Let’s face it, so far the year 2020 has been a doozy. The whole of humanity has been put on edge by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the resulting respiratory disease caused by the virus in humans. It seems that everywhere you turn there are just as many opinions on the virus and what to do about it as there are human beings on the Earth. As scientists learn more about the virus and how it spreads it has become apparent that, in the absence of a vaccine or treatment for those suffering from COVID-19, the practice of quarantine and social distance are the most effective means of slowing down the spread of the disease enough for our health systems to cope with the sudden influx of patients.
Humans, however, are very social by nature and being stuck indoors, separated from our various social groups, can place a huge strain on our sanity. And now here we are, stuck in our homes, limiting our ventures outdoors to just what is necessary for our basic survival. It doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom though. As the social distancing endeavor stretches on with no definite end in sight it’s up to us to utilize that good old human ingenuity to give ourselves some fun and entertainment while under quarantine.
First and foremost, we need to know some basic facts about what the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the respiratory disease in humans caused by the virus, are. It’s important to note that coronaviruses are not new and there have been several types on the Earth for a very long time. Some of these do not affect humans at all while some do. The coronaviruses that infect humans have been around long enough for most to have developed some sort of immunity.
The description of “novel” for this particular strain of coronavirus is a signifier that this strain of the virus was one that previously only infected other animals and has just recently underwent a mutation that facilitated the infection of humans. Because this virus’s ability to infect humans is so new, that means humanity has no immunity to it. This new coronavirus is still being studied as the crisis continues to develop but it is safe to say that the mutation that allowed for the infection of humans was lucky enough, for the virus at least, to make it easily transmissible among us. That means that we need to be both aware of what the virus is and how it is spread.
- How did this virus come to infect to humans? Right now scientists do not know exactly where and how the novel coronavirus made the jump to infecting humans. The first documented cases of COVID-19 were centered around a seafood market in Wuhan, China, in January of this year with the first patient becoming sick the previous December. Scientists cannot pin the source of the infection down to this seafood market, however, as the first recorded patient had no connection to that market.
- How is novel coronavirus spread? The spread of the virus is being closely monitored by health and medical researchers around the world but so far it appears that the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread by droplets formed when infected individuals cough and/or sneeze.
- How long does it take to develop COVID-19 symptoms? As with most illnesses, you may have already contracted it but have yet to show symptoms. Viral infections take time to show an effect as the virus needs time to establish and grow. The research to date shows that the average time it takes for an individual to show symptoms, or the incubation period, is about fourteen (14) days.
- What are the symptoms of COVID-19? The general symptoms that have been presenting for a potential COVID-19 infection are fever, unusual tiredness, and a dry cough. Other symptoms can include a sore throat, aches and pains, and a shortness of breath.
- What should I do if I think I may be infected? If you have non-life threatening symptoms you should call your primary healthcare provider or urgent care clinic and discuss your symptoms BEFORE you go in. This will allow both you and your provider to navigate any special procedures put in place to help stop the spread of the disease. If you find yourself in a life threatening situation, please dial 9-1-1 (in the United States).
- Where can I go for more information? There is a lot of information available on the internet about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 but it is best to be discerning about what information you can trust. As with most things on the internet, there is a lot of misinformation out there. The United States Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has put together an informative fact sheet and Harvard University has created a great coronavirus resource center to help keep people keep themselves informed about what is going on.
Distancing, It’s The New Social
If you have been paying attention to all the news about the novel coronavirus and the spread of COVID-19 then chances are you’ve also heard a lot about the advice to employ social distancing as a means to limit that spread. But what exactly is social distancing and how does it help? Social distancing is a non-pharmaceutical way to prevent the spread of a highly transmissible disease that involves individuals isolating themselves and thus eliminating a path the virus can use to keep propagating. Remember, a virus cannot live without a host it can infect. If we keep that virus from moving from an infected person to an otherwise healthy individual then that virus cannot continue to spread.
This virus is new to humanity which means we have little to no immunity to it and medical science has no proven way to treat it as of yet. Protecting yourself from being infected in the first place is currently the best and only way to keep things under control. Stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus not only helps protect you from coming down with COVID-19, but it helps protect those in your family or community who have a heightened susceptibility to diseases. These groups include, but are not limited to, the elderly, newborns and infants, and those suffering from an affliction that leaves them immunocompromised. While you yourself may feel strong and healthy, there is still the chance that you have been infected and are asymptomatic, or not showing any symptoms. If you fall into this category then you can very easily infect a member of the high risk groups without even knowing you did. By limiting the spread and protecting those at a greater risk of becoming infected we will limit the amount of patients putting a strain on our health systems thus preventing them from being overwhelmed to the point that they can no longer function.
- Avoid physical contact: The novel coronavirus is spread through droplets from coughing and sneezing. If someone is doing either of these then their clothing, hands, etc. could be contaminated. Keeping a distance of at least six (6) feet, two (2) meters, while out in public and avoiding activities like hugging, handshakes, and kissing will help to keep you from picking up the virus from someone’s clothing or hands.
- Wash your hands frequently and don’t touch your face: To prevent infecting yourself from any contamination you may have picked up from someone else or from touching a surface that may have been contaminated, make sure you wash your hands frequently. Do not touch your face or anything you may put on or near your face without washing your hands. Do not touch any food without washing your hands. Soap is extremely effective at decontaminating your hands from the novel coronavirus so make sure you use it!
- Avoid engaging in social gatherings: Places like restaurants, bars, clubs, parks, theaters, shopping malls, gyms, etc. all encourage the normal social interactions we all enjoy. These are the interactions, however, that can allow an easily transmissible virus to spread easily so it’s best to avoid these situations until the pandemic has passed.
- Avoid visiting those in the hospital, are sick at home, or in a nursing home: These places are where the people who are most susceptible to becoming infected are. Remember, although you may not feel sick this doesn’t guarantee you are not infected. Why put your grandparents or your already sick friend at further risk?
- Stay at home: If your job can set you up to work from home then, by all means, do it! This not only protects your co-workers and the most vulnerable among us, it helps minimize the chance of you become sick as well. If you can’t work from home, then minimize your contact at work and head straight there and home. Stay in afterward and do not go out to socialize. The goal is to stop the spread and social distancing, so far, is the only proven means to do that.
- Self quarantine: If you suspect you have become infected, call your health provider and discuss what you should do. In the mean time quarantine yourself from contact with everyone. Do not go out. Do not go to work. Do not go to the store. Keep interactions with those you live with to an absolute minimum. You definitely DO NOT want to infect those who you know and love.
- Listen and follow the directions of your government officials: They are issuing these orders for a reason. They have advise from the experts coming in with the latest knowledge of the outbreak and it’s spread. If they have closed places or issued stay at home orders, it is for a valid and justifiable reason. Please help them minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus in your community by heeding what they say.
So you are practicing proper social distancing and have quarantined yourself away from the normal world. This doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. You don’t have to spend the entirety of it in the bottom of a dazed and confused Netflix hole. You still have to go out and get essential supplies from time to time. You may even be on of those lucky (or unfortunate depending on your outlook) employees that have been deemed essential. Communicate from a distance with a bit of fashion and show the world that, though it may be a tough time, you are still going to make the best of it.
Camp Quarantine Social Distancing T-Shirt
If you must venture out at least do it with a touch of humor and style! Look great and in good spirits with this Camp Quarantine Social Distancing T-Shirt.
Staying In Is The New Going Out T-Shirt
Things are changing. Everything is a new something else. Just make the best of it in this awesome Staying In Is The New Going Out T-Shirt.
Senior Class Of 2020 Friends Parody T-Shirt
You’ve got to remember that episode. You know, the one where they couldn’t go out? Graduate to this Senior Class Of 2020 Friends Parody T-Shirt.
From Dynamic Design House.
Quarantine And Chill Graphic T-Shirt
Well, what else is there to do at the moment? At lest you’ll be dressed for entertainment in this Quarantine And Chill Graphic T-Shirt.
From Go All Out.
Social Distancing World Champion T-Shirt
Take a page from Sasquatch and stay scarce! It will never get you if you cant be found. Especially in this Social Distancing World Champion T-Shirt.
From Superluxe Clothing.
Seamless Face Mask Bandana
This multi-functioning Seamless Face Mask Bandana can also be worn as a beanie, headband, neck scarf, wristband, hair tie and more!
From iHeart Raves.
Fun And Games
So you and your family or roommates have been quarantined. Suddenly those streaming service queues are getting a bit thin. Never fear, there’s always the tried and true card games to rescue you from a fate of boredom and insanity! Here are some pretty fun games for both adults and family oriented types. Just don’t let the competition get too heated…
Cards Against Humanity Card Game
Cards Against Humanity Card Game, the party game for horrible people. Each round, one player asks a question from a black card, and everyone else answers with their funniest white card.
Kids Against Maturity Card Game
The Kids Against Maturity Card Game comes with age-appropriate humor and funny innuendos for the adults that can be thoroughly enjoyed by kids, teens and adults alike.
From Kids Against Maturity.
What Do You Meme Party Game
Compete with your adult friends to create the funniest memes. The What Do You Meme Party Game will instantly become the hit of the party!
From What Do You Meme.
What Do You Meme Family Edition
What Do You Meme Family Edition has all the fun of creating your own hilarious memes with your captions and photo cards, updated with entirely family-friendly content.
From What Do You Meme.
Munchkin Deluxe Adventure Card Game
The Munchkin Deluxe Adventure Card Game is the mega-hit game about dungeon adventure . . . with none of that stupid roleplaying stuff. You and your friends compete to kill monsters and grab magic items. Be sure to don the Horny Helmet and the Boots of Butt-Kicking. Wield the Staff of Napalm . . . or maybe the Chainsaw of Bloody Dismemberment.
From Steve Jackson Games.
Goliath Virus Card Family Game
Warning: the fun contained in the Goliath Virus Card Family Game is contagious! Protect your organs while attacking others in this easy to learn card game.
It’s Not All Doom And Gloom
With everything that is going on in the world, especially since a lot is completely out of our control, it is important to take stock of what’s important. The best way to keep yourself and those you care about safe during this crisis is to first and foremost stay informed. Get your information form trusted sources with proven track records of accuracy. Educate yourself as to what is going on around you and take action to keep yourself safe. Stay at home as much as you can and take every precaution when you do have to venture out. In the meantime, try to make the whole process as fun as possible. You can only binge so much television before it starts to lose it’s appeal. Mix it up! Feel good about the way you look with some stylish and humorous apparel. Have fun with your those you cohabitate with by learning some new games to pass the time. Before you know it, this will all be in the past. Stay informed. Stay home. Stay safe. And above all, stay positive!
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