Here are some links that will help in understanding COVID-19. It is unwise to trust information on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc—go to official sources.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and CDC Guidelines for those at higher risk
- CDC: COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment
- Stanford: Information about the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- WHO Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19)
Please double-check with your own doctor and other sources. Do NOT trust social media.
From WHO Q&A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) which I find the most complete and most readable and useful. Emphasis added.
Sadly even the WHO is UNETHICAL in misleading the public on the use of particular respirators, and shows ineffective surgical masks in its videos. It is a ridiculous contradiction to state that the virus spreads via droplets in the air but a mask is not useful when it is proven that suitable particulate respirators block viruses! How can you trust an organization that actively hides the truth?
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
How does COVID-19 spread?
People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. WHO is assessing ongoing research on the ways COVID-19 is spread and will continue to share updated findings.
[DIGLLOYD: obviously, a quality particulate respirator is of value, and the state of knowledge remains poor as to all the transmission vectors]
It is therefore possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill
Even official sources have shortcomings
I’m not finding any of the official sources to be all that helpful for what I want to know.
Official sources are unhelpful as to whether things like gargling with warm salt water can help retard the onset of a viral infection, and some lack basic things like direct embedding of easyt to understrand videos of things like how to wash hands properly.
For example, at the CDC site, “wash your hands” and no direct link to a video showing how to do it properly, though there is a bullet-point list here on hand washing and they do have a too-complicated PowerPoint style video. This is poor communication.
Masks / particulate respirators
Sometimes the official guidelines are misleading at best, such as “you do not need to wear a facemask... in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers” as stated on the CDC web site. That position is outrageously unethical in that it evades the question: do masks prevent infection or not, what kind of mask, how to wear, etc? Evasive non-answers erode trust.
Since many people already have appropriate masks, and particular respirators of the right type and worn correctly are effective against viruses, the CDC is doing many people a huge disservice. And by what moral standard do these officials decide that my (or your) right to life must be subsumed to some vague undefinable unmeasurable greater good? If there is a real shortage, the government can and will seize the supply anyway, so what good is it to actively mislead people who already have protective gear? Such misleading guidelines will surely lead to the death of some people.
When using a mask, always wash hands before putting it on and after taking it off, and assume the outer surface is contaminated. Do not touch the mask while wearing it. A fresh mask is always best, but I have only a handful of N100 masks for my whole family, so I cannot afford to use a new one each time, so this procedure is essential. Heating the mask to 110°F or so might kill the virus... I am also thinking that a good dose of sunlight in a closed space like a large glass jar might be a good virus-killing approach. You work with what you have so those are just ideas that are better than throwing away anotherwise good N100/P100/N95 mask.