In the past the most commonly discussed topic between individuals was the weather. As of late people everywhere are talking about the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Early rumors of a global pandemic sparked worldwide chaos. News sources and social media were laden with facts, opinions, projections, and fear. Trying to separate truth from fiction has become quite the challenge.

Currently there is no vaccine to prevent coronavirus nor treatment.  According to WHO (World Health Organization) antibiotics are not effective for either. However, there is much one can do to reduce the risk of contracting the virus or to alleviate symptoms should they become affected.

Firstly, prevention is key. Since the virus is spread person-to-person, keep a safe distance from one another (approximately 6 feet is the recommended distance). Cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing (preferably into the bend of your arm). Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Clean all washable surfaces including steering wheels, doorknobs, light switches, etc. with a disinfectant.

If you suspect you are infected, drink plenty of fluids and gargle with warm salt water for a sore throat. If doctor-recommended, take cough medicine as prescribed and acetominophen to reduce fever. Always consult with your physician before engaging in any self-treatment, especially if you have any pre-existing health issues and/or are taking any medications.

Equally as important – remain calm. Stress weakens the body’s natural immune system and keeping our immunities strong is critical to fighting off and/or recovering from any illness. Amidst all of the hysteria and fear, stay focused on the positive. Listen to less media and more to the medical professionals who are experts in the field of communicable diseases.

Remember that no one ever warded off a medical malady with worry.  Remaining calm keeps us strong. Have faith in God (who protects us), our government (who are taking dramatic measures to ensure our safety), medical professionals working day and night caring for the sick, scientists searching diligently for a vaccine and treatment, and for the American people who are the planet’s most resourceful community  and who have always unite in times of crisis. This one is no different.

All illnesses are serious, and we pray for the safety and healing of all people worldwide. But put everything into perspective. Remember SARS, Ebola, MERS, H1N1 and others? We survived each of them and we will survive COVID-19 as well.

One of my favorite mantras is “This too shall pass.” So be smart. Be safe. Use common sense and practice good hygiene. And don’t forget to help your neighbors and local businesses. There’s no better time than now (since we can’t go to restaurants or concerts) to take some time to be kind. Shortly after the devastating fires in Australia were extinguished, flowers promptly pushed through the Earth’s surface, reminding us that glory persistently follows destruction.

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