In March 2020, the novel coronavirus abruptly started spreading, causing a worldwide pandemic. While the coronavirus has been seen before, in the form of MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome respectively, the new coronavirus, otherwise known as COVID-19 has caused some serious illnesses, especially in the elderly and those with preexisting medical conditions. The virus is typically spread when a person is in close contact with another person for a relatively decent amount of time, approximately fifteen minutes. The recommended six-feet of the distance between you and another person is because droplets from sneezing, coughing, or even talking can travel up to that distance, maybe even more. Since one can receive the virus through surface contact, it is always better to wash your hands before you eat, after using the restroom, blowing your nose. Since there are approximately ten million cases globally and the virus spreads pretty rapidly, proper prevention methods should be taken to eradicate the disease at hand. Stay inside as much as possible, and when an outing is necessary, make sure to wear a mask, if not for you, wear it for the others around you. But, it is always better to be precautionary, whether you feel safe in the location you are going to or not. And as mentioned above, make sure to be constantly washing your hands and try not to touch your face without doing so.
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of coronavirus, how it spreads, and how to prevent the spread, let's move on to how to know if you have it and what to do. The main reason many people know they have the virus is because of the signs and symptoms they’re experiencing. Some of the common symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, loss of taste/smell and sore throat. Keep in mind, this is not a complete list of all of the possible symptoms, there might be more or less depending on the person, not everyone will experience all of them. Just to be clear, a person still has the ability to affect someone with the virus even if they’re asymptomatic, meaning that they're showing no symptoms. The spread of the virus heavily occurs through asymptomatic transmission simply because the case is unaware that they're infected, which is why social distancing should be followed. While 2-14 days is the usual time it takes for the virus to recede, on average it takes 5 days for symptoms to show. The best way to find out if you’re COVID-19 positive is to get a viral test. These tests are usually taken through the nose or throat and will tell you if there is a current infection. Another test offered is an antibody test, which is usually taken through blood samples, and this test will tell you if you’ve ever once had the virus. Although the test results are usually pretty accurate, they may not always be accurate. It is better to get tested if you know that you’ve been in close contact with a patient or experiencing any symptoms. If in any case you are experiencing severe symptoms, please contact your doctor!