Your COVID-19 Questions Answered - Save Our Bones

In a crisis, questions abound, and it can be difficult to feel like you have a grasp on the situation. We've gathered all of the most up-to-date information to answer all of your questions about COVID-19 so that you know what's going on, what you can do, and what to expect.

From interactive maps to best practices, to the questions you haven't thought of asking yet– here's what you need to know.

Coronavirus Q&A

Q: What are the current numbers of infections?

A: Those numbers keep changing of course, so we're sharing this interactive map that shows cumulative confirmed cases, deaths, and recoveries state-by-state and country-by-country. You can zoom in or out to see more or less of the world. It's updated continually and maintained by the Johns Hopkins Center for Systems Science and Engineering. That means the information in this map will still be updated even after the post-date of this article.1


Source: Johns Hopkins University

Q: What is COVID-19?

A: COVID-19 is the disease caused by the novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, which stands for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.

Q: What are the symptoms?

A: COVID-19 has a range of possible symptoms and severities. Some cases are mild or asymptomatic, while more severe cases can result in pneumonia, respiratory distress, organ failure, and death.2

The most common symptoms are fever, fatigue, and mild respiratory symptoms like a dry cough. Most cases don't progress beyond these initial symptoms. 2

A study from the WHO-China Joint mission reported the following symptom breakdown based on data from nearly 56,000 laboratories confirmed COVID-19 patients in China:2

  • 88 percent had a fever
  • 68 percent had a dry cough
  • 38 percent had fatigue
  • 33 percent coughed up phlegm
  • 19 percent had shortness of breath
  • 15 percent had joint or muscle pain
  • 14 percent had a sore throat
  • 14 percent headache
  • 11 percent had chills
  • 5 percent had nausea or vomiting
  • 5 percent had nasal congestion
  • 4 percent had diarrhea
  • Less than one percent coughed up blood or blood-stained mucus
  • Less than one percent had watery eyes
  • Some have also reported anosmia, or lack of sense of smell, and dysgeusia, or lack of taste

The risk of becoming severely ill or dying increases with age and the presence of underlying health conditions.

Q: What should I do if I have symptoms of COVID-19?

A: If you are experiencing symptoms call your healthcare professional or a local COVID-19 information hotline. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include:3

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Q: How long does an infection last?

A: After infection, it may take from one to 14 days to develop symptoms. Once symptoms have started, a mild case lasts about two weeks, while more severe cases can last from three to six weeks.3

Q: How is COVID-19 different from the flu?

A: The two diseases share many symptoms, notably fever and respiratory problems, as well as many of the symptoms listed above. However, they are caused by different viruses. While the flu is an endemic disease that returns each year, COVID-19 is caused by a new virus. Mortality rates for COVID-19 are still shifting as more data is collected.

The WHO reported a mortality rate of between 2-4% based on studies in China, but this figure was calculated by dividing the number of deaths by the number of confirmed cases.4 Because scientists expect that many people infected with the virus get only mild symptoms and never get tested, the actual mortality rate may be lower — around 1%.5

Comparison with the flu's mortality rate is not dependable, because official flu mortality rates are not calculated using laboratory-confirmed cases. They estimate the overall infection rate based on behavioral studies that show how often illnesses go unreported. They also assume that all respiratory-related deaths are caused by the flu.

For now, given the uncertainty of the flu's mortality rate and with the numbers we currently have, COVID-19 is more deadly than the flu.5

Q: Is there a vaccine or treatment?

A: While there are dozens of vaccine efforts underway, at this time there is no vaccine for COVID-19. There is research underway for treatments, but so far there are no new antiviral drugs available to treat COVID-19. The malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine has been recently used in some hospitals as a treatment for COVID-19, but to-date, there’s no conclusive evidence on its effectiveness.

Q: How does it spread?

A: Most coronaviruses spread from person to person on the droplets from coughs and sneezes. These infected droplets may enter the nose or mouth of another person from the air, or they may fall onto a surface or object that someone may touch. The virus can't be contracted through the skin, so even if someone touches an infected object, he or she must still touch the nose or mouth for the virus to infect the respiratory system.3

Q: Can COVID-19 be spread via food?

A: According to the USDA there is no evidence that COVID-19 transmits via food.6 However, the virus can live on surfaces. To reduce risk in case you get delivery of cooked meals, have the food dropped off at your door instead of handed to you.

Once your food is inside, replate it onto your own dishware, throw out the packaging, and wash your hands thoroughly before eating. You could take the additional step of reheating or microwaving your food to kill any rogue virus. Studies of other viruses (including a previously known coronavirus) found microwaving effective at destroying viruses in as little as 20 seconds. 7

Q: How long does it live outside of the human body?

A: The latest data on this topic is that the virus can live up to three hours on particles in the air, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, up to two or three days on plastic, and up to three days on stainless steel.8

Q: What is social distancing? Isolation? Quarantine?

A:

  • Social distancing is keeping a distance from other people (no handshakes, no touching, no crowds) and avoiding all gatherings of people to slow the spread of a contagious disease.
  • Quarantine is used to separate and restrict the movements of people who are not sick, but who may have been exposed to a contagious disease. This separation prevents them from spreading the disease in the event that they have contracted it.
  • Isolation is used to separate and confine people who are sick with a communicable disease.

Q: How can I prevent the virus from spreading to me and/or others?

A: Social distancing is the most effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Stay home as much as possible, and if you must go out (for groceries, medicine, etc.) stay six feet away from others at all times. Do not enter crowded spaces or attend gatherings of any kind. Regularly wash your hands and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.3

Q: What precautions should I take?

A: Practice social distancing, hand washing, and disinfecting as described above. Stay healthy by maintaining a nutrient-rich diet (likethe 80/20 pH-balanced diet recommended by the Save Institute) and getting regular exercise.

Q: How can I disinfect objects?

A: Household disinfectants are effective against SARS-CoV-2, as are solutions of at least 70% alcohol, and diluted bleach solutions. Always follow label precautions, ventilate the space you're disinfecting, and never mix chemicals or cleaning solutions. 9

Q: Is someone who recovers from a COVID-19 infection immune to it?

A: As of now there is no clear answer to this question. Scientists expect that recovery from an infection will leave the body with a degree of immunity, but it hasn't been established how long that immunity lasts or how complete it is.10

Q: For how long are symptomatic coronavirus carriers contagious?

A: Most likely they are contagious for 14 days, although, without symptoms like coughing, it’s less likely to spread the disease.3

What This Means To You

COVID-19 is dangerous, but by taking precautions we can protect ourselves and each other. The entire world is battling this virus, so no matter where you are, you are not alone. Your actions will make a difference in the outcome.

Stay home, engaged, informed, and positive. Together we will make it through this!

References

1 https://coronavirus-resources.esri.com/
2 https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-china-joint-mission-on-covid-19-final-report.pdf

3 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

4 https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/transcripts/who-audio-emergencies-coronavirus-full-press-conference-24feb2020-final.pdf?sfvrsn=49bf8366_2

5 https://khn.org/news/fact-check-coronavirus-homeland-security-chief-flu-mortality-rate/

6 https://www.usda.gov/coronavirus

7 https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0307945042000205874

8 https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

9 https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/cleaning-disinfection.html

10 https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.13.990226v1

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Comments on this article are closed.

  1. Jennifer

    Hi,
    I am curious about the IV Vit C study happening in a hospital in Wuhan. Anyone have info on that?

    Vit C is my go to for most ailments my family has so I’d like to know if VIT C can help for cover like it does for sepsis.

    Thank you.

  2. Marlene Villar

    Hello Vivian,

    Thank you very much.

    Sincerely,
    Marlene

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Marlene!

  3. Janice Gergen

    Thank you so much, Vivian, for this information on COVID19 So important for all to know this. I wish you the best of health.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      It’s my pleasure, Janice! And I wish you and all Savers excellent health 🙂

  4. Audrey

    Today’s article is extremely helpful. As always, Thank you for all your help and guidance.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Audrey!

  5. Sukarma Rani Thareja

    Dearest Vivian and dear all
    namskar
    I am retired chemistry professor from India.I am listing my recently written poem on corona for all of you .I hope you all will appreciate the concern.
    Nature Message-CORONA-COVID-19

    There is no limit on materialistic rate of growth of human comfort level,
    Human mind is being distracted due to highest ego level,
    Most of them are in grip of personality which is Split,
    Even for simple thing as diet the humans are exploiting nature,

    Animals never liked their life to be commercialized for diet,
    The painful voice of animals is lost in this chaotic human noise,
    They are begging for safety of their lives,
    For economy commercial gains and profits,
    Selfish humans are bent on bullying Nature.

    Bearing all big losses, silently was sitting mother nature,
    Time has come to teach humans a big lesson, thought nature,
    Trap of corona –COVID- 19 weaved brilliant nature,
    That evolved death pits for humans selfish in nature,
    Soon wise humans realised that they are ,
    Dependent sub set of Mother nature,
    They started begging for humans lives from nature.

    Please don’t make and implement foolish ideas- brother humans,
    As nature has no time and never respect for such unworthy proposals,
    Nature is ready to help humans to her highest set limits,
    But humans have to forgo their greedy nature,
    And live in harmony with greenery and other creatures.

    After punishing, Mother Nature is still kind and forgiving,
    By awesome kind favours, she is still blessing thankless humans,
    Please humans, live in harmony and follow the truthful way of nature,
    Otherwise time to time nature as force will be shown in form- corona monster,
    Please cooperate, and feel proud in thanking countless blessings of mother nature,
    Save human civilisation for coming generations.

    Sukarma Rani Thareja
    Alumnus IIT-K-1986
    Kanpur,UP,INDIA

    her book(paper back)
    Science of Life and Nature(Paper Back): A Photo Poetry Collection: Sukarma Thareja: 9781521260067: Amazon.com: Books
    Amazon US link :
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/1521260060

    kindest regards to madam Vivian and dear all
    Take care
    sukarma Thareja
    India

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing your views and your poem, Sukarma.

  6. Ita

    Thank you, Ita.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Ita!

  7. Ghassan Mahir

    Dear Vivian and dear all

    First, thanks Vivian for the continuous effort to propagate the available information on this epidemic.

    Second, please DO NOT PANIC and OVER-WORRY, as this in itself is detrimental to your health and immunity; take all precautions and feel comfortable and positive that you are stronger than it… And, try to HELP OTHERS…

    God bless.

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      You’re very welcome, Ghassan! And I thank you for reminding us to stay positive and help others 🙂

  8. Annie

    Thank you for your continuing informative and helpful emails.
    I looked at the map you sent, which is a good idea. However in that particular one, an immediate concern is that looking at the UK – London (badly hit) is not even a small dot – this throws doubt over the whole map. I’m therefore sure there are other mistakes in there and thought I should let you know.
    Thanks again though for your continued advice and thoughts – very welcome.
    Annie

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      We posted this map from the NOAA because it gets updated on an ongoing basis. It’s our pleasure, Annie!

  9. Lowana

    I am not very young, and am amazed by the offers of help I have had, not only from friends, but those I have never seen before..Buy toilet paper for me, put my garbage out, phone calls to check that I am O.K.,etc, and today my car broke down; a young man saw my problem and came to see if he could help but like me, he didn’t have a mobile, so I saw a lady in her garden and asked her to call NRMA for me which she did..they had to tow my car away, and the lady’s husband then insisted he drive me home. Aren’t people marvellous!!

    • Vivian Goldschmidt, MA

      Thanks for sharing such an inspirational and positive experience, Lowana!

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