Memo blog

Coronavirus Update: How to stay calm and minimise your risk

Panicking simply isn't going to help anybody. Read more on how to keep a level head and stay safe with our comprehensive guide.

As of this morning, there have been 150 confirmed cases of people infected with COVID-19 in South Africa, in places like Kwazulu Natal, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape. This has now led to an increase in measures taken by both our government and ourselves in order to minimise the risks involved should the virus continue to spread at such a rapid rate.

It's important to think carefully about the choice you make to maximise the safety of your loved ones. Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitiser throughout the day, minimising physical contact with others through social distancing and avoiding touching your eyes, mouth and face are just some of the ways you can prevent the spread of the virus.

young Asian woman sitting down with a hoodie and a black surgical mask
Photographer: Portuguese Gravity | Source: Unsplash

It's very possible to become anxious in times like these, particularly over what we see in the media. We know that this is a very serious situation which was recently declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation as the virus has spread to over 163 countries to date with over 245 484 confirmed cases reported thus far.

So what do we know about COVID-19?

Well in recent tests led by US Government - scientists have shown that the coronavirus can live for several hours in the air and for up to 3 days on some surfaces like metal, glass.

One thing to keep in mind is that the Coronavirus spreads when an infected person coughs small droplets - packed with the virus - into the air. These can be breathed in or cause an infection if you touch a surface they have landed on and then touch a place where the virus can enter (like your eyes, nose or mouth).

Check out this video from BBC, it explains what the virus is in 60 seconds.

Video by BBC News

What do we do?

Keep a clear head - Panic seldom helps anything. In fact, it frequently makes things worse. Focus on the things you can control and make sure to get those right... one step at a time.

Wash Your Hands
Photographer: Gelani Banks | Source: Unsplash

We compiled a list of things for you to think about doing when it comes to dealing with the coronavirus situation:

First things first

If you have a fever or a persistent cough, you should stay at home for seven days. The people you live with should stay at home for 14 days and have food, medicine and other essentials delivered - if you can.

How to protect yourself against the Coronavirus

Below are some vital steps that individuals can take to scale back their exposure to the virus and reduce spreading:

  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water for about 20 seconds and make use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers.
  • Don't touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Use cleaners that contain bleach to clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
  • Avoid close contact with any person who has a fever and cough. Try to stay at least 2 meters away from them.
  • When you have a fever, cough or you have any difficulty breathing, make sure you seek immediate medical assistance.
  • Do not eat any meals that are uncooked or undercooked from any place. Make sure you stay clear and handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care to avoid cross-contamination.
  • A fist bump – instead of a handshake – can reduce your chance of bacterial transfer by up to 90%

Here's some tips for workplace safety from the World Health Organisation (WHO)

Social Distancing & Self-Quarantine Practise

Ok, so we know you might be a bit sad that the Boys 2 Men concert has been cancelled, not to mention the ODI series due to the global pandemic caused by the coronavirus. But look on the bright side, this might be saving lives and avoiding the spread of the virus.

What is self-quarantine

This is basically for people that might have been exposed to the new coronavirus and are at risk of getting infected. Health experts recommend that one practice self-quarantine for at least 14 days, this would provide enough time to know if you might be infected and be contagious to other people.

You might also be asked to practice self-quarantine if you have recently returned from travelling or if you have knowingly been exposed to an infected person who has.

Self-quarantine involves:

  • Using standard hygiene and washing hands frequently
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils
  • Staying at home
  • Not having visitors
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from other people in your household

Once your quarantine period has ended, if you do not have symptoms, follow your doctor’s instructions on how to return to your normal routine.

Lastly, If you're planning on going on holiday rather avoid the trip, and If you make use of public transportation be safe and protect yourself.

Kid of COVID-19, Coronavirus. March 17, 2020. No school for at least the next three weeks. All the children will be learning remotely, online. Nobody in our house is positive for the virus, yet. Time will tell...
Photographer: Sharon McCutcheon | Source: Unsplash

Believe it or not, there is a lot of fake news and bad information that's out there about the coronavirus.

Here are some examples of fake news and claims of cures on social media.

Eating garlic (FALSE)

  • WHO (World Health Organization) says that while it is "a healthy food that may have some antimicrobial properties", there's no evidence that eating garlic can protect people from the new coronavirus.

Drinking bleach (FALSE)

  • Jordan Sather a well-known Youtuber with thousands of followers across different platforms claimed that this mineral supplement called MMS can wipe out the coronavirus. The mixture contains chlorine dioxide (a bleaching agent). He claims that not only is this an effective cancer cell killer but it can destroy the coronavirus as well which is not true at all. Read more here on the warnings issued by FDA about drinking MMS.

Heat and avoiding ice cream (FALSE)

  • While there has been many variants and advice that suggest that heat kills the virus and some even suggest that you drink hot water or taking a hot bath to suggesting that you avoid eating ice-cream and even using your hairdryer.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses. Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Photographer: CDC | Source: Unsplash

Coronavirus updates from credible sources

Coronavirus vaccine - Some good news

In recent news, there is about 35 companies and academic institutions that are racing to create a vaccine for COVID-19, at least four of which already have candidates starting with animals. The first of these – produced by Boston-based biotech firm Moderna – will enter human trials imminently. You can read more on that here

A final word before we go

Memo Health Assistant would like to encourage everyone to stay safe, make use of the hygiene and preventative measure provided and most of all don't panic. We would also like to mention that should you experience any of the symptoms listed above you can book a doctors visit to get yourself checked using our app. Download it here free.

Our support team we will do their best to ensure any concerns, queries or comments regarding the current situation are answered, as well as to keep you up to date with how the situation progresses.

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