What is Covid-19 and how can we stop it?
Social Media is full of articles, blogs and videos that are providing individuals with great content regarding this threatening virus Covid-19. It is time that we all act as responsible citizens and try to follow necessary precautions to keep this virus at bay. Islamabad project is making sure to provide you with authentic information from reliable sources, because for us your well-being is our priority. Today, we are answering some Frequently Asked Questions regarding Coronavirus. All answers are based on WHO’s first hand data.
First of all, if you are panicking, stop! take a deep breath and relax. We are all in this together. Panic is the worst thing in such as situation. Instead, we need to spread awareness about it so that people can take precautionary measures to prevent themselves from it. We all need to play our part in preventing the spread of the Coronavirus and in protecting the most vulnerable members of the community including people who are unfortunately forced to flee from the lands. To overcome this deadly virus, we need to fight against it.
Together, we can overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. What exactly is Covid-19?
Covid-19 is the contagious disease caused by a recently discovered virus in the Coronavirus family. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are known to cause Respiratory infections such as common cold to more severe ailments such as Middle East Respiratory syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory syndrome.
2. What is the history of Covid-19?
Covid-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the breakout began in Wuhan, China in December 2019.
3. What are the symptoms of Covid-19?
There are multiple symptoms of Covid-19 but most common symptoms are:
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
However, some patients may suffer from body aches, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or even diarrhea. Symptoms are usually mild and start gradually. In some cases, people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms for a couple of days.
4. Is Coronavirus life threatening?
According to WHO, most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without requiring special treatment. However, 1 out of every 6 persons who get COVID-19 becomes acutely ill and suffers difficulty in breathing. So, kindly don’t panic rather take its precautionary measures seriously!
5. Who is at risk of getting Covid-19?
Technically, every human, and even animals are at risk of getting Covid-19. However, older people and those with underlying medical problems are more likely to develop serious illness. Patients of high blood pressure, cardiac problems and diabetes along with pregnant women need more care and attention.
6. How does Covid-19 spread?
Covid-19 can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are dispersed when an infected person coughs or exhales. These droplets can stay on the surface of objects around the person, and if someone touches the surface and accidently touches the eyes, nose or mouth then he/she can become prone to the infection.
7. Are antibiotics effective in preventing Covid-19?
Unfortunately, no! Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Antibiotics are meant to treat bacterial infections, so antibiotics are of no use in case of Covid-19.
8. Is there a vaccine, drug or treatment for Covid-19?
No, not yet! To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to treat Covid-19. However, there is no need to ponic. Majority of the affectees of Covid-19 recover when they receive care to relieve symptoms.
As already mentioned, the statistics for recovery suggest that about 80% of infected cases recover after treatment. Possible vaccines and drug treatments are under investigation, and a vaccine is likely to be available by one year.
9. What are precautionary measures to prevent getting Covid-19?
You can reduce your chances of getting infected or spreading Covid-19 by taking simple precautions:
Wash your hands thoroughly
Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. Don’t take it for granted. You can even clean your hands with an alcohol-based disinfectant, if you don’t have access to water and soap (for example, when you go out), as it kills viruses that may be present on your hands.
Try and maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing around you.
Don’t touch your face
It may sound too basic to you but avoid touching eyes, nose and your mouth. Our hands touch many surfaces and can pick viruses. Once you touch your mouth or nose with contaminated hands the virus can enter your body and can make you sick. So, better keep your hands away from your face.
10. I am perfectly healthy, why should I wear a mask or stay at home?
Contagious viruses such as Covid-19 spread through person to person contact. Moreover, the virus does not show any symptoms immediately. In fact, it can stay alive in the infected person for up to 14 days with no symptoms, silently infecting the lungs. By the time any noticeable symptoms such as fever or cough appear, the lungs have already been infected considerably.
However, people who have traveled from a place with confirmed cases of the virus are at a greater risk of having unknowingly contracted the virus. Likewise, if you have met such a person or attended a gathering with him or her, you face an equal risk of getting the virus, and thus, spreading it on.
Therefore, it is advised for everyone to stay at home, unless absolutely necessary, to slow down the spread of the virus. The legitimate causes of leaving your home include purchasing groceries, food or medicine, going to work or going to Moqsue. When you leave your home, be sure to follow the above mentioned precautionary measures including wearing face mask, washing your hands, and avoid gatherings.
Safe Hands Challenge
What is #SafeHands challenge? It is a worldwide campaign proposed by the World Health Organization to control the spread of the virus, Covid-19, newly discovered in December 2019. All you need to do is wash your hands thoroughly for a good 20 seconds, at least four to five times a day. #SafeHands Challenge is an ongoing campaign and if you follow it, your hands will be germ free.
Following are some simple steps proposed by WHO to make your hands germ free:
- Turn on the tap and wet your hands with water
- Apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces
- Rub your hands palm to palm
- Don’t ignore to wash the area between your finger and the back of your hands
- Rinse your hands with water
- Dry thoroughly with a towel and turn the tap off
The above mentioned six steps are part of #SafeHands challenge, approved by the World Health Organization. Kindly follow this challenge and spread awareness among people. Washing hands with a common soap can kill the germs present on your hands and do create friction between your fingers for thorough cleanliness.
Coping with the Stress
Stress during COVID-19 is quite common and people are confused, scared and even angry during this time. it is not only the adults who are suffering from stress but children are also in a state of utter shock. All of a sudden, schools are closed. Children can’t leave their houses. Obviously, this situation is impacting their little minds too. To keep your children away from stress, first of all, adults need to stay strong and, despite this challenging situation, stay positive.
We urge all of you to stay resilient and take this “lock-down” as an opportunity to build a strong bond between your families. We are here to reveal a few ways to cope up with stress during COVID-19:
Limit your access to News
Listening to the breaking news 24/7 will not help us get rid of virus. Yes! You might want to stay updated with everything happening around the world but to limit worry and tension kindly lessen the time you spend watching media coverage that upsets you. To keep your mental health sound, your mind needs a break too. Instead, just follow the precautionary measures and have faith in Allah.
Opt a Healthy Lifestyle
During your stay at home, keep yourself busy in healthy and productive activities. Maintain a proper diet, sleep well and exercise for at least 30 minutes to strengthen your immune system.
Above all, meditate, offer prayers and recite or listen to Quran as it will spiritually strengthen your mind and soul, and increase your faith.
Stay virtually connected
Take this time of isolation as an advantage to get closer to your loved ones. Contact your loved ones, family and friends by email and phone. Talk about your daily routine and share your exciting ideas with your friends to keep them busy at their homes.
Get rid of smoking
If you smoke, we urge you to stop or minimize smoking at this time to fight this contagious virus. Smoking will weaken your immunity and lungs, making you more vulnerable to catching the virus as well as worsening the symptoms. Go for healthy options during this time. You can play board games and any home-based games to keep your mind busy and active.
Believe in facts
Do not believe everything you see on social media or that is shared with you in WhatsApp groups. More importantly, don’t share any dubious information to avoid others falling prey to fake information.
Instead, only believe and share information that comes from an authentic source such as World Health Organization, your government, your doctors, etc. In other words, WHO’s website is an authentic source to get reliable information or simply trust your local or state public health agency.
As we already mentioned, limit your exposure to news and posts related to Covid-19. Instead, use your time in more productive activities. Read books to use this time as a positive opportunity of educating yourself.
Continue Work and Education
Along with women and children, men are homebound and it’s not a vacation! For most women, staying at home is not such a new experience. For men, however, it’s quite a new experience and might be difficult or frustrating for some.
If your job allows you to work from home, designate a separate spot for yourself in the house and consider it your home-office. Also, allocate specific times of the day to your work to develop a routine. This will make you more efficient and productive in completing your tasks. This will allow you to enjoy family time by avoiding the stress of being behind on your work.
Similarly, designate a study time and place for school going kids so that they can continue their education while schools are closed.
Help around in the house
For men whose job does not allow them to work and earn from home, it’s a whole different story. It can be quite frustrating to be of “no use.” One positive way to cope with it is to use this time to study or learn a new skill that will help you in your work. In the busy work schedule, it is hard to find time to learn a new skill or read about the latest developments in your field. Use this time to improve your professional skills.
Moreover, it would be a great gesture to help your spouse with home chores. This is a perfect idea to reduce the stress. Instead of burdening housewives with more work, divide the work and stay busy. Wash clothes, clean dishes, cook a meal, fold laundry, or pick your favourite tasks that will help you meditate.
What we need to do!
In this situation of uncertainty and fear of getting a virus, Islamabad projects would like to send its well-wishes and prayers your way. To fight this virus, we all have to become responsible and play our part in controlling this disease. Kindly, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly and follow guidelines proposed by WHO.
Share Authentic Information and News
It is our humble request to SHARE this information and guideline with your family, friends, colleagues as well as your house help, as they might not be aware of it. In Pakistan, the literacy rate is low and not many people have direct access to social media networks. Remember to spread awareness and not fright or panic.
More importantly, only spread authentic news from authentic sources so that instead of unnecessary fright, people can actually take precautionary measures. Do not believe in everything you see on social media. When it comes to treatment, follow your doctors only. Be safe, be smart and above all, be kind and generous to the underprivileged ones.
In this challenging time, we all need to cooperate and abide by the rules put forward by the government. It is indeed difficult; nevertheless, staying indoors is the best and only option to reduce the spread of the virus. While you stay at home, keep yourself busy with productive activities.
Charity: Help each other
A lot of people do not have savings to sponsor their quarantine time, specially daily wagers and laborers, fruit sellers and street food sellers.
In this crucial time, it is our responsibility to make sure that no one in our community sleeps hungry. Please give charity and Zakat to the needy ones and help each other as much as possible.
Look around in your community and help those who might be in need of funds and help them in whatever way is possible for you.
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