Saturday, January 25, 2020

New Corona Virus Affecting Chinese New Year Celebrations

Today is Chinese New Year! It is the year of the Rat. In many parts of Asia, Chinese New Year celebrations (also known as Spring Festival) is observed for about two weeks. For more interesting facts about this holiday, you can read it here.

Some of you may know that large-scale festivities have been cancelled in China due to trying to contain the outbreak of a new coronavirus. In addition, the country is restricting travel during this busiest travel time of year. So this is a pretty big deal.  So far, there have been 41 deaths and about 1,300 confirmed cases in China. There are only 2 confirmed cases in the US.

I feel for the overwhelmed healthcare workers trying to contain and treat. Many are unable to go home to their families to celebrate this holiday. Here is a photo from an Insider article showing medical staff in a Wuhan hospital holding up Chinese New Year signs.
doctors signs wuhan hospitals

So what is it?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses like the common cold. Usually the symptoms are mild or moderate but can spread to cause pneumonia and bronchitis. MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV were two types of coronaviruses that caused more severe symptoms. Now we have this 2019-nCoV that is also causing more severe symptoms.

How do you get it?
  • from the air (infected person coughs or sneezes)
  • from personal contact (touching or shaking hands with infected person)
  • from objects or surfaces (then touching your eyes, nose, mouth before washing your hands
What are the symptoms?
  • fever
  • cough
  • shortness of breath
  • no runny nose, sneezing, sore throat, diarrhea (specifically in this 2019-nCoV)
  • symptoms may not appear until up to 14 days after exposure
How do you treat it?
  • rest (sleep is your best weapon)
  • fluids
  • humidified air
  • medicines to control symptoms (tylenol, motrin, cough medicine, inhalers if needed etc.)
  • there is no specific anti-viral treatment
  • call your doctor if not improving or if worried
How to prevent it?
  • wash hands often for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol based hand sanitizer
  • avoid touching eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • stay home if you are sick
  • cover cough or sneeze with tissue then throw out tissue
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surface
Many of these treatments and preventions apply to all viruses that can cause respiratory illnesses. However, if you have recently travelled to China within two weeks of symptoms,  you must let your doctor know.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Happy Birthday, Joe!

2020 didn’t start off so smoothly for me. My youngest stepped on my iphone which resulted in me not having access to my phone for a while. Nothing like experiencing what it is like to be without to realize how much I depend on this little device. Sad to say, I truly felt lost and disoriented. When a trip to the nearest Apple store that night could not fix the problem... (because it turns out it is not just the screen that cracked but whatever it is underneath)… my very capable husband ordered a part from Amazon and decided to attempt the fix himself.  Glad to say it worked. This here was his crazy work station!

So this post is dedicated as a “shout out” to my handyman husband! It is his birthday today. All last week, he was on a business trip. Whenever Joe is away (which unfortunately is a fair amount) …often the words out of my mouth are “wait for daddy to fix it”!

Now whether it is replacing an entire kitchen faucet because the old one was leaking and dripping… or helping our oldest fix her digital radio clock because the time was wrong (…and I didn’t have the skill or patience to figure it out) …my husband gets to use his mechanical engineering degree from MIT for these practical daily issues.

On top of it all...  aside from "fixing things" around the house, Joe uses his tinkering skills to transform broken lightsaber toys into wall lamps. Can you tell that he is an avid Star Wars fan?

So happy 2020, everyone!  Hope your year has started off better than mine.