Revisiting the Basics of COVID-19
It is undeniable that COVID-19 has changed the lives of people around the globe; in some circumstances, more dramatically than others. Nonetheless, we are all left wondering, what’s next? Scientists, doctors, and governments around the world are working hard to better understand this new illness. Due to the novelty of the virus, it takes time and numerous measures to better understand the best precautions to keep us safe and healthy. One thing we do know for sure, is that preventative health measures are key in keeping our immunity strong, and helping us deal with the stress that comes with living in a pandemic.
You most likely have heard this disease and virus called a few different things; COVID-19, Corona Virus and SARS-CoV-2. To clarify, COVID-19 is the name of the disease the virus causes. The 19 represents that it was discovered in 2019. Corona is Latin for ‘Crown’, and is used to describe the characteristics of the virus when visualised though an electron microscope, and it describes a family of viruses that all have this similar property. SARS-CoV-2 stands for “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2”. This means it comes from a family of Corona viruses, one that is genetically similar to the SARs outbreak in 2003 and can cause respiratory issues.1 There are many Corona viruses, a familiar one is the common cold we face every year.
What we know about viruses
Throughout our life, we are constantly exposed to viruses. From chicken pox, to the common cold, we have all been exposed many times; and frequently without even realising it. Some viruses may be subtle in the way they affect our health, and others might put you in bed for days. It really depends on the type of virus and the severity of the disease it can cause and, how strong our immune systems are when we encounter it!
SARS-CoV-2 symptoms can present as chills, a cough, sore throat, or more severely as breathing difficulties. Some people infected with the virus may have minimal, or no symptoms at all, and that is why they are labeled as ‘asymptomatic’. These symptomatic differences between individuals infected with the virus illustrates how diverse viruses can be, and how much more learning we have to do. As we learn, it’s best we take extra precaution to protect ourselves and others. As viruses can be transmitted between humans, it has always been a good idea to stay home when you are sick.
As we just found out how quickly things can change, it is understandable that many things feel like they are out of our control at the moment. However, one thing we can put effort into controlling is our health. Being proactive daily, with good food choices, exercise, and self-care, will help us keep our immune systems strong, and help us to better manage stress. This will in turn help us best prevent illness. Taking care of yourself should be a priority, especially now. We are now heading into fall, with cold and flu season just around the corner. This year it’s more likely to be a bit more stressful than previous years. Putting your best efforts toward your health, and being mindful of the impact healthy living can have on your overall well-being is more important now than ever!
Take care out there!
Looking for more tips to take care of your immunity?
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