It has been a mere 72 days into the year 2020 and already Jamaica has had some incidents and tragedies we would do well to forget about. From a 7.7 magnitude earthquake and a devastating fire, to a major explosion in the business district of Kingston; yet no one could have anticipated a global pandemic in the form of the Covid-19 virus.
Covid-19 is a respiratory virus that belongs to a group of viruses called Coronavirus. It derived its name from the Latin translation of the word ‘crown’ due to its crown like appearance. Do you remember the once feared Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Virus? SARS is one of the 3 Human coronaviruses that originated in Bats, the other 2 being Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and SARS-CoV-2 – coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). People around the world regularly get other forms of Human coronaviruses, the first of which was discovered in 1960.
By the time this article is published, Jamaica’s Ministy of Health would have already confirmed 8 cases of Covid-19 in the island; 6 being imported and 2 local cases. Often times in these situations panic and fear reigns supreme, but if we can maintain a cool head and exercise caution in how we approach our daily lives, we can at least slow down the spread of the virus.
Covid-19 has so far been proven to be transmitted only from person to person, both directly and indirectly. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the droplets emitting from the mouth and nose contains the virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) says that if a person is within approximately 6 feet of an infected person, then the risk of exposure is higher.
We can limit our exposure by maintaining a safe distance between us and the next person (as best as possible), avoid large gatherings, clean surfaces with household disinfectants, bleach and detergents, wash hands properly and often; before and after you use the bathroom, after touching door handles (even at home) etc. In the event that you are unable to wash hands immediately, hand sanitizers with at least 60% Alcohol can be used.
“Misinformation drives fear, fear results in chaos, chaos accelerates spread.”
It’s important that you dedicate some time to become informed as much as possible on the Covid-19 virus. This will help you to protect yourself and your loved ones from contracting the virus. While none of these precautions/information guarantees that you or your loved ones will not contract the virus, it significantly reduces your risk of exposure.
One of the negative effects of the Information Age, is the rate at which misinformation is spread. Not only does misinformation spreads quickly, but it is accepted as credible information without basic verification. With information at our finger tips, literally, there’s no excuse for this. For all things Covid-19 related, sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the Ministry of Health and all relevant government agencies should be consulted first.
Misinformation drives fear, fear results in chaos, chaos accelerates spread.