What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the technical name for the new strain of coronavirus that is sweeping the globe as we speak. First identified by an outbreak in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, the COVID-19 strain has not been previously identified to affect humans, but rather has been carried by species of bat. Since it is relatively new to the human world, the specifics of COVID-19 are still yet to be determined and thus making it much harder to combat the global pandemic as it has become. The spread of COVID-19 over the last few months has become extreme, with over 180 countries now having confirmed cases of COVID-19 according to the World Health Organisation. The situation around the world has become unpredictable and it is important for individuals to be aware of the seriousness of the virus and how it is affecting the human population globally.
Symptoms of COVID-19
From medical science research, we can determine that the incubation period for the COVID-19 virus is approximately 14 days. While these results are not entirely conclusive, it has been the starting point for the World Health Organisation to determine isolation periods and lockdown measures necessary to reduce the spread of the virus. Common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and in rare occasions, a build up of mucus in the nasal passage. In the more severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia and acute respiratory distress. These severe symptoms and complications are more common in individuals who are elderly, immunocompromised or suffer with an existing medical condition.
COVID-19 vs. the ‘Flu’
It can be very hard to distinguish between COVID-19 and influenza (flu) as they both exhibit the same symptoms in the initial instance. Both viruses are transmitted in similar fashions; by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with a surface that has been contaminated by the virus. The major difference is the speed of transmission. Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period so symptoms appear faster after transmission meaning that the influenza virus spreads faster than COVID-19. Further medical research into COVID-19, may however shed some light on this area and prove this to be incorrect as the virus is currently spreading at a rapid rate.
How Can You Stay Positive?
With the world fighting this global pandemic, it is important to consider your own health as well as the health of individuals around you. The health authorities, here in Australia and indeed across the world, have enforced strict social distancing rules when out in the community for the wellbeing of all citizens, and are encouraging individuals to remain isolated in their homes as a more permanent solution until the pandemic can be controlled. Some countries are already in complete lockdown, meaning that citizens are no longer allowed to leave their place of residence. It is no doubt a scary and unpredictable time for everyone, so it is important to stay in a positive mindset and follow the advice of health authorities and the government.
Being prepared with an adequate supply of essential items, such as food, sanitary items and medications is important. This doesn’t mean hording items; that is unnecessary and more detrimental than positive, but having enough to potentially last an extended period in isolation; maybe a few weeks. While financially, this may not be possible for all citizens, we need to remain vigilant of our neighbours and family and stay in contact, through messaging, phone communications and online platforms, to ensure that everyone is adequately supplied during these hard times.
A pandemic like this, takes its toll not only physically, but mentally as well. It can be a very stressful, anxious and worrying time. The uncertainty of illness, paired with financial stress can make it very hard for individuals to maintain a positive mental wellbeing. It is important to remember that you are not alone and there is help available. If you, or someone you know needs help, reach out to mental support services such as Beyond Blue, Lifeline or the NSW Mental Health Line.
With the COVID-19 virus continuing to spread, governments around the globe have placed countries into complete lockdowns, meaning individuals no longer have access to their physical regimes such as gyms and alike. With containment a top priority, people are being isolated in their homes. Arguably, staying home, while it is a safe measure to reduce the spread of the virus, may have unnecessary negative consequences based on a reduction of physical activity.
But being isolated at home doesn’t mean that you can’t stay physically active while in lockdown. There are various at home activities that can be completed to maintain positivity and physical health. Try stretching and muscle toning exercises such as leg lunges, stair climbing (if you have them in your home) or using the chairs for standing to sitting and vice versa exercises. In addition, you could also try Tai Chi or Yoga exercises. These exercises are strongly supported by the use of online video training sessions and eHealth. The use of the internet, mobile devices and television to support physical exercise is to be strongly encouraged.
Many health services are swapping to online platforms to stream live workouts, book online appointments and provide tips on staying healthy and physical during this critical period. For more information on health videos and or to book an online appointment, see Transcend Health, your physiotherapy and exercise physiology specialists in Newcastle. Transcend Health are still open for face to face appointments for low risk individuals to ensure that you can get the valuable care that you need. Our telehealth appointments are available for individuals who may be unable to access face to face services. The appointments use webcam services so you can have visual appointment through your computer. Our physiotherapists work with you through the webcam to assist you to perform exercises and assessments without the risk of exposure during these uncertain times. For assistance or to book one of our online appointments, follow our online booking platform.
We Are Here To Help
There is no question that these are uncertain times. The world has seen pandemics before, and the human population has survived them. Getting through this pandemic is about supporting each other and supporting our health care system by listening to the advice given by our governments and health authorities. Take some initiative to being healthy; enact higher standards of hygiene, monitor global situations, support you close networks systems so that everyone has help, support your local businesses where possible and most importantly, look after yourself and your wellbeing. Stay safe, stay active, stay healthy.