Novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 has already been declared as a pandemic by WHO. It has affected every industry in the market, killed many people, and is spreading at a fast pace. The stock market, health, and pharma, corporate world are just a few of the industries. But the industry of travel has the biggest impact on it.
Governments are advising to cancel travel plans, avoid unnecessarily travel, work remote and stay at home whenever possible. And, most of the time it’s possible but sometimes it isn’t.
So, what if you are stuck in a novel coronavirus affected country, or you’re traveling inside your country (which is already COVID-19 affected)? Countries like Italy, France are reporting an increase in the number of deaths and coronavirus cases. Our country India has quarantined itself from the world and shut its doors for outsiders. Schools are closed and mass gatherings are unadvised.
As there’s no vaccine yet developed for new coronavirus, prevention is your life-pill. The word ‘prevention’ rings a bell. Remember when we were in 8th standard and science teacher used to teach us and we used to sing in synchronization – ‘Prevention is better than cure’?
But we never took it seriously. What if we had? It’s never too late, though.
- What is the novel Coronavirus and why is it called COVID-19?
- Should I cancel my travel plans?
- Busting Myths of Coronavirus COVID-19
- How novel coronavirus spreads and why should you care?
- As a traveler, should you not eat in restaurants and carry food?
- Should I need to wear a mask?
- What is a community spread?
- Preventive Measures for Novel Coronavirus
- Conclusion: Is it a situation to panic?
What is the novel Coronavirus and why is it called COVID-19?
In simple words, coronavirus is a group of viruses that are commonly spread in humans and cause illnesses like in the common cold. These viruses were already identified until a new (or novel) coronavirus is found out in the epicenter of Wuhan, China in 2019. That’s why this coronavirus from the family is popularly known as novel coronavirus.
Why COVID-19 then? COVID-19 is just a WHO term and named according to its norms. See it like this:
COVID-19 = CO is corona + VI is virus + D is disease + 19 because it was identified in 2019.
It was formerly known as the 2019-nCOV, abbreviation of 2019 novel coronavirus.
Should I cancel my travel plans?
Perhaps the most asked question by travelers during the outbreak of novel coronavirus is this one. Should you cancel your travel plans?
According to WHO, no you shouldn’t. WHO emphasized taking preventive measures specifically to washing your hands regularly with an alcohol-based hand rub, soap or sanitizer.
But we would say – do it. Please, cancel your plan if it’s possible. Because really, think about it for a second – coronavirus sprawled to over 120 countries mainly because of travel. Some of the people who are infected never consciously came to know how they were bitten. Only when their travel history was revealed things became clear.
Whether you have travel plans in your country or abroad – postpone or cancel it. Ask your hotel or organizers and if there’s a refund possible. And if your work allows you to work from home, adopt it. But note that we are emphasizing that ‘if it’s possible.’
Of course, you’ve to travel if there’s an emergency or unavoidable reason. But for that, you have to take some preventive measures and keep yourself and others safe while traveling. We will tell how you can do that too. But first, let’s bust some myths.
Busting Myths of Coronavirus COVID-19
Myth: Novel coronavirus can’t be transmitted in areas of hot and humid climates.
Fact: Until this date, there’s no evidence that shows this. So COVID-19 can spread or be transmitted in ALL areas regardless of their climates.
Myth: Novel coronavirus spreads through the air.
Fact: Coronavirus primarily spreads through droplets generated by an infected person when he/she sneezes or coughs, or through droplets from the nose. However, in a recent page published on WHO it came to light that these viruses are airborne.
According to WHO:
“Airborne transmission is different from droplet transmission as it refers to the presence of microbes within droplet nuclei, which are generally considered to be particles <5μm in diameter, can remain in the air for long periods of time and be transmitted to others over distances greater than 1 m. “
Myth: Eating garlic will prevent you from Coronavirus
Fact: Garlic has lots of antimicrobial properties but there’s no evidence yet that shows it prevents us from the new coronavirus.
Myth: Coronavirus affects only aged and old people, not the younger ones.
Fact: Coronavirus affects people of all ages, however, old people and people with medical conditions such as diabetes, asthma are more susceptible.
Myth: Coronavirus can be cured with medicine.
Fact: No, till this date there’s no medicine or vaccine developed to cure novel coronavirus. Prevention is the best cure as of now.
Myth: Eating fish, chicken or egg will cause you coronavirus disease.
Fact: No. The virus is unlikely to survive in cooked food. There have been no cases yet reported because of the same. If the food is cooked properly, there’s no need to worry whether it’s chicken, fish, meat or egg.
Myth: Antibiotics can prevent or cure the novel coronavirus.
Fact: No, it can not. Antibiotics work on bacterias and COVID-19 is a virus disease.
Myth: Coronavirus can spread through mosquito bites.
Fact: As per WHO, there has been no evidence nor information to suggest that novel coronavirus can spread through mosquito bites.
How novel coronavirus spreads and why should you care?
COVID-19 or novel coronavirus is a respiratory virus and transmits through droplets discharged from an infected person.
When an infected sneeze, coughs or discharges through nose or mouth, the droplets get spread. Whenever you come into direct contact with these droplets (carrying viruses) or via a surface on which they spread, it’s very likely you will get coronavirus.
A study shows that novel coronavirus can live up to 3 days on surfaces.
As a traveler, should you not eat in restaurants and carry food?
There’s very little chance that you’ll get novel coronavirus from the food or the restaurant. While visiting a restaurant one should be concerned more about the crowd or number of people visiting and that restaurant is applying basic sanitization methods to all surfaces. Considering these things, it’s fine to eat in restaurants.
Besides, maintain your basic hygiene and sanitization.
Should I need to wear a mask?
You should wear a mask only on certain conditions. You should know that wearing a mask alone does not prevent you from the coronavirus. It should always be done with hand hygiene. This is what the WHO recommends:
According to WHO, you should wear a mask if either:
- You’ve flu-like symptoms – cough, sneeze, shortening of breaths,
- You are taking care of an infected person.
For the general public wearing a mask is not required but as a preventive measure and since you are traveling, you can wear it. But remember, without hand hygiene and basic sanitization it’s worthless.
What is a community spread?
Community spread is when a particular community or area is infected by the virus. When an infected person gets in contact with its community it’s likely that he/she will infect other people hence virus multiplies at a fast rate.
Perhaps this is the reason why governments are advising to avoid mass gatherings and community events. In a community, human interaction is supported which is what this virus needs to spread.
You can understand the scenario by seeing what’s happening around us. Cricket matches postponed, schools closed, meetings canceled and so on.
So if you are traveling, keep these things in mind.
Preventive Measures for Novel Coronavirus
There’s no cure yet found for novel corona but few preventive measures will help you ensure that you don’t get caught by the coronavirus. We have compiled a listicle below:
- Always, always, always carry a sanitizer with you (alcohol-based)
- Wear a mask if you are going to public places or show symptoms.
- Keep at least 1-meter distance from the person showing symptoms like cough, sneezing, fever, etc.
- Frequently wash or sanitize your hands.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands.
- If you’ve flu-like symptoms, wear a mask, cover yourself and if possible keep social distance (at least 1 meter) and avoid leaving home.
- Don’t hesitate to visit your nearest medical center or consult your doctor if you show any symptoms.
Conclusion: Is it a situation to panic?
After WHO declared it as pandemic and many states of India declared it as an epidemic, it’s obvious to worry and panic. But think for a second, is panicking will do any good to you and anybody? Definitely not.
It’s time to take care of yourself and be conscious of your environment. Do not spread rumors or forward information from untrustable resources. Teach people about the virus and basic hygiene.
United we stand, divided we fall.
And always, if you’ve any questions regarding the above information and the new coronavirus, comment below. We will try to help you as much as we can citing you with trustworthy resources.
https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/coronavirus-food-what-to-know_l_5e600d6bc5b644545ea4913b (Huffpost India no longer publishes content as of Nov 24, 2020)