OK, we have heard from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), WHO (World Health
Organization), President Trump and both Democratic frontrunners concerning the Coronavirus, but the most important person to listen to is yourself. You know when you feel lousy, have a fever, dry cough, are possibly short of breath, tired and are sick like you have a cold or the flu. If this describes you, try not to cough or sneeze on those around you, as those are the most common methods of transmission from one person to another.

Unfortunately, by the time you feel sick, you already have the disease and have likely passed it on to others, since you are most contagious before you have any symptoms, and while you are enduring the first week of illness. Some 80% of people infected will have only mild symptoms, with the remaining 20% getting severely or critically ill.

If you have the symptoms above, call your doctor or call a Hospital Emergency Room and tell them your symptoms, but do not just show up at there because they may not be able to isolate you from other patients at that very moment. Do not go directly to a Drive-through or other Covid-19 testing center and request a test, as the test MUST be ordered by a doctor. The U.S. Government is saying that if you have the test and are infected and need care, you will not be out of pocket for those tests or the medical care you receive.

Being a respiratory disease, Covid-19 (now also referred to as SARS-CoV-2 because it is a strain similar to SARS) first affects the lungs in a variety of ways, with the patient experiencing shortness of breath as pneumonia sets in and develops in both lungs. Many people also develop heart, kidney, and liver problems, although it is unclear at this point whether the developments are due to the virus itself or the medications to combat it, or sepsis that may develop.

If you have had coronavirus and have recovered, congratulations! You are not alone! Many
patients have recovered, and they possibly have gained some immunity to getting it a second time, although there is a definite likelihood of a relapse. Social distancing (6 feet between each individual person) may or may not be helpful to prevent infection or relapsing.

But of those who recovered, a certain percentage have been left with a 20-30% decrease in lung capacity, which breathing capacity will not be possible to improve. These percentages are courtesy of post-recovery exams in China, based on a very small group of subjects, so may not be entirely accurate. However, early autopsies (also in China) reveal irreversible fibrosis (scarring of lung tissue which causes stiffening of the lungs) and immune system damage.

While more research is being done on this virus, be mindful of what we DON’T know about it, and use good common sense. Work from home if possible, stay home if you are sick, don’t be in close contact with others, avoid gatherings where there are a lot of people, and stay home when it is not necessary to go out. Remember, that by protecting yourselves, you are protecting those around you who may be more vulnerable, and they thank you. BTW, despite a circulating myth, no one has caught Coronavirus from drinking Corona Beer!

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