Your Covid19 Questions Answered

COVID-19 has caused a crisis the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in a hundred years. The virus doesn’t care who you are or where you live. For many of us, life has ground to a halt and with no clear end in sight, many of us are experiencing high anxiety.
Whether or not you’re living in virtual lock-down, you probably have lots of questions about the impact of the virus on your health, the economy, travel and daily life. The New York Times has generously shared a list of frequently asked COVID-19 questions that offer helpful information about what to do in this unprecedented situation.

What should I do if I feel sick?

If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or believe you have, and if you have a fever or other symptoms like coughing or difficulty breathing, stay at home and call your doctor. S/he will advise you where to get tested and how to get treatment without exposing others. 
If you are only mildly ill, the CDC recommends that you self-isolate and only leave home to go to the doctor.

What can I do for my aches and pains while I’m homebound?

While coronavirus does cause generalized muscle soreness throughout the body, a lot of us had tender spots before the disease appeared, and we’re feeling even more aches and pains now due to stress and anxiety. Even if you can’t get out to see your massage therapist, you can still find relief by working your trigger points on your own. Use gentle pressure for just a few seconds at a time. Don’t overdo it. You can always go back later and work it a little bit more, but too much pressure for too long can re-inflame the area. For lasting relief, follow up with exercises that restore your muscles to their proper length so they function properly. Watch the full video of trigger point releases and exercises for muscle rebalancing here.

How is COVID-19 different from the flu?

The only way to tell COVID-19 apart from the flu in the early stages is with a diagnostic test. COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, including fever, body aches, a dry cough and shortness of breath. Spring allergy season is upon us and it too can trigger many of the same symptoms. However, seasonal allergy symptoms usually start with a runny nose and itchy eyes, whereas the coronavirus (and the flu) tend to be more of a full-body experience with muscle aches, headache and fever.

Is there a vaccine for this virus?

Not yet, but testing in humans has already begun. Researchers are moving fast, but even if a safe, effective vaccine is found soon, it is unlikely to become available before next year.

Should I wear a mask?

Unless you’re already infected or caring for someone who is, no. It does not help to wear a mask ‘just in case’ and hoarding supplies that are needed by healthcare workers and others on the front lines does more harm than good.

What do I tell my kids?

It’s important to get your own anxiety under control before saying anything to your kids. If your child is afraid, listen calmly. Don’t dismiss their concerns, or inflate them. Instead, offer practical solutions such as regular hand-washing, especially before meals. You can tell them to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice as a way to know how long 20 seconds is.

Should I stock up on food?

Within reason, yes. Because we don’t yet know how long this will last, and with more people working from home, kids home from school and restaurants closed, you’ll be eating in a lot more. So it’s a smart idea to have two weeks’ worth of food and other supplies on hand. That said, resist the urge to hoard. Supply chains remain strong, and stores are receiving sufficient amounts of goods to cover our needs. But even if you don’t have every ingredient in your usual fare, you can use this as an opportunity to experiment. You may even discover a new flavor or recipe you like even better. And please remember to be generous with neighbors. We’re all in this together.

Can I travel?

Depends on where you want to go, but if it is overseas, the answer is: not easily. International travel restrictions continue to mount as governments try to break the chain of transmission, and the President is considering restricting domestic travel. But even when you stay local, be sure to practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

What do we do about taxes this year?

The IRS and the state of California have postponed the date to file and pay personal and business taxes to July 15. Other states are also making changes which you can check out on the website of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Want to know more? You can read the full New York Times COVID-19 article for free here.

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