Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Caribbean

The Caribbean is a tourist hot spot it was inevitable for the new coronavirus to reach its shores. Throughout the world, COVID-19 has affected the tourism industry. To combat the spread of the disease countries are closing their borders. This is restricting airlines from carrying out their usual flights between international countries. COVID-19 has also halted cruise lines and paused the cruise industry. People are being encouraged to refrain from non-essential travel to mitigate the spread of the virus.   

What is the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic About?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a virus. It is an offshoot of the virus strain “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2” (SARS-CoV-2). COVID-19 causes severe respiratory difficulties. As reported COVID-19 was first found in Wuhan, China in 2019. Since then it has spread across the globe. COVID-19 has resulted in hundreds of thousands being infected and thousands of deaths. This has made COVID-19 being a global coronavirus pandemic.

How COVID-19 is affecting Caribbean countries and what is their response?   

Like all other countries, the Caribbean region is reacting to COVID-19. A drastic measure taken by one country is Guyana. They have banned self-quarantine even with less than 10 confirmed cases to date. No longer will persons infected be allowed to self-quarantine at home as they heal. All confirmed cases mild or otherwise will have to be quarantined at undisclosed Government-mandated facilities.   

Many Caribbean countries have closed schools. Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana, for example, have closed their borders to international travel. Caribbean countries have had to postpone yearly festivals and events that help to flourish their tourist industry.   

Who are at risk of contracting COVID-19?   

Everyone is at risk to contract COVID-19. This includes healthy people, young people, old people, children, babies, and pregnant mothers. It has been reported that even a newborn baby contracted the virus. However, older people and immunocompromised are being significantly affected by the virus and many cases arising in their death. Immunocompromised are persons who have a weakened immune system which reduces their ability to fight infections and diseases.   

Novel Coronavirus Symptoms   

Hollywood celebrities and sports stars are reporting that they have tested for and are positive with COVID-19. But some of them have said they have not displayed any symptoms as yet. This means that some people are asymptomatic. Thus one may be positive with COVID-19 and they do not know. The incubation period is currently reported at 1 to 14 days before developing symptoms. COVID-19 symptoms are flu-like but on the extreme. The most common symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease are fever, tiredness, difficulty breathing and dry cough.  

The video below gives a day to day look of the symptoms one may experience if they are infected with the new coronavirus.

Video Source – Science Insider via YouTube

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention   

The elderly, and people with medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), maybe more vulnerable. They especially can become very ill with COVID-19. Such ones must take extra preventative measures as they try to reduce their risk of contracting COVID-19. Organizations that tackle world health issues are all on the same page when it comes to what must be done to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Here are some actionable steps to take:   

  • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for about 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizers.   
  • Sanitize your home, office, and surroundings.   
  • Cover your cough and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue and wash your hands after.   
  • Boost your immune system.   
  • Practice social distancing measures. Avoid being in close contact with people, especially those who are unwell. Avoid handshakes, kisses, and hugs.   
  • Avoid going to large gatherings and events even if those are family-related.   

New Coronavirus Cure & Treatment   

There is no cure for the new coronavirus. This makes it even more important that persons practice the above precautionary measures. If one should contract the virus, they should do all they could to quarantine themselves. Use over the counter medication to heal even if your symptoms are only flu-related. Persons experiencing mild cases of coronavirus are being allowed to self-quarantine at home in some countries. But persons experiencing significant symptoms are over the age of 50 and if immunocompromised will need to seek medical attention.   

Coping with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic   

As COVID-19 is a current pandemic and with no cure currently available and everyone being at risk to contract the virus, many of us are nervous. Not for ourselves but also our loved ones and especially those at higher risks. Here are some tips to   

  • Do not become anxious and irrational.   
  • You will see the need to buy extra food supplies and household items. But do not panic buy. Instead, shop wisely.   
  • Listen to the government and take the advice that is being dispensed to you from Government.  
  • Only consider advice and information from reliable news and medical sources.   
  • Do not discriminate and be prejudiced against those infected, or Asian nationals.   

New Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information   

Propaganda and misinformation can spread by the media and the internet at rapid speeds. Be careful what reports you read, believe, and share. Only rely on credible sources for information about COVID-19.  To keep up with the latest important reports on novel coronavirus check out the following: 

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