Since the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei, China in December 2019 and the spread across the entire continent of the world except Antarctica, it has been declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), a pandemic, precisely March 11, 2020.
As precautionary measures, everyone has been advised to self-isolate if need be, wash hands thoroughly with soap under running water for at least 20 to 30 seconds and dry hands immediately since germ thrives in moist conditions or environment, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers routinely, avoid; hugging, kissing on the lips or cheek, hand shakes, rubbing your eyes or touching your face, nose and mouth, large gatherings.
Also maintain a distance of at least an arm’s length from others, engaging more in virtual meetings and stay at home if unwell.
This is primarily because, the coronavirus can be transmitted through droplets of bodily fluids such as saliva and mucus dispersed during coughing or sneezing at a close range.
Although science is dynamic, there is not yet enough evidence to suggest that the virus is transmitted through blood, urine, breast milk, tears, sweat, seminal fluids and vaginal secretions. Therefore, we cannot categorically give a conclusive statement on this.
Talking about an arm’s length, you can simply measure from the center back of your neck particularly at your spine to the end of your shoulder at the top of your arm. Consequently, measure from your shoulder to just past your wrist bone or shirt cuff and thereafter sum both measurements together.
This is approximately 1 to 1.5 metres and this is the expected distance to maintain between anyone, especially those with sign of coughing or sneezing.
Social-distancing is not same as social stigmatization. Social-distancing is a public health-safety plan used to cut down the likelihood of transmitting infectious, or communicable diseases.
It by and large involves minimizing exposure to infected individuals by avoiding large public gathering, adhering to spacing requirements at the workplace, or any other environment, and following proper personal hygiene practices as highlighted previously.
This is unlike social-stigmatization which clearly is the total disapproval of, or disgracing a person based on his or her perceived social characteristics that serve to discriminate them from other members of the larger society.
It is therefore important for us to ensure adequate social-distancing, especially in times like this, and not stigmatize those with the Coronavirus.
Instead, give them the needed support by assisting in calling on the appropriate health authorities and hotlines provided, to render timely interventions in testing, and temporary isolation, so to improve and maintain an optimum health status for such individuals, and the society at large.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is not a death sentence, as the mortality profile is low and recovery is very possible. Care should be given to those with a weakened immune system and to those with diseases like diabetes, HIV/AIDS and other terminal illnesses.
An adequate emphasis should be on improving our immunity through proper dieting, adequate time for rest and maintaining the ideal sleep duration of seven to nine hours sleep each night, supplementation with vitamins and as earlier mentioned, adequate social distancing.