It's hard to believe we've been living in our weird, scary,-ridden world for seven months now. CNET first covered the in , when it was still a "mystery virus." By January 2020, the hadn't even topped 10 people total, and the experts were telling everyone not to worry.
Oh, how quickly that changed. It seems like in an instant,, were enforced, travel restrictions abounded, 's worth shot through the roof and the entire world shifted into a quasi-online version of what we used to know, complete with too much and too many " ?" And, seven months later, President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have .
No one can blame anyone for their nonchalant attitudes during the early days of the pandemic: The virus just seemed so far away and insignificant, and the US has a tendency to collectively say, "That'll never happen to me."
There was a light at the end of the tunnel in May and June 2020, when many states started toand other restrictions. That feels like false hope now that .
Throughout all of this, some corners of the internet have managed to keep novel coronavirus is still largely a mystery, we do have much more information than we did six months ago. Here's what we've learned to date.alive with and . And, though the
How does coronavirus spread?
The, so the main way people transmit the virus is through coughing, sneezing, talking, singing, yawning and breathing around other people. This can even happen .
Coronavirus can also spread when people touch surfaces, such as doorknobs and hand rails, that have the virus on them. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say this isn't the main way that the novel coronavirus spreads.
How does coronavirus compare to the flu?
Though some people who become infected with the novel coronavirus have flu-like symptoms, different transmission patterns and mortality rates.. Although both conditions are a respiratory disease, COVID-19 is caused by a coronavirus, while the is caused by influenza virus, and the two viruses have
If you start having flu-like symptoms, it's important to seek testing immediately and isolate yourself from other members of your household, because it's hard to tell the difference between theand COVID-19 based on symptoms alone.
How can you protect yourself from coronavirus?
To best current CDC guidelines, the most important actions to take include:, practice exceptional personal hygiene and follow national and local public health guidelines. According to
- Washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds or longer
- Using when and water aren't available
- Wearing a when you leave your house
- yourself from everyone, but especially people who are sick
- Avoiding discretionary travel
- Avoiding large gatherings
What happens if you get coronavirus?
If youor have been diagnosed with COVID-19, you should isolate yourself right away. To prevent the virus from spreading further, avoid contact with others until you're completely free of symptoms.
is a good time to call everyone you'd been in contact with over the last few weeks to let them know that you're sick. It's also a good idea for those people to self-isolate just in case they're in the pre-symptomatic phase of the virus or a totally .
Monitor your symptoms. If they're mild, stay home and take care of yourself. Stay in touch with your doctor and report any changes in symptoms or severity. If you start to feel like you can't breathe, can't stay awake or experience other emergency warning signs, seek medical treatment right away.
What is it like to have coronavirus?
Part of what's so weird and scary about the coronavirus is that symptoms seem to be different in everyone. First, the loss of taste and smell, digestive upset, headaches and more.were coughing, fever and shortness of breath. Then, people started reporting
, it's like coming back from the common cold. Others, however, have had cases that leave them with extreme fatigue for months, among a host of other intense symptoms.
How can you get tested for coronavirus?
It's much easier to get tested for coronavirus now than it was in the early days of the pandemic. When hospitals were overflowing and testing kits were scarce, you couldn't get tested for COVID-19 unless you had a fever or several other symptoms. The exact criteria differed by.
Now,. Some states and counties still have restrictions, but for the most part, if you show up to a testing site, you'll get tested -- although you might have to wait in a line.
Is it free to get tested for coronavirus?
Thanks to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, actual testing for COVID-19 should be covered by your insurance. However, you , such as care or treatment after a diagnosis.
What is the coronavirus test like?
The main method of nasal swabbing. During these tests, a nurse or doctor inserts a swab about six inches long into one of your nostrils. It looks like an extra-long Q-tip. The swab reaches the back of your nasal cavity, where your nurse or doctor spins the swab around. Your provider might swab the other nostril to make sure they have an adequate sample.is
Some testing sites also use saliva testing and cheek swabs now, which are better tolerated by most people. Saliva testing involves spitting into a tube, and cheek swabs are similar to nasal swabs, except the sample is taken from the inside of your cheek.
, which aims to find out if you've already had the virus, requires a blood sample.
When will we have a coronavirus vaccine?
Several potential coronavirus vaccines are beginning to enter Phase 3 clinical trials, which means they're ready to be tested in hundreds of thousands of people. This is good news, because it means the potential vaccinations don't cause any immediate adverse effects.
Still,, or even more than a year away. Once a vaccine is approved, it could still take months for it to become available to everyone in the US.
How can you sign up for a coronavirus vaccine trial?
You can sign up to volunteer for a Coronavirus Prevention Network and submitting your information through a survey. If researchers determine you are eligible for a trial, you'll be contacted by a study coordinator.by visiting the
And then there's everything we don't know…
Despite all of the facts we have now, there's much to be discovered about COVID-19, such as whether or not you can ; ; how or if countries can achieve ; how the virus is ; and, perhaps most troubling, and -- -- whether it can come back for another round.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.