An image of a medical face mask.

Discussion of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, seems to be everywhere we go. While it can be a daunting topic, it’s important that you stay updated and aware. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been hundreds of thousands of people who have died from the virus and thousands and thousands more who have been affected worldwide. In this blog post, we will be discussing how you can protect yourself and what steps you should be taking in your day to day life. Keep reading to learn more! 


With international travel bands and cancelled flights, city lockdowns, and government mandated stay at home orders, it’s so incredibly important that you stay up-to-date on what is going on. Keep up to date by checking the CDC’s website, pay attention to your local and federal government, and distance yourself from others. With so much changing everyday it can feel overwhelming, but these sites are being updated daily so you can know exactly what’s going on. While successful steps are being made, it’s crucial that we do our part to help. Take it seriously and advise others to do the same. 


What is the Coronavirus? 


Starting off, it’s important to understand what the coronavirus is. The coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in China and has now been detected in more than 100 locations around the world, including the United States. 


On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization declared this outbreak to be a “public health emergency of international concern” which you can learn more about onsite. It wasn’t until about a month ago until the full severity was addressed by the United States, which caused state and city mandated lockdowns and strict health enforcement regulations. 


Coronavirus is a virus that can exist between humans and animals. The animals that have been correctly diagnosed include camels, cattle, cats, and bats. However, the primary animals that have been linked as carriers are bats, due to the virus having its origins in bats. While the virus may have started in China, recently there have been thousands of cases in the United States and other countries. These cases are believed to be the result of imported cases from international travels (not just those who have visited China), people who have come in close contact with a known case, and community-acquired cases where the source of the infection is unknown. 




The complete clinical background is still being discovered, but what we do know is that reported illnesses have ranged from mild to severe symptoms that include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms have been shown to appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. It’s also been seen to impact people who are older or already ill, specifically those who have underlying health conditions like heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. However, people who are not elderly or immunocompromised are also still at risk and can contract the virus. For more updates, the CDC can be used as a resource. So far, as of April 7, 2020, there have been over 374,000 documented cases and 12,064 deaths due to the virus. Every single state has been affected, making it more important than ever to stay at home and limit your public exposure to what is only necessary. 


What Can I Do To Protect Myself?


First, it’s important to understand how the coronavirus spreads. As of now (April 8, 2020) there is no current vaccine to prevent the virus. The best way to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The virus is thought to spread through person-to-person contact, which is why you have been advised to stay within six feet apart from each other. It can also be transferred through forms of coughing and sneezing, and then unintentionally inhaling that. Just as you would avoid a person with a cold or flu, you need to do the same for the coronavirus. 


Wash Your Hands


You should always be washing your hands, but now it’s more important than ever. Doctors are recommending that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and scrub them using soap and water. Your hands come into contact with an abundance of surfaces, leaving you susceptible to germs and bacteria that were on those surfaces. Think about it, our phones, door handles, car doors, steering wheels, laptops, everything we touch has come in contact with other things. Washing your hands can help stop the transfer of germs and bacteria which can then help you limit your exposure to the virus and the spread of it. Keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer or wipes in your car and other personal bags you may carry can help too. 


Stop Touching Your Face 


Just like we mentioned before, touching your face can lead to the spread of germs and bacteria. Our nose, mouth, eyes, and ears lead directly into our bodys, and can serve as entry ports for germs and bacteria to enter our bodies. So avoid touching them, make sure to wash your hands before if you are or need to touch your face. 


Limit Your Outside Activity


Many places have legally enforced that people self quarantine, work from home, and only go out for necessary things like food and medicine. The whole point of this is to limit exposure with other humans. Avoiding close contact with people who are immunocompromised, already sick, or elderly adults. These people are the most vulnerable to infection. Many large cities have legally implemented this tactic and almost all states are beginning to strictly enforce this. Pay attention to your local and state governments to see if your community is placed on lockdown. 


Prioritize Your Health


The Coronavirus has put all of us in an uncomfortable state. With all the news, business closures, and travel bans, it can cause a ton of anxiety and fear of the unknown. Self quarantine can also feel lonely. We as humans thrive on connection, which can be difficult to get when we’re shut in our homes for the majority of the day. During this time it’s important to prioritize your health, both mental and physical. With the lack of social outings, it’s completely normal to feel more isolated and lonely than usual. Take time to take care of your body. Whether that is an at home workout, cooking more meals, organizing, or simply watching a good movie, find what works for you. Understand that this time is new for all of us and that we’re all going through this together. Utilize all aspects of digital or virtual connection, if you’re struggling this can include forms of telemedicine and therapy. Take care of yourself. 


Pay Attention 

Stay up to date on what is going on around you. There are new updates daily that can have a heavy affect on your life and your community. Many businesses are posting updates about their status and the status of the government regarding their business hours and regulations. Visit your local government sites to know what’s going on around you. The CDC is the best resource to use that has been updating daily with new information. 


Currently, The President has given several recommendations about how to prevent the spread and what you can do, which can be found by visiting this site.


Smiles by Dr. Santos is following closely to the CDC’s recommendations that are pertaining to the coronavirus. If you are of think you’re experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, please call our office before coming in to check our hours and any other business aspects that may be affected due to the virus.


We do urge you, if you’re feeling sick with any of the symptoms, avoid going to public offices like emergency rooms or urgent care clinics. Please reach out to us for more questions regarding our office and what we are doing. We hope you’re all staying safe and look forward to seeing you all once this passes.