COVID-19: Coronavirus Facts and What You Should Know

Lamiah Hall and Eric D. Griggs, M.D.

The Coronavirus, What It Is and What It Isn’t

What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The coronavirus is a large family of viruses that cause sickness such as the common cold. Currently, the coronavirus is so scary because there is a new strain that we have not seen before, however, many individuals are working very hard to understand the new strain. This new strain seems to be less deadly than other coronavirus strains.

What are the signs and symptoms?
The period of time between catching the coronavirus and showing symptoms is within 5 days or less in most cases. Some of the signs and symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Trouble breathing
  • Pneumonia

Is it easily spread?
Yes, it is easily spread from person to person through water droplets from others coughing, sneezing or speaking. The coronavirus can also be passed from animals to humans and is said to come from civet cats. Hence, one of the advisories of the WHO is that one must wear a face shield with glasses when going out in public places.

How do I protect myself?
You can protect yourself by using the same simple techniques used to prevent any type of viral sickness or the flu, such as:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Go to the doctor early if you are not feeling well
  • Clean and disinfect objects that are touched often
  • Be aware of risks when traveling

Do I need to wear a mask?
If you are living in the United States, your risk for contracting the virus is low. Therefore, it is not necessary to wear a mask. However, if you’re immune system is weak, speak with your doctor about what you should do to protect yourself. Also, if you are taking care of someone with suspected infection of the new coronavirus you should wear a mask.

It is important for people with the virus to wear masks to prevent themselves from spreading the virus?
When using a mask, washing hands with soap and water before putting it on, do not touch the mask once it is on unless you are taking it off. When putting the mask on cover your mouth and nose and make sure there are no gaps between your face and mask. Replace masks as soon as they are damp and do not reuse single-use masks. When taking off masks, remove it from behind used the straps, do not grab the front, and throw away in a closed bin. Always wash your hands with soap and water.

Is there a cure/treatment?
Currently there is not, current treatment used is to relieve and treat the symptoms. However, there are many individuals working hard to fully understand the virus and to create a treatment. Yes, the coronavirus is easily spread, however, many people with the coronavirus only have the mild form which is like the common cold. There are few cases that are life threatening.


  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • The new coronavirus cannot be transferred through soft surfaces like fabric or carpet to humans, however, viruses can be transferred through frequently touched hard surfaced (doors, doorknobs, etc.)
  • Hand dryers are not effective at killing the new strain of the coronavirus.
  • UV light should not be used to try clean hands, it may cause skin damage and/or irritation.
  • Thermal scanners can detect when someone has a fever. This means that thermal scanners can only detect people with the coronavirus that have developed a fever but not the people who haven’t.
  • Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body will not kill the virus because it has already entered your body. This can also cause harm to your body because the chemicals are harsh.


  • Household pets cannot be infected with the new coronavirus.
  • No vaccines against pneumonia protect you against the new coronavirus.
  • Regularly rinsing your nose with saline cannot prevent infection of the new coronavirus.
  • Eating garlic cannot prevent infection with the new coronavirus.
  • Putting on sesame oil does not block the coronavirus from entering the body.
  • People at all ages can be infected with the new coronavirus. Older people and people with preexisting medical conditions that weaken the immune system are just more vulnerable.
  • Antibiotics are not effective because they are used to treat bacterial infections and the new coronavirus is a viral infection.

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