Anyone can publish on Medium per our Policies, but we don’t fact-check every story. For more info about the coronavirus, see cdc.gov.

COVID-19: The Basics You Need To Know

Euvie Ivanova
Mar 10 · 9 min read

I’ve been following the unfolding COVID-19 developments since late January, when a friend alerted me to what was happening in Wuhan, China.

Since then, I’ve been doing a lot of research to understand the possible scenarios and outcomes of this situation.

I recently did two live streams on Future Thinkers with my partner Mike talking about some of these effects.

Here is the first one:

COVID Live stream from March 9th

And the second one:

COVID19 Live stream from March 16th

In the meantime, I wanted to share a primer with some basic information.

All the info in this article is provisional and likely to change as more data becomes available.

COVID-19 is a new disease. We don’t have immunity to the virus, we don’t have a cure or a vaccine, and we don’t know what is going to happen.

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional.

What is the Coronavirus / SARS-COV-2 / COVID-19?

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), previously known by the provisional name 2019-nCoV, and colloquially known as “Coronavirus”, “Wuhan flu”, or “Wuhan pneumonia” (what it’s often called in China), is a virus that is highly contagious in humans and causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), which is deadly.

The virus shares 80% of its genome with SARS and is in the same virus family. It is not a flu.

The disease is now in the early stages of a pandemic. World Health Organization predicts a moderate to very severe pandemic, based on COVID-19’s transmissibility and clinical severity.

Image for post
Image for post

Where did it come from?

  • It is thought to have originated in China in late 2019

What are the symptoms and effects?

  • In milder cases: fever, cough, fatigue, muscle soreness (flu-like symptoms)

How is it transmitted?

  • Through bodily fluids

How deadly / dangerous is it?

  • A study of 44,000 Chinese patients found the average chance of dying to be 2.3% — 4.3%, heavily skewed towards the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions.
Image for post
Image for post
Chances of dying from COVID-19 rise sharply with advanced age
Image for post
Image for post
People with pre-existing health conditions are most at risk of dying from COVID-19
  • Other high-risk groups are the immuno-compromised, those under high stress / exhaustion (i.e. health care workers during epidemic), and smokers.

What else is known so far?

  • There is currently no vaccine and no treatment. Several vaccines are being developed, but it will likely take until 2021 for them to become available.

What are the chances of containment?

  • At this point, containment is no longer possible. The virus is on every continent and in most countries. It has been growing exponentially in certain regions like China and South Korea (before it got slowed by quarantine and preventative measures), Iran, Italy, and now Europe and USA.
Image for post
Image for post
  • According to a recent estimate by a Harvard epidemiologist, 40–70% of the world’s population may get the virus in the next year
Image for post
Image for post

What if I get infected or think I might be infected?

  • Call your doctor or hospital (don’t go there in person unless they tell you to).

Tips to avoid / delay infection

  • Wash your hands often, especially after going outside.

Stock up on supplies

It should be enough to last your household for a few weeks to 1 month.

People panic once the first deaths are announced in their country and authorities start implementing quarantine measures like shutting down schools, public events, or public transport, etc.

At this point, people tend to buy up everything at the supermarkets, and shelves might be empty for weeks. This may already be happening in your location.

In addition, if you decide to self-quarantine, reducing the number of trips to the grocery store will reduce your chances of infection. And if you are put under mandatory quarantine, you may not be able to go to the grocery store anyway.

Only buy the food you are going to eat. Don’t hoard supplies just because.

Nutritious, non perishable food:

  • Fish, canned (i.e. mackerel)

Medical supplies:

  • Cold & Flu medicine

Hygiene:

  • Bleach (for disinfecting surfaces)

Immunity boosters and antivirals:

  • Vitamin C powder (1000mg daily)

Free immunity & health boosters:

  • Get adequate sleep. This cannot be overstated. Sleep is when your body repairs itself. If you’re up every night worrying, this will weaken your body’s ability to fight disease.

Mental / Emotional Health

  • Make sure to stay connected with friends & family digitally. Frequent video calls can help you feel closer to the ones you love and keep you saner.

Questions for further reflection

I intend to publish a second article on the second-order effects and potential outcomes of this pandemic, but I’ll leave you with these questions to ponder in the meantime.

  • What is this situation likely to become?

Where can I learn more?

Dr John Campbel has been posting daily level-headed updates on COVID-19 on his Youtube channel.

Another doctor’s informative updates on Youtube.

An aggregator of key news updates.

Coronavirus subreddit is another news aggregator.

Useful timely sense-making from many medical professionals, public intellectuals, and people on the ground can be found on Twitter through #COVID19 and #COVID-19 hashtags.

Live maps:

John Hopkins

Outbreak.cc

BNO news

Future Thinkers

Evolving technology, society, and consciousness to build a…

Euvie Ivanova

Written by

Media Entrepreneur, Podcaster at FutureThinkers.org and CryptoRadio.io, Consciousness Explorer, Artist, Digital Nomad.

Future Thinkers

Evolving technology, society, and consciousness to build a sustainable future for all of humanity.

Euvie Ivanova

Written by

Media Entrepreneur, Podcaster at FutureThinkers.org and CryptoRadio.io, Consciousness Explorer, Artist, Digital Nomad.

Future Thinkers

Evolving technology, society, and consciousness to build a sustainable future for all of humanity.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store