How Easily Does Coronavirus Spread?
Post: March 12, 2020
The rapid rate at which the Wuhan coronavirus made its ways around the globe is indicative to how easily the virus spreads. First, global leaders thought the disease was contained to the small province of Hubei. But as it spread from first one Asian country to the next, then to Europe and finally to the U.S. in a matter of weeks, it quickly became clear that this virus is not one to be taken lightly. If not contained, it has the potential to be as widespread as influenza. Which is a fitting comparison, as it spreads like influenza as well.
COVID-19 spreads from person to person and seems to be spreading at a quick and rapid rate through communities, which means it has reached the level of community spread. What this means is that persons in communities with a known outbreak, no matter how minor, can become infected by the virus without coming into direct contact with someone who has it. How is this possible? It’s simple, really:
- An infected person, who may not know he or she is infected, sneezes or coughs, wipes his or her mouth or, in some other way, transfers bodily fluids to his or her hands.
- That person touches a surface — say, a shopping cart handle, for instance.
- Another person uses that shopping cart without disinfecting the handle first and then touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes.
- Community spread has just occurred.
It’s that simple. Of course, the easiest way for the virus to thrive is by one person directly coughing or sneezing on another, but the transmission doesn’t have to be that outright (or grotesque).
Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus
Because COVID-19 spreads as quickly and easily as the common cold, the federal government and CDC are urging all citizens to take precautionary measures to help contain the virus. Some are simple and things you should be doing daily, while others are more drastic:
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds and with soap and water after sneezing, coughing, being out in public or using the restroom.
- Disinfect all commonly used surfaces daily.
- If you’re sick or show any signs of the disease, isolate yourself from others.
- STAY HOME except to get the necessities, seek emergency medical care or go to work.
State, local and federal governments are working together to come up with mandates devised to control the spread of COVID-19. If there are mandates in place in your community, please follow them. The sooner people come together to contain the virus, the more quickly we can resume life as normal.