UPDATED! Coronavirus Versus Influenza: Why SARS-CoV-2 is Not Just “the Flu” (With Sources)

Many people are saying that we should be paying attention to the regular seasonal influenza, which kills so many more people than the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus has. U.S. Presdient Donald Trump, in his most recent news conference, kept saying “It’s the flu”.

However, as this poster from the Coronavirus subReddit explains in detail (complete with sources), SARS-CoV-2 is not just “the flu”:


  1. The virulence (R0) of SARS-CoV-2 is estimated between 1.4-6.49, with a mean estimate of 3.28 (source) . This mean estimate is much higher than the seasonal flu, which has an R0 of 1.3 (source) . What this means is that SARS-CoV-2 spreads significantly faster than the seasonal flu.
  2. The Case Fatality Rate (CFR) of SARS-CoV-2 is at least 2-3% (source) . This is 20-30 times higher than the CFR of the season flu, which is around .1% (source).
  3. SARS-CoV-2 can be transmitted without the infected showing any symptoms (source) . This makes it much more difficult to control.
  4. Roughly 20% of SARS-CoV-2 infections result in serious symptoms that require medical intervention (source) . This is more than 10 times the hospitalization rate of the seasonal flu (source).
  5. Symptoms from SARS-CoV-2 can persist over a month (source) compared to the seasonal flu where symptoms typically tend to clear after five days (source) .
  6. There is no vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 (source), whereas people regularly get annual flu shots.
  7. There is no herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2 which means that it can theoretically infect the entire population. See, for example, a Korean psychiatric department where the virus infected 99/102 people.

Now, consider the multiplicative effect that all of these attributes have for the virus. Compared to the seasonal flu, SARS-CoV-2 (1) spreads faster; (2) kills far more; (3) is harder to control; (4) requires use of far more medical resources; (5) for far longer a period of time; (6) has no effective treatment; and (7) can infect entire populations at the same time.

These factors mean that SARS-CoV-2, if left unchecked, is far more likely to overwhelm a country’s medical infrastructure. Additionally, when medical infrastructure is overwhelmed, the CFR will skyrocket because we know that 20% of cases require medical intervention.

To summarize, the SARS-CoV-2 virus is potentially devastating if containment measures fail. This is far worse than the seasonal flu. This is why governments around the world are pulling out all the stops in order to try and contain outbreaks of COVID-19 disease caused by this coronavirus.

So the next time somebody who is ill-informed tries to argue with you that this is “just the flu”, please share this information with them.

Thank you to the person who originally compiled this information, u/Hafomeng, and posted it to the r/Coronavirus community on Reddit!

Coronavirus Versus Influenza (infographic from the Boston Herald)

UPDATE 2:25 p.m.: The Guardian newspaper reports today:

Many individuals who get coronavirus will experience nothing worse than seasonal flu symptoms, but the overall profile of the disease, including its mortality rate, looks more serious. At the start of an outbreak the apparent mortality rate can be an overestimate if a lot of mild cases are being missed. But this week, a WHO expert suggested that this has not been the case with COVID-19. Bruce Aylward, who led an international mission to China to learn about the virus and the country’s response, said the evidence did not suggest that we were only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If borne out by further testing, this could mean that current estimates of a roughly 1% fatality rate are accurate. This would make COVID-19 about 10 times more deadly than seasonal flu, which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people a year globally.

UPDATE 4:16 p.m.: The credible, authoritative Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has just published an up-to-date summary of everything we know so far about SARS-CoV-2: COVID-19—New Insights on a Rapidly Changing Epidemic.

Editorial: What Could the Next Few Weeks Look like in a Potential SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Pandemic?

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19. isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

As you know, since late January, I have been following all the newsfeeds and discussion groups that I can, scouring them for information on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the disease it causes, COVID-19.

At times I have completely stressed myself out, but at this point I feel as if I am as prepared as I am going to be, in order to deal with whatever happens now, and all that preparation greatly helps alleviate my anxiety. (One of the last steps I did this morning was to meet with my financial planner at my bank, asking him to sharply reduce my exposure to the stock market in my retirement investments. Why? Because I am convinced that a potential coronavirus pandemic will have a severe, negative impact on global financial markets, as we have already seen so far this week.)

I realize that I am, still, trying to write about a potential pandemic situation on a blog I originally created to cover social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse! I feel for my readers who might be somewhat confused and upset at this tangent I am following. All I can say at present is that I will endeavour to continue my coverage of social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse, but that I will also cover SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 from time to time as well. It’s going to be a mighty juggling act, and I might just drop a few balls! So, please bear with me. Thanks.


Today, I wanted to share with you an extensive excerpt from a website I recently discovered, called ThePrepared.com, which specializes in “emergency preparedness and prepping checklists for everyone”. The reader-supported website is up-front about its using affiliate marketing links as a means of generating income, but they state:

The Prepared is more like a curated wiki than a blog. And you may have noticed the lack of ads and other junk. The Prepared is supported by readers, and when you buy something we recommend, we may get an affiliate commission — but it never affects your price or what we pick.

(The above link goes to their Mission and Values statement, which you might want to read through completely if you are curious and/or suspicious of their motives. If you do not like their approach, there are certainly other places you can go to get advice on how best to prepare, which I will link to below.)

The excerpt I do want to share with you comes from ThePrepared.com’s comprehensive document titled One-page laypersons’s guide to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19), which offers a calm, rational, well-organized overview of what priorities you should be focusing on as you prepare for a potential SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic.

The part I want to highlight, which I have not really seen covered anywhere else in my admitted obsessive reading, is titled “What the next weeks might look like”, and it outlines two possible scenarios: a baseline scenario and a severe disruption scenario:


What the next weeks might look like

The range of realistic scenarios laid out below are not predictions. They’re planning tools to help you prepare based on what you might face.

Even in pessimistic models, experts aren’t planning for doomsday. We don’t think a really bad situation where food stocks are low and critical infrastructure is iffy is even worth talking about at this point.

We’ll update this page if expert predictions get worse.

Scenario A. Baseline scenario

Our baseline scenario — what we feel is most likely to unfold — is that the virus will spread person-to-person in a sustained way globally, not only in Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa, but also in the U.S. or Europe. We’re expecting disruption to daily life at some point here in the U.S., and in most places worldwide.

This scenario envisions a rising case count in one or more major U.S. cities, possibly to the point that a city has hundreds of cases before serious lockdown measures are taken to halt the spread.

We’re assuming in this scenario that we can, in fact, keep really bad outbreaks more or less geographically contained with Chinese-style quarantines, lockdowns, and travel restrictions in some cities and counties. We’re also assuming in this scenario that the fatality ratio is low, at about one or two percent at the most, but possibly below one percent.

What to prepare for:

– International travel restrictions that extend well beyond China, including the rest of Asia, Africa, and LatAm.

– Some pressure on US healthcare systems as hoarding of supplies results in shortages for healthcare workers. Health systems in the most affected cities will likely be overloaded.

– Possible disruptions in domestic air travel, due to the following: 1) pilots and airline staff refuse to fly in and out of affected cities, 2) fear and infection control measures like temperature checkpoints make air travel too inconvenient and people stop flying, which translates into lots of canceled flights.

– Cancellations of large gatherings or events (eg. concerts), especially in affected cities.

– Some significant amount of voluntary home quarantine by people whose work and/or lifestyle makes this possible (eg. remote workers, parents who homeschool).

– Isolated examples of voluntary relocation within your own network, as friends, family, or coworkers opt to move out of an affected zone until things calm down.

– Isolated but high-profile instances of xenophobic/racist violence, which causes widespread worries about physical safety among targeted groups.

Scenario B. Severe disruption

As with our baseline scenario, our severe scenario assumes the virus goes pandemic and spreads domestically, but the situation is worse because we’re not able to keep it constrained in any way.

If America has uncontrolled community transmission in most cities and counties, then the big questions that determine how severely our lives are disrupted are the following:

1. What is the fatality rate here in the US, with our advanced healthcare system?

2. What percentage of non-fatal cases have severe symptoms that require hospitalization, or even just a doctor visit and treatment?

These are big unknowns, so for the sake of planning we’re currently assuming the following general outlines for a severe scenario: the fatality rate in the US is on the order of about 2-4 percent, and the percentage of severe cases that require treatment is about 15 percent. With less than ten percent of our population infected, this latter number (15 percent requiring a hospital bed) is more than enough to overload the capacity of our hospitals and clinics.

What to prepare for:

– Long waits at hospitals and clinics, and more deaths from unrelated illnesses because of overall reduced access to healthcare.

– Widespread voluntary lockdown in homes for severely affected regions.

– Dedicated quarantine areas set up by FEMA, the military, the Red Cross, and other groups.

– Serious restrictions on domestic air travel, either from official order or because pilots and crew refuse to show up.

– Widespread school and daycare closures.

– Widespread closures of local businesses.

– Large companies pushing employees into remote work, halting all air travel, and moving meetings to video chat.

– Extended delivery times from carriers like USPS, UPS, and FedEx, as they cope with a combination of increased load (everyone’s ordering from home), reduced staff, and travel restrictions.

– Internet slowdowns in some neighborhoods, since everyone is home and streaming (or remote working) at the same time.

– Sealing off an area of a home or apartment in order to quarantine an ill family member.

– Temporary relocation to a safer area with much lower case count and less chaos and disruption.

– More instances of xenophobic/racist violence, along with some inter-ethnic conflicts in urban areas, as scared people begin to group up and turn on one another.


My advice to you is to read through each the potential events listed under both scenarios, A and B, and think about how you would respond to them, and what steps you would have to take to accommodate the event. For example, if your children’s school closes, will you, a friend, a relative, or a babysitter be available to care for them at home?

Good Sources of Information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Here is my newly-updated list of good, credible, authoritative resources to learn more about the Wuhan coronoavirus (formerly called 2019-nCoV and now officially called SARS-CoV-2; the disease the virus causes is now called COVID-19):

If you need lists of how to prepare and what to buy in order to get your household ready for a potential pandemic, here are five suggestions:

If you want a quick, up-to-date overview of the current situation, here are three good places to check:

Stay informed, get prepared, and stay healthy!

UPDATED! Wuhan Coronavirus / SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 Update, February 25th, 2020: the U.S. Centers for Disease Control Warns Today That “Disruption to Everyday Life May Be Severe”

The messaging from North American government authorities about the global SARS-CoV-2 virus outbreak (and the disease it causes, COVID-19) has taken a noticeable change in tone in the past few days.

Today, the Ottawa Citizen newspaper reported in a story titled Canadians being told to prepare for a possible novel coronavirus pandemic:

In a shift from previous messages, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Theresa Tam acknowledged Monday that Canada may no longer be able to contain and limit the virus if it continues to spread around the world. She said governments, businesses and individuals should prepare for an outbreak or pandemic.

“We are coming to similar conclusions,” agreed Dr. Vera Etches, the City of Ottawa’s top health officer, on Monday. “It looks like it is going to be more and more difficult to contain this virus and it may well evolve into a pandemic. That would change the efforts to contain every last case and contact.”

Etches said people can take steps now, at home and at work, to prepare.

Some of those steps include stocking up on needed prescriptions ahead of time so there is no need to do so during a possible pandemic. She also recommended people stock up on non-perishable food.

“Imagine if someone was ill for a week. What would you need?”

Note that the Canadian authorities are now warning people to stock up on their prescriptions and on non-perishable food, in preparation for implementation of social distancing policies and possible quarantines.

Meanwhile, in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also waning people to prepare themselves for significant disruption to society and daily life. Dr. Nancy Messonnier said:

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top US health official, says a community spread of coronavirus in the United States is now inevitable. Photo: Reuters/South China Morning Post

I understand this whole situation may seem overwhelming, and that disruption to everyday life may be severe. But these are things things that people need to start thinking about now. I had a conversation with my family over breakfast this morning, and I told my children that, while I didn’t think that they were at risk right now, we as a family need to be preparing for significant disruption of our lives.

— Dr. Nancy Messonnier, Director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a press briefing today

Here is the complete CDC press briefing (it’s about 35 minutes long):

What this means for you, reading this now, is that you need to prepare yourself and your family for the possibility that you will need to stay in your homes for a period of several weeks, avoiding contact with as many other people as possible, as a wave of illness caused by the Wuhan coronavirus sweeps through your community, forcing schools, businesses, and public transportation and public gathering places like movie theatres and shopping malls to close (as we already seen in Wuhan and many other cities in China). The time to prepare for this is NOW.

That means that you need to prepare by stocking up on food and other supplies to last you at least two or three weeks. Start by reviewing the Personal Health Preparedness lists provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here and the Pandemic Preparations list by Ready, an official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

You will need to have on hand:

  • At least two weeks of food and other supplies (toilet paper, first aid supplies, soap and hand sanitizer, garbage bags, etc.). There are already reports of panic buying in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy. You do not want to leave it to the last minute!
  • Refills of all your presecription medications, plus a stock of over-the-counter medicines (talk to your doctor and pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of your prescription medication).
  • Power sources (flashlights, extra batteries, car chargers and adapters for your mobile devices, etc.).

UPDATE 7:40 p.m.: Two other excellent sources of information on what to buy in order to prepare for a pandemic can be found here (via FluTrackers.com) and the excellent Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) page maintained by the website ThePrepared.com.


Other things that you should do:

  • Sign up for any local alerts from your city, state/province, or federal government (or know where to find the information on the Internet). Find out what plans your employer is making (and if they’re not making them now, they should be).
  • If you haven’t yet, get your seasonal flu shot. It can’t hurt, and it will help to figure out whether or not you do have SARS-CoV-2 if/when you do become sick. Many areas now give out the flu shot for free.
  • Train yourself NOT to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth! The SARS-CoV-2 virus can remain viable on hard surfaces anywhere from 2 hours to 9 days (scientific journal article source), and you can transfer the virus from your infected hands to your mouth, nose, and eyes by touching or rubbing them.
  • Watch the following video from the World Health Organization on how wash your hands! Yes, I know I have posted it before. You may think you already know how to wash your hands properly, but you still might learn something you didn’t know before. Proper hand hygiene will also help you avoid catching regular seasonal colds and influenza, so there’s a net benefit to society.

Good Sources of Information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Here is my updated list of good, credible, authoritative resources to learn more about the Wuhan coronoavirus (formerly called 2019-nCoV and now officially called SARS-CoV-2; the disease the virus causes is now called COVID-19):

If you want a quick, up-to-date overview of the current situation, here are three good places to check:

Stay informed, get prepared, and stay healthy!

UPDATED! Learning About the Adjustment Reaction to News of a Potential SARS-CoV-2 Coronavirus Pandemic (and Why You Need to Prepare Now)

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2
This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (orange)—also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19—isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells (gray) cultured in the lab. Credit: NIAID-RML

It would appear that outbreaks of SARS-CoV-2 virus (and the disease it causes, COVID-19) are springing up in places far from its birthplace in Wuhan, China: in South Korea, Iran, and Italy, among many other nations, with the coronavirus infection showing up in dozens of people who cannot be easily linked to China.

The Washington Post newspaper reported yesterday, in story titled Coronavirus outbreak edges closer to pandemic (original, archived copy):

In South Korea, coronavirus cases quadrupled over two days, as 144 people linked to a religious sect tested positive. In Singapore, clusters of infection have been traced to two churches, a hotel business meeting, a health products shop and a construction site. In Iran, an outbreak has seeded new cases in Lebanon and Canada — a worrisome sign the disease could be spreading more widely than realized.

There are outbreaks. There are epidemics. And there are pandemics, where epidemics become rampant in multiple countries and continents simultaneously. The novel coronavirus that causes the disease named COVID-19 appears to be on the verge of that third, globe-shaking stage.

Amid an alarming surge in cases with no clear link to China, infectious disease experts believe the flu-like illness may soon be impossible to contain. The World Health Organization has not declared COVID-19 a pandemic and the most devastating effects, including more than 2,200 deaths, are still in China. But the language coming from the organization’s Geneva headquarters has turned more ominous in recent days as the challenge of containment grows more daunting.

“What we find is that this virus is going to be very difficult to contain,” said Jeffrey Shaman, an infectious disease researcher at Columbia University and co-author of the study posted Monday. “Personally, I don’t think we can do it.”

Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch estimates that 40 to 70 percent of the human population could potentially be infected by the virus if it becomes pandemic. Not all of those people would get sick, he noted. The estimated death rate from COVID-19 — roughly two out of 100 confirmed infections — may also drop over time as researchers get a better understanding of how widely the virus has spread.

That death rate, estimated at 2% of cases at present, is significantly higher than that posed by regular seasonal influenza, at 0.1%. While many people (especially the young) have only a mild response to this virus, the latest scientific research shows that approximately 20 percent of those who land up in hospital with COVID-19 are severe cases that often require intensive care. Those who are older, overweight, or have underlying health conditions such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes are more likely to have a severe or even deadly reaction to this virus.


UPDATE Feb. 24th: The BBC reports in an article today titled Coronavirus: World should prepare for pandemic, says WHO, in answering people’s questions about the virus:

The current fatality rate is less than 0.5% for people under the age of 50. But it rises to 8% for people in their 70s and 15% for people over 80. Meanwhile, nearly 11% of people with diseases of the heart died when infected. As did 7% of people with diabetes and 6% of people with long-term lung problems. The average for healthy people is 0.9%.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) in the United States, explained in a recent CNN interview why we’re nearly at the brink of a global pandemic with the novel coronavirus outbreak:

Yesterday, the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota reported:

Today officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned that although the agency is taking historic measures to slow the introduction of COVID-19 into the United States, the country should prepare for the possibility of community spread, as seen in China and neighboring Asian countries.

“The day may come when we may need to implement such measures as seen in Asia,” Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a press conference, referencing the closing of businesses, schools, and churches in multiple countries where transmission is now occurring within the community.

This is no longer a “what-if” scenario for us in North America, or an “over there on the other side of the world” problem that we can ignore. This potential pandemic is already wreaking unprecedented havoc in Chinese society, and that havoc is spreading to other countries now—South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iran, and Italy all have documented cases of human-to-human transmission.

In other words, you need to prepare yourself—emotionally, mentally, and physically— for a pandemic. The time to begin preparing is NOW.

Part of the mental and emotional preparation for a pandemic is understanding something that risk communication expert Dr. Peter Sandman refers to as an adjustment reaction:

When someone first learns about a new and potentially serious risk, the natural, healthy, and useful reaction is, in a sense, an over-reaction:

– You pause
– You become hyper-vigilant
– You personalize the risk
– You take extra precautions

These responses are signs of what psychiatrists call an adjustment reaction. They are part of the process of adjusting to the new risk. Here are the key characteristics of the adjustment reaction to crisis:

1. It is automatic
2. It comes early
3. It is temporary
4. It is a small over-reaction
5. It may need guidance
6. It serves as a rehearsal
7. It reduces the probability of later over-reaction

This is just a summary; I very strongly suggest you go over and read the whole thing yourself, it’s not too long and it is fascinating. Dr. Sandman goes on to say:

This is the teachable moment! Instead of criticizing or ridiculing people’s adjustment reactions to emerging crises, smart crisis communicators encourage the adjustment reactions, legitimize them, ally with them, and guide them.

It’s okay to tell people that they’re jumping the gun a little – that there is still time and you advise them to hold off on particular precautions until the risk gets closer, bigger, or clearer. It’s okay to recommend substitute precautions – precautions that are more useful or less burdensome or less likely to backfire than the ones they’re attracted to. It’s okay to remind them that nobody knows yet whether the situation will worsen or blow over, that they should try to stay poised to ramp up or ramp down their level of concern. That’s all part of guiding the adjustment reaction.

What isn’t okay is to suggest that people shouldn’t be worried yet, that they shouldn’t take any precautions or even think about what precautions they want to take until you give the word. It isn’t okay to tell people that their normal and useful impulse to rehearse is irrational or panicky. Healthy people are going to rehearse. They are going to imagine the worst before it happens and before we know for sure if it’s coming. They are going to take premature precautions. An adjustment reaction is a big improvement over being caught unawares. Don’t try to tell people not to have one. Help them have a good one.

In other words, an adjustment reaction is normal, it helps you to begin to take the risk of a pandemic seriously, and it gives you the kick-start you need in order to begin preparing for it.

At this point all the experts are now saying the same thing: that the Wuhan coronavirus will continue to spread worldwide. It cannot be contained, either within the city of Wuhan, the country of China, or the region of south-east Asia. The best that countries outside China can do at this point is to use case isolation and contact tracing to slow down the spread of the virus within their countries, and implement quarantines and social distancing policies to buy more time in order to prepare. As Dr. Amesh Adalja says above, “It is not a matter of if—it is a matter of when”.

Remember, there is no vaccine against the Wuhan coronavirus, and there is unlikely to be one for at least a year. Also, no one has any natural immunity to the 2019-nCoV virus. Scientists still don’t know exactly what percentage of the people who catch this virus will develop only mild symptoms, and what percentage of infected people will land up in hospital. It has already been reported by Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIAID that approximately one in four people who are hospitalized so far have severe cases, requiring intensive care.

No hospital system, anywhere in the world, has enough intensive care beds to deal with a surge of tens of thousands of serious 2019-nCoV cases, as we have already seen happen in Wuhan, China.

As I have written before, throughout history there have been eight tactics used to combat infectious diseases. It is possible—some would say, likely—that national, state/province, and city governments will impose quarantines and social distancing policies in order to try and contain 2019-nCoV outbreaks.

What this means for you, reading this now, is that you need to prepare yourself and your family for the possibility that you will need to stay in your homes for a period of several weeks, avoiding contact with as many other people as possible, as a wave of illness caused by the Wuhan coronavirus sweeps through your community, forcing schools, businesses, and public transportation and public gathering places like movie theatres and shopping malls to close (as we already seen in Wuhan and many other cities in China). The time to prepare for this is NOW.

That means that you need to prepare by stocking up on food and other supplies to last you at least two or three weeks. Start by reviewing the Personal Health Preparedness lists provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention here and the Pandemic Preparations list by Ready, an official website of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

You will need to have on hand:

  • At least two weeks of food and other supplies (toilet paper, first aid supplies, soap and hand sanitizer, garbage bags, etc.). There are already reports of panic buying in places such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Italy. You do not want to leave it to the last minute! For example, both my local drug store and my local grocery store are now completely sold out of hand sanitizer, and the manager at the grocery store said they’ve been out of stock for two weeks now.
  • Refills of all your presecription medications, plus a stock of over-the-counter medicines (talk to your doctor and pharmacist about creating an emergency supply of your prescription medication).
  • Power sources (flashlights, extra batteries, car chargers and adapters for your mobile devices, etc.).

Other things that you should do:

  • Sign up for any local alerts from your city, state/province, or federal government (or know where to find the information on the Internet). Find out what plans your employer is making (and if they’re not making them now, they should be).
  • If you haven’t yet, get your seasonal flu shot. It can’t hurt, and it will help to figure out whether or not you do have 2019-nCoV if/when you do become sick. Many areas now give out the flu shot for free.
  • Train yourself NOT to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth! The SARS-CoV-2 virus can remain viable on hard surfaces anywhere from 2 hours to 9 days (scientific journal article source), and you can transfer the virus from your infected hands to your mouth, nose, and eyes by touching or rubbing them.
  • Watch the following video from the World Health Organization on how wash your hands! Yes, I know I have posted it before. You may think you already know how to wash your hands properly, but you still might learn something you didn’t know before. Proper hand hygiene will also help you avoid catching regular seasonal colds and influenza, so there’s a net benefit to society.

Good Sources of Information on SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Here is my updated list of good, credible, authoritative resources to learn more about the Wuhan coronoavirus (formerly called 2019-nCoV and now officially called SARS-CoV-2; the disease the virus causes is now called COVID-19):

If you want a quick, up-to-date overview of the current situation, here are three good places to check:

Stay informed, get prepared, and stay healthy!