This time a year ago, no one in the United States, or even anywhere in the world, knew about a novel coronavirus, except a handful of physicians and scientists. Perhaps not even they knew we were facing a viral pandemic that would turn our lives upside down.
That unknown virus, SARS-CoV-2, has sickened 90 million people world wide and caused almost 2 million deaths. In the United States it has infected 22 million people, killing 370,000.
In the United States, the healthcare systems in many places, including our most populous states, are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, so much so that it impairs their ability to care for them and other patients. Cases are at an all time high across the entire country.
This illustration, created at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reveals ultrastructural morphology exhibited by coronaviruses.
Note the spikes that adorn the outer surface of the virus, which impart the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically. In this view, the protein particles E, S, and M, also located on the outer surface of the particle, have all been labeled as well.
A novel coronavirus, named Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), was identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China in 2019. The illness caused by this virus has been named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). CDC/ Alissa Eckert, MS; Dan Higgins, MAMS, public domain.
Finally, a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2
There is hope for an end to this nightmare now that two vaccines are available and being dispensed. I feel fortunate to have received my first dose of the Pfizer-BiONTech vaccine but I know for many others it will be weeks if not months before they will be vaccinated.
Let’s review COVID-19
In this post, I’m offering a graphic review of COVID-19 and what we can still do to prevent infections IN ADDITION TO getting vaccinated. Until we achieve wide spread immunity through vaccination the risk of infection and death are still present and still just as real.
Please note I am not addressing management of COVID-19 in this post. Your best source of information for treatment of symptomatic COVD-19 is from a physician familiar with your symptoms and underlying health.
The timeline of a COVID-19 infection-from exposure to immunity
Other common symptoms include
- muscle and/or joint aches
- nasal congestion and drainage
- sore throat
- loss of taste or smell-this almost always means you are infected
- there may be no symptoms at all
Steps to prevent infection from coronavirus-
Wash your hands, Wear a mask, Watch your distance
What to do if you think you have COVID-19 or have been exposed
Base your actions on FACTS, not FEAR
Learn about the vaccines from Dr. Gupta and Dr. Fauci
Throughout the pandemic, I have depended on the reports from Dr. Sanjay Gupta, neurosurgeon and medical correspondent for CNN. I don’t miss his daily podcasts called Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction.
In this episode, Dr. Gupta interviewed Dr. Anthony Fauci about the coronavirus vaccine. I suggest you listen to this 12 minute podcast, as well as the others in this series.
exploring the HEART of controlling a pandemic
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