Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Vox explains how its viewers and readers can fight the coronavirus

I wrote "I'll probably return to coronavirus coverage tomorrow" near the end of Marching music and a drink for the St. Patrick's Day primaries with resignation, which is why I punctuated the thought with "Sigh."  However, when I looked at my notes for today and saw that I had penciled in National Biodiesel Day as the topic for today, I decided that I'd rather write about the pandemic.  To that end, I'm sharing two videos from Vox about how my readers can do their part to slow the spread of the virus, beginning with Why fighting the coronavirus depends on you, which is still #19 on YouTube's trending list two days after being uploaded.

Why fighting the coronavirus depends on you.
In March 2020, the World Health Organization officially classified Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, as a pandemic. That means the disease no longer constitutes just an outbreak or even an epidemic; the coronavirus has now spread around the world, and will continue to reach into other countries and communities.

That’s in part because of how contagious the virus is. When you’re infected with the flu, it takes about two days before you start to show symptoms. But coronavirus symptoms take an average of five to six days to appear, so it’s easy to spread well before you notice that you’re feeling sick. Many people are spreading it while going about their daily lives as usual.

The risk is that once coronavirus starts to spread in a community, about 20% of cases are severe and may require hospitalization. As those cases multiply, hospitals can fill up quickly. And people with severe cases of COVID-19 who can’t receive proper medical attention are at a much higher risk of dying.

Ideally, we would be able to stop the virus from spreading entirely. We can’t do that right now. What we can do is slow it down, so that the severe cases get spread out over a longer period of time, and hospitals are less likely to be overwhelmed on any given day. And that’s where each one of us comes in. The best way to slow down the spread is for everyone — healthy, sick, young, old — to limit social contact as much as possible, immediately. This is called social distancing, and it only works if enough of us do it. But if we do, it could mean the difference between the life and death of someone you know.
While social distancing is the major strategy in reducing the spread of the disease, so is washing hands.  Vox uploaded a video today explaining How soap kills the coronavirus on that subject.

Plain old soap and water absolutely annihilate coronavirus.
You've been told a thousand times: wash your hands to stop the spread of COVID-19. But why does this work so well? It has to do with the way the soap molecules are able to absolutely demolish viruses, like the coronavirus.
That's the best explanation of how soap kills pathogens I've ever seen.

To read more of Vox's coverage of the pandemic, click here.  I hope following the advice there helps keep my readers and me safe and healthy through this crisis.

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