To make sure I have the most accurate information possible, I’m trying to get scientific news directly from scientists, rather than from the media or from politicians. Two doctor friends of mine recommended the Coronavirus Resource Center, a new site from Harvard Medical School that’s being updated daily. Here are a few things I learned from my first visit to the site:
- I should be postponing all routine medical appointments, such as my daughter’s upcoming dental cleaning and my annual mammogram. (My risk of breast cancer is average; if you are high-risk for that or any other illness, check with your doctor before postponing a screening.)
- Early symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, can include low-grade fever, body aches, coughing, nasal congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. Symptoms can appear any time from 3 to 13 days after exposure.
- If I develop symptoms of COVID-19, I am better off taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) than ibuprofen (Advil).
- I can catch the virus from a surface, but I’m more likely to catch it from direct contact with another person, which is why “social distancing” is so important. I shouldn’t see anyone outside my household unless absolutely necessary. When I go out, I should stay at least six feet from anyone I encounter if possible. (This is obviously hard to do at some grocery stores.)
- We do not yet know whether the warmer spring weather will slow the spread of the virus.
I’m going to keep checking the site daily, as much of the information on it is subject to change.