Everyone in our office is dedicated to keeping kids safe, and that includes doing whatever we can to keep children safe from COVID-19. Unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation circulating throughout social media and disreputable news sites regarding misleading or untrue facts about coronavirus.
To help you sort fact from fiction, we’ve compiled the top five facts about coronavirus, paired with our recommendations about what you should do to ensure your kids are safe during this unprecedented time.
Fact #1: Soap Kills More Coronavirus Germs Than Hand Sanitizer
Are you worried that your stockpile of hand sanitizer is lacking? Don’t fret — the best thing that you can have on hand (no pun intended) to kill COVID-19 germs is good, old fashioned soap.
But why is that?
As it turns out, there’s a chemical reason behind soap’s superpowers against the virus. It has to do with fat! As you may remember from junior high biology, for virus cells to continue to replicate and wreak havoc, they need a cell wall to protect their genetic information, located within their RNA. Lipids, which include fats, are the building blocks for this cell wall. These fatty, lipid-based cell walls house and protects the virus’s RNA, which has to stay intact for coronavirus to thrive and replicate.
What destroys fat? Soap. Whether you use bar soap, liquid soap, or another form of soap altogether, it’s the most effective weapon against coronavirus. The soap destroys the chemical bonds holding the virus cells together and disintegrates the viruses replicating-ability altogether. When you wash your hands with soap instead of using hand sanitizer, your chances of killing the virus germs skyrocket.
So the next time your frenemy boasts about her wealth of hand sanitizer, just remember what your mom taught you: wash your hands with soap and water for at least 30 seconds. Then, teach your kids the same technique. It’s the best method to stop coronavirus in its tracks.
Fact #2: Most Coronavirus Carriers Don’t Have Symptoms
That’s right; coronavirus can be silent but deadly. That means that if you’re only avoiding people who are coughing or have the sniffles, you might be misplacing your trust. Not only can people carrying the novel virus go up to two weeks without developing symptoms, but they can also walk around in public spreading germs as they go.
Even more disorienting, some coronavirus carriers might never develop the illness at all, leading them to (mistakenly) believe that they aren’t putting others at risk. There is evidence to suggest that these pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic carriers are spreading coronavirus more frequently and more often than their sickly counterparts. This is the reason it’s imperative to limit your social engagements during this time.
If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, even if it was before their symptoms arose, you must get tested for coronavirus. Follow these six steps to get a COVID-19 test in Erie County. The last thing that you want to do is unknowingly pass on this virus to your children. Be their first line of defense and call your doctor if you believe that you may need the test.
Fact #3: Coronavirus Can Survive on Object Surfaces
Nobody is entirely sure just how long the virus can survive on an object surface, like a handle or counter. Rather than wait for the illness to spread throughout your home, experts strongly recommend that you update your standard cleaning practices. In addition to keeping your hands as clean as you can, you should also disinfect areas of your house that are often touched by multiple people.
Enlist your family’s help so that everyone knows that disinfecting is a shared chore that will help lessen their chances of getting coronavirus. You should sanitize things like tables, countertops, doorknobs, cabinet and drawer handles, and even light switches daily. While this does seem like overkill, that’s the point. Don’t give germs the chance to transfer to a new host.
Not sure how to begin? Take a look at the Center for Disease Control’s recommendations for cleaning and disinfecting your home.
Fact #4: Some Local Health Insurers Are Waiving Copays for COVID-19 Screening
Following instructions from New York State and the federal governments, many local health insurers are formally updating their policies. Now, insurance companies will cover the cost of testing and treatment of COVID-19 for their insurance members and are forgoing copays and out-of-pocket expenses for any doctor-ordered tests. You can read more about the specifics and which insurers are waiving costs on this article from the Buffalo News.
Fact #5: Practicing Social Distancing Will Slow the Outbreak
You’ve probably heard this already, but it’s imperative that you and your family members put social events and meetings on hiatus until further notice. Explaining to your children why this is necessary will help them understand that it’s for their safety. When you teach kids why social distancing is essential for their health, they will (maybe) stop begging for permission to go over to a friend’s house or out for dinner.
But why is social distancing necessary?
Many people are under the assumption that limiting social engagements and activities will keep them virus-free. However, the reality is much less optimistic. While not getting COVID-19 is ideal, it’s also to prevent hospitals and healthcare offices from being inundated with a significant influx of COVID-19 patients. In turn, this will lessen the chances of a healthcare worker picking up the virus and passing it to someone who is critically ill, immunosuppressed, or elderly, as all three of these groups are among the most likely people to die from the illness.
Practicing social distancing is also called flattening the curve, referencing the upwards exponential curve of coronavirus cases in the country. It’s a good idea. This is the same reason why:
- Universities and schools across the country have been postponed until later in the year (or until further notice)
- Movie theaters have closed across the nation
- Restaurants can only provide take-out or delivery throughout the state of New York
- Houses of worship and regional libraries have shuttered their doors until further notice.
In fact, this may have been the quietest St. Patrick’s Day in Buffalo on record in recent history. And remember just because schools have closed doesn’t mean your kids should sleepover at a friend’s house or your teen can head to a party. Encourage everyone in your household to turn to their computer or phone to keep up with friends and family. Sure, you’ll get cabin fever, but that’s why it’s important to take the dog for a walk or go for a jog. Get your exercise out in the world around you for a change of pace.
There are a wide variety of things to do during a quarantine, especially fun things you might have been putting off until you had the chance. Well, now’s your chance! There’s no end to possible things you can do by yourself or with your family. Ask your kids for ideas to make sure that they know they can suggest activities to do, as well. Limit the temptation to be stuck to the TV throughout the coming weeks, and you’ll find that social distancing can be creatively refreshing and productive. Plus, think of all the projects you can talk about once society can be social again!
Good Luck and Stay Safe
You’ve read our facts about coronavirus, and you now know some of the essential information to help keep your children safe during this worldwide event. Our firm has prioritized keeping children safe for decades, so we understand how imperative it is to take action when necessary. Read more about our practice’s history and browse other posts on our blog to learn different ways to take action.