sort of political game. The government aren’t trying to take away our human rights. I honestly find this sort of thinking ridiculous. I’ve never seen so much white privilege as I have in the last couple of months. Simply asking people to stay in their own homes to stop the spread incited protests, with people shouting about their right to freedom.
And now quarantine has been lifted there are many people that seem to have this idea that they’ve done something really difficult and sacrificed so much that now they are entitled to go out and do as they please, to hell with the consequences. It’s these very people that are going to cause infection rates to start rising again and have us all back in lockdown.
Forgive me for the rant but these attitudes really get to me. It’s such a selfish way of looking at things. It doesn’t take much for us to protect each other. Let’s at least try so we can put this pandemic behind us as soon as possible.)
(Update 16/03/20: Since I wrote this article, just a couple of days ago, the situation has escalated, The World Health Organisation are now advising people to stay at home. They are hoping that self imposed quarantine will help stop the spread.)
Just a few weeks ago we started hearing the odd mention of the Coronavirus and if I’m honest I didn’t give it too much attention. It was a long way away and I assumed the media were just sensationalising as they do. Nothing like a good disease to get everyone panicking. Obviously, I assumed wrongly.
This disease has spread rapidly throughout the world and it cannot be ignored. It’s on every channel and all of us are feeling the effects locally, from schools being closed and flights be cancelled, to people in the street wearing gloves and masks. It’s like we’re in a infection film. But fear sprouts rumours, and there are as many myths about the disease flying around as there are facts.
And the facts seem to say that, as long as we take a few simple precautions, we don’t need to panic too much after all.
What is the Coronavirus?
Coronaviruses are actually a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections in both humans and animals. MERS and SARS were both caused by coronaviruses but the one we are dealing with now, the most recently discovered one, is what causes coronavirus disease COVID-19. For this article I’m going to continue to call this most recent outbreak the Coronavirus because that seems to be what the media are using the most.
What are the new Coronavirus Symptoms?
The most common symptoms are very much like those of a nasty cold, including:
- Aches & Pains
- Dry Cough
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
The symptoms usually start gradually and are fairly mild. Some people with the disease show no symptoms at all and feel fine. Most people recover without any problem or need for medical intervention, but around 1 in 6 people will develop difficulty breathing and if that happens they need to seek medical advice immediately.
Who does the Coronavirus Affect?
Anyone can catch the Coronavirus but it’s really only dangerous for older people and people with underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart problems. That’s when it can develop into something more serious.
Children and young adults may contract the disease and show no symptoms at all, or only feel mildly unwell. So far children, and interestingly women, are least likely to be affected by the serious symptoms of the virus.
Is Coronavirus Worse Than Flu?
The symptoms for both are very similar and both are most dangerous to the older population and people with other medical conditions. Both diseases are highly contagious but it’s too soon to say whether Coronavirus is more easily transmitted or more fatal than the flu.
How is Coronavirus Transmitted?
Coronavirus is spread from person to person. An infected person breathes or coughs out tiny droplets into the air and onto surfaces. Another person will then either breathe the droplets in or touch the surface and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs can live on all sorts of surfaces for 4 to 5 days, maybe longer if the environmental conditions are cool and humid.
Is Coronavirus Treatable?
At the moment there is no vaccine or treatment to cure or prevent Coronavirus. Antibiotics only treat bacterial infections, not viruses, so there is no point using them unless advised by a doctor. The usual treatments you’d do for a common cold can alleviate symptoms but they won’t cure the disease. Taking some simple measures to strengthen your immune system is always a good idea.
How to Protect Your Family From Coronavirus?
Firstly you should try to avoid crowded places and places where there has been an outbreak. Stay abreast of the news so you know what’s going on and what measures are being taken.
Wash yours and baby’s hand regularly with soap and water to kill any viruses that you may have picked up. Use a hand sanitizer when you’re out and about.
Keep a good distance (at least 1 metre) between you and anyone who seems to have a cold.
Avoid touching your face at all. Easier said than done with a baby, I know.
Try to avoid touching door handles and other surfaces in public places as much as you can.
If you feel unwell at all then try to stay home and away from others if possible. When you cough or sneeze always cover your mouth with your elbow or a tissue.
Although the constant media hype is quite scary, there is no need for you to panic. Most people, especially children and young adults, will have no problem at all. In the unlikely event that they do catch the disease they should suffer nothing more than a few common cold symptoms, if they show any symptoms at all.
Just taking a few extra hygiene precautions and avoiding outbreak areas should be enough to protect you and your family from contracting the Coronavirus and passing it on to those more vulnerable.
Now you can breathe a sigh of relief…with your elbow over your mouth, obviously.
All the information I’ve included in this article is from the World Health Organisation. If you have any more information you’d like to share, or any questions, please leave a comment below.