As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, affecting Italy, Spain, and the United States most severely, governmental agencies continue to fight the spread of misinformation surrounding the virus by issuing health safety recommendations. The importance of social distancing, sheltering in place, and wearing a face mask are nevertheless a persistent source of questions and concerns for the general public, despite being some of the most important practices for slowing the spread of COVID-19. As we move forward in fighting the virus, sharing and following the correct information, as well as ensuring that countries have adequate resources such as testing kits, is fundamental to combating this pandemic as vaccines and treatments continue to go through development.
How Has It Spread
Since the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, COVID-19 has expanded rapidly across the world. In a matter of just a few months, almost every country has been forced to face this highly infectious virus. This past week, China announced that it was lifting its lockdown on Wuhan, allowing its citizens to leave their homes and resume some normalcy in their lives. While China successfully prevented a more severe spread of COVID-19 by implementing and enforcing strict lock downs, closing public spaces, limiting travel within and outside the country, and directing the use of face masks, this success is also largely the result of testing and tracking of the virus. South Korea, another country that has proven successful in battling COVID-19, also gives credit for its progress to the use of early testing to catch the virus promptly, track its spread, and implement proper social and health safety measures to eradicate it. Other, less prepared countries, however, have taken massive hits from the virus, and are urgently working to help prevent further damage.
How to Help Prevent COVID-19
While testing for COVID-19 is extremely important in helping track and stop the spread of the virus, public health safety measures from health agencies are also imperative to mitigating confusion and panic surrounding the virus. The World Health Organization (WHO) has worked on providing transparent, open communication to facilitate proper health safety precautions across the globe. Here is their advice:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face
- Maintain social distancing
a face mask when around someone with or suspected to be infected with COVID-19
- This recommendation can differ depending on region; please check with your government health protection agency for the best mask wearing practices
you are sick, seek medical attention
- After doing so, quarantine and/or isolate as necessary
As the United States and the rest of the world work towards a healthier future, the front line in this fight are the citizens of our global community. While China was able to implement strict rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19, other countries rely on people to proactively follow health guidelines and recommendations from the WHO and related health protection agencies. As the health protection agencies all over the world work to better track the pandemic in their respective populations, it is important to follow health and safety precautions to minimize the severity of COVID-19 among our neighbors, family, friends, and global community.
Please utilize these resources to help stop the spread of COVID-19:
Fleming, S. (2020, March 31). South Korea’s foreign minister explains how the country contained COVID-19. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/south-korea-covid-19-containment-testing/
Wu, X., Xu, X., & Wang, X. (2020, March 12). COVID-19 response: 6 lessons from China’s Zhejiang Province and Hangzhou. Retrieved from https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/03/coronavirus-covid-19-hangzhou-zhejiang-government-response/
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