As we started writing for this site in Berlin, Germany in the second week of March 2020, much about the virus was still unclear, but numbers of infected and dead were rising steadily, most recently in Italy. While it is not now - nor is it ever - a good time to panic, we do think it is now time to think and prepare.
This guide is based on the assumption that in the coming months, more people than usual will either become ill or have ill people in their lives. Let’s all hope for the best, but we’re going to assume that doctors and hospitals are going to be very busy if not overloaded. We have to confront the possibility that some of the people who would normally be cared for under medical supervision might need to be cared for at home. We hope some of the information here will give you some confidence in dealing with this disease, which in and by itself will reduce the load on doctors and nurses who, from the looks of it, will be quite busy in weeks and months to come. At the same time, we hope to give you information that helps you tell when it is time to get professional medical help. Getting large amounts of people to get that balance right may make all the difference in the time to come.
This guide contains general advice that should be applicable in many places. We may add information that is specific to certain countries or regions, but you should keep your eyes open for more specific information from other credible sources that is more local to where you are.
Some of the authors of this website are not known as great fans of government and authority, but at this point trust in the public health authorities is vital. Where there are discrepancies, trust reputable sources such as:
- World Health Organization (International)
- Centers for Disease Control (USA)
- Robert Koch Institute (Germany)
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (EU)
Know the Facts:
- COVID-19 is real.
- It’s a virus from nature that mutated to infect human hosts after starting in animals.
- It seems to be about twice as infectious and to cause far more pneumonia, other serious disease and deaths than the seasonal influenza virus (flu). It’s also worse than the flu because the world population so far lacks immunity. New diseases are more dangerous, because their infection rates can grow incredibly rapidly (even having exponential growth). Such rapid transmission of a new disease can swiftly overwhelm even outstanding health-care systems, making it impossible for everyone who needs care to access it - and in turn contributing to more severe disease and death.
- Containment of COVID-19 is the best chance we have to save a large number of lives. Containment requires widespread cooperation with and implementation of measures like accessible testing and social distancing (see Level 1 below).
- For these reasons, it is time now to change our way of life (for now) to address the very real threat this pandemic poses to our world.
Remember that there is no difference in potential infectiousness between friends and strangers. There is no race, ethnic group, or nationality that is innately more likely to get or transmit the virus than another. Try to help others when you can without being in contact with large groups of people unnecessarily. There are obvious trade-offs here that everyone has to weigh for themselves. Some people will need to have more contact with other people than others. Slowing the spread is never absolute, but over all of society, our efforts still work when everyone does what they can, within their limits.
At this point the site uses metric units in many places, although sometimes both metric and imperial units are provided. We hope to offer metric and imperial versions of everything in the next few days.
Level 1 – Healthy
Don’t Get Infected
(Or infect others should you happen to be asymptomatic / feel fine, but actually have COVID-19… Asymptomatic cases are still infectious.)
Where possible, follow the instructions from authorities. This includes some of the by-now familiar guidelines for social distancing:
- Change your greetings. Instead of a handshake, hug, or kiss(es), try waving or bowing from a distance.
- Your eyes, nose, and mouth are possible ways for the virus to enter your body. Wash your hands before touching your face. Don’t touch your face while outside.
- Wash your hands vigorously with soap and water as often as possible, including as soon as you come home and before eating. Use soap and water, not hand sanitizer, when possible: It is more reliable.
- Change your clothes when you get home as well.
- Regularly sterilize doorknobs, table surfaces, keyboards, and other places people frequently touch.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not into your hand or unprotected.
- Work from home when possible.
- Use alternatives to in-person meetings (e.g., video or voice calls) when possible.
- Avoid crowds and unnecessary travel. If you must go shopping, do it when stores are less likely to be busy. If you must be in a crowd, try to keep your personal distance from others and move away from anyone who seems to be ill (e.g., is coughing or sneezing).
- Instead of taking public transit, walk or bike wherever you can. If you must take public transit, again keep your personal distance from others and move away from anyone who is ill.
- Instead of going to restaurants, cook and eat at home.
- Instead of having food or groceries delivered or delivering them to another person at home with direct contact, arrange to have them left or to leave them outside the door.
- Instead of meeting friends for a coffee or a drink, have a video-chat or coordinate a walk to the grocery store while keeping your safe distance of at least 1.5 meters, or around five feet apart.
- Instead of exercising inside (e.g., at the gym), go outside for a walk or run if weather permits, while keeping your distance from other people.
- Follow any additional government / public health authority advice, including the eventual advice to stay indoors when that becomes applicable for where you are.
Full article: https://covid-at-home.info/