Snapshot / March 14th - 150,000 confirmed cases
Snapshot UPDATED / March 19th - 242,000 confirmed cases
If you're like me, you underestimated the coronavirus.
You heard the term 'pandemic' and thought, that doesn't apply to me, my family, or the place I live.
You may have read news stories of people dying, hospitals being overrun, and entire cities being shut down, and still you thought, that's scary, but it won't happen here, NOT to me.
If you thought any of those things, then you were wrong, just like me.
The coronavirus is currently in 143 countries or regions and counting.
The coronavirus is coming. And it's coming fast.
In fact it's doubling in just days in most places around the world. This means we each must prepare for what's coming next, because if you get it, there is no immunity from it, and new reports suggest there are long term health complication, like reduce lung capacity or reduced lung function.
Let's talk about how quickly it's spreading first.
Rate of doubling of Covid-19 virus globally. If you live in Canada like me, the rate of doubling is 4 days.
The concerning part about the doubling? There's a very good chance those numbers are drastically under reported. See article by Tomas Pueyo below.
What can I do to help? How do I help stop the spread?
If you are in a position of power, a leader, or influencer read this great article by Tomas Pueyo on Why You Must Act Now. This covers the potential rate of doubling, and what leaders can do now.
Those in power, be it in government, business, schools or leaders of communities, take the time now, if you haven't yet, to educate yourselves on what steps you should take and recommend to others.
For instance, washing our hands in the office, or at major public gatherings is not enough. Look to cities that are badly infected and at the actions they SHOULD have taken earlier to stop the spread.
Leaders can ask their teams, employees, colleagues:
To promote social distancing, remote office work, and reduced face to face meetings for now to help reduce the speed of infection rates.
To stock up on essentials but not hoard, or attempt to profit from the situation. i.e. purchasing toilet paper or disinfectant wipes and reselling on amazon or Costco parking lots is not cool.
This does not mean, unless you are sick, to self-quarantine. Instead, this means being a little bit cautious and responsible with who we're seeing, and why.
To enjoy mother nature more. COVID-19 is not contracted in parks. Go for a stroll through mother nature if you can.
If you have a presumptive case of COVID-19 check the guidelines for the area you live in. There are information lines and official medical and government sources to on what to do next.
If you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 tell those around you. Tell health officials. Tell those you work with. Tell those you might have visited before symptoms began.
The fact is no one really knows what is about to happen next. We don't know if, like the seasonal flu, this will go away, or if it will just continue to spread. We don't know how long it will last.
But we can help prevent a spike in cases that overruns our hospitals and creates similar situations we've seen in China, Italy, Iran, or South Korea.
Are you under the age of 60?
If you're young, or middle age, COVID-19 may just feel like a cold or flu. And that's the problem. If you love your grandparents, or aging parents, you have an important role to play too. Your actions can help stop the spread of this virus.
COVID-19 is killing the elderly at an alarming rate. If you're older, over 60, then the numbers become very concerning. If you are 70 or 80+ then this virus for you is downright dangerous. According to the World Health Organization:
"Individuals at highest risk for severe disease and death include people aged over 60 years and those with underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and cancer."
Breakdown of Death by Age: Good & Bad News...
For teenagers, millennials or forty to fifty somethings: the good news is, chances are low the virus will kill you.
But the bad news, chances are high you'll catch it. Spend less time in public places like bars, restaurants, schools, community centres or gyms. Reduce visits to areas where contagion is at its highest.
The reality is, if you catch COVID-19, your aging parents and grandparents will likely catch it next.
Do your part to wash your hands regularly, and prioritize the visits required away from home.
This isn't forever, but it does matter now.
What are the symptoms?
If you're wonder about the symptoms the most common is fever and then dry cough according to the CDC and World Health Organization:
"Symptoms of COVID-19 are non-specific and the disease presentation can range from no symptoms (asymptomatic) to severe pneumonia and death. As of 20 February 2020 and 12 based on 55924 laboratory confirmed cases, typical signs and symptoms include:
Local Health Department Authorities Take note:
A great six minute video on how Health Care systems around the world should be preparing for COVID-19 and what many of the countries we live in might still be doing wrong.
i.e. Still no fever testing before entering buildings, and not self isolating back home into large families as that just gets everyone in your family sick:
Stay up to date in the news, but don't drown in it. Get outside to enjoy the fresh air, call people you care about.
If you feel the leaders or organizations around you are slow to react, take action yourself. Adjust your schedule, work remote, do what you feel is best. And help those in your network who may need a hand.
If you are a leader, and have taken proactive steps to reduce the spread, then we applaud you.
Moments like these remind all of us, regardless of age, sex, or social status, that we have a civic duty and responsibility to those around us.
Now is the time to show the world what we're made of.
Live Interactive COVID-19 Tracking Map
If you want to watch the stats live this is a great link a friend recommended created by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) John Hopkins University (JHU):
Those Who Recover From Coronavirus Can Be Left With Reduced Lung Function, Say Doctors https://www.sciencealert.com/even-those-who-recover-from-corona-can-be-left-gasping-for-breath-afterwards
Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now - Mar 13, 2020
Report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) [Pdf] - World Health Organization, Feb. 28, 2020
Worldometer.com - Age, Sex, Existing Conditions of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths - Feb 29 2020 https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-age-sex-demographics/
Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) John Hopkins University
Thanks again for reading. Stay safe. A be prepared. And no that's doesn't mean buying more toilet paper.
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Goran Yerkovich Founder, The-inspired.com
About the author - Goran Yerkovich is the founder of The-Inspired.com, a website filled with real life stories and great life lessons. The-inspired is designed to help readers master their personal growth and live a more inspired life. Goran lives in the greater Vancouver area with his wife and two cats Kimchi and Kauai.