How Does COVID-19 Spread
March 23, 2020 | T. Franklin Murphy
With no vaccines ready, we must combat the spread of the virus with knowledge. Social distancing and hand washing are the best weapons available.
It’s an epidemic and there is panic. Irresponsible content creators capitalize on the hysteria by spreading falsehoods that spread like the virus. Since Flourishing Life Society is wellness focused, I’m compelled to provide information from factual sources to contribute to the solution, not the problem. We have sufficient cause to worry, but when armed with knowledge, we shouldn’t panic.
COVID-19 spreads from person to person, contracting the coronavirus from an animal is rare. The first COVID-19 infections were traced to a live animal market, but the outbreak spread from human to human. If we eliminated human to human transmission, the epidemic would come to a speedy end.
Cases: 402,384 Deaths: 17,507
March 24, 2020
The COVID-19 virus spreads through respiratory droplets of an infected person—commonly through a cough or sneeze. The eyes, mouth and nose are susceptible entry points. So far, research suggests that direct transmission is more likely, making social distancing (at least six feet) critical in containing the spread of the virus. If you are sick, whether diagnosed with COVID-19 or not, wear a mask and self-quarantine. If the symptoms are severe or you are part of a vulnerable population, seek medical treatment.
The virus, however, isn’t limited to direct transmission. We can also contract COVID-19 by touching surfaces infected with the virus and then touching our mouth, nose or eyes with our contaminated hand. A University of California study recently posted that the COVID-19 virus can live up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel surfaces. Grocery stores and home delivery potentially can commute the virus to unsuspecting shoppers.
Our protective response to indirect transmission threats is routinely washing our hands with soap and water. We can use an antibacterial solution when a sink isn’t available. We can allow packages to sit outside or in the garage before opening, giving the virus time to die. We should also routinely wipe down commonly touched surfaces in our house and car. These extra protections will reduce the probability of infection.
We may think we are safe. The numbers, while growing exponentially, compared to the population are relatively small. This illusion will not last for long. Those infected are much larger than current numbers suggest. Limited people have been tested. Many carriers are asymptomatic. They carry the virus but don’t experience the symptoms. They are in the grocery stores, Amazon warehouses, and delivering mail. Perhaps, even in our houses and places of employment. We must be socially responsible, acting as if we may have the virus.
We must do our part. We don’t need to panic. But we can act wisely, slowing the spread and making this just a footnote in the history books.
University of California - Los Angeles. (2020) "Study reveals how long COVID-19 remains infectious on cardboard, metal and plastic: People may acquire coronavirus through air and by touching contaminated surfaces." ScienceDaily, 20 March 2020.