Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions

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Winston Wang
Democrat
Managing Editor
Contributor on The Bipartisan Press

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What is the coronavirus?

The coronavirus, more accurately referred to as SARS-CoV-2, is a stain of coronaviruses that cause respiratory infections. Symptoms range from the common cold to pneumonia to death. This current pandemic involves the SARS-CoV-2 strain, which causes COVID-19, short for COronaVIrus Disease 2019.

How can I get tested for the coronavirus?

If you think you may have it or have had contact with someone that has gotten infected, call your healthcare provider. Do not walk into an urgent care center or emergency room. Your doctor will assist you with your next steps depending on the severity.

I may have the coronavirus. Am I going to die?

Almost certainly not. To date, the estimated death rate is three percent. That means 97 percent of people that get infected will recover, and scientists still aren’t certain of that number, with various experts saying it could be lower or higher. Generally, those that die are those with underlying health conditions, though young people can die from COVID-19 too.

What is the treatment for COVID-19? Is there a vaccine?

There is currently no special treatment for COVID-19 patients. Treatment consists of supportive care and mechanical ventilation if necessary. At this time there is no vaccine either, though there are ongoing clinical trials to study to effectiveness and safety of proposed treatments and vaccines. Any product claiming to cure or treat the virus at this time is a scam and will not work effectively.

How long does the virus stay on surfaces?

There’s little data specifically studying this strain of coronavirus, but other coronaviruses can stay on surfaces for up to nine days. This coronavirus behaves similarly to other strains so scientists estimate that it also has a similar survival time. The time greatly depends on the surface, environment, and temperature.

Does wearing a surgical mask help? Or should I buy an N95?

Due to the small size of the coronavirus, experts are not recommending you wear a surgical mask to help prevent the coronavirus, as it will be largely ineffective. Neither should you buy an N95 though, since hospitals and more-at-risk healthcare workers are already facing shortages.

Who is Dr. Fauci? What is he doing?

Dr. Anthony Fauci is a famed immunologist known for his work during the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He is currently the head of the NIADS and part of the coronavirus task force. He has served under six presidents and has been called a national hero for his expertise. He is currently doing many interviews with various networks in attempts to dispel myths, give people a clear idea of what to expect, and guide the nation. He has received some praise for being a straight talker.

What’s with the CDC testing failure coverage? What happened?

The CDC was largely criticized by the media for its slow testing, overly strict testing standards, and lack of transparency. Since then, it has rolled out testing to public health labs and some private corporations. President Trump has taken much of the blame for the failure, though he denies it and Dr. Fauci also cleared the president of fault.

What is our private sector doing?

Companies like Google and Amazon have instructed employees to work from home. Other companies have guaranteed pay even if people are unable to work. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies are working on developing cures and vaccines, as well as ways to streamline testing and contact tracing.

Can drinking water help prevent the coronavirus?

One of the purported “ways” social media has spread to help prevent COVID-19 is supposed “advice” from a Japanese doctor apparently treating the coronavirus that recommended drinking water every 15 minutes to prevent the virus. According to the post, drinking water will “wash down” the virus into your stomach, where the acid will kill it. The idea that “drinking water help prevent COVID-19” has been completely debunked.

Does holding your breath for 10 seconds check for the coronavirus?

Trending alongside other coronavirus fake tips is the message that Taiwanese doctors are recommending a self-check for the coronavirus, involving holding your breath for 10 seconds. These messages claim that if you can successfully hold your breath for 10 seconds, you have no lung fibrosis and therefore no COVID-19. Both the self-check and fibrosis diagnosis are false.

Will the coronavirus get worse?

Almost certainly. According to one of the most respected immunologists and top health official Dr. Anthony Fauci, we haven’t seen the peak of infections yet and the virus is “certainly going to get worse before it gets better.”

Will the virus go away with warm weather?

Scientists aren’t sure. There’s lots of unknown with this coronavirus, and there have been predictions that this coronavirus may become a seasonal recurring strand. As for if the virus will go away with heat, experts are also uncertain. Heat does have an effect on the survivability of the virus itself in vitro and some viruses die down during warmer periods.

If you are young, does it mean you are safe from dying from the coronavirus?

No. There are already many documented deaths of healthy people with no underlying conditions dying from the coronavirus in the age groups 6-21. Furthermore, we are also seeing a large increase in the number of “young” people being hospitalized for coronavirus infection.

Will the United States be locked down over the coronavirus?

While there are currently no plans to do so, officials have stated multiple times that there are no options being removed from the table and that they could possibly impose lockdowns on certain areas of the U.S. According to Dr. Fauci, “you never take anything off the table when you’re dealing with protecting the health of the American public.”

How many people will die/be infected?

Experts aren’t sure. They have pegged predictions in the U.S. at a 40-70 percent infection rate, and death numbers ranging from hundreds of thousands to tens of millions. See more of the math here.

What are the economic impacts of the coronavirus currently?

Stocks and indexes, namely the SPX and Dow Jones have dropped over 20 percent because of fear over the coronavirus. The Fed has cut interest rates fo nearly zero, and there are estimates over four trillion dollars is needed to avoid a 20 percent unemployment rate. Various people, including billionaire Mark Cuban, have also called on the Fed to print more money.

What’s with all the coronavirus fake news?

There’s been lots of fake cures, prevention tips, and information regarding the coronavirus. Dr. Carole Lieberman, psychiatrist says that people are “spreading fake news of cures and conspiracies regarding coronavirus primarily because they are scared.”

Does taking colloidal silver prevent or treat the coronavirus?

No, it does not. As of March 20th, there is no FDA approved treatment for the coronavirus. The FDA also says colloidal silver has no beneficial health properties and is a risk to human health, causing potentially deadly side effects.

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