Here are the 10 most important things to know:

An illustration of the structure the newly identified coronavirus, now named COVID-19. The image was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

1) This virus is not going to defeat us, because we at Showers of Blessing are armed with information, wisdom, and Faith. We are led by our Faith and not by fear. In addition, our Pastor, in his wisdom, has competent and compassionate medical staff as partners who are available to provide the necessary answers, and this puts us at a great advantage.

2) Although there is currently no treatment for the Corona Virus, you can do things to boost your immune system immediately. These things include supplementing with vitamins (like C, D, and B complex), eating a healthy diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables which are also full of vitamins and nutrients, eating foods that promote good gut flora (like yogurt that have live cultures) because this is where our immune systems are regulated, avoiding sugar which causes inflammation and can disrupt the immune system, managing your stress through relaxation methods like meditation, exercise and deep breathing, and getting plenty of sleep to help keep your immune system strong and ready.

3) Household disinfectants like Lysol and hand sanitizer DO KILL the Corona Virus. Wipe down surfaces like countertops, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, cellphones, community phones, computers, etc. with any disinfectant that has a label that says “EPA approved” or you can make a homemade disinfectant solution with 1 tablespoon of bleach in a quart of water.

4) One of the most important ways to avoid contracting the disease is simple hygiene measures like HANDWASHING with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating, after using the restroom, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. In fact, an important habit to implement even aside from COVID-19, is to cough or sneeze into your sleeve, or what we call “the crease.”

5) YOU DO NOT NEED TO WEAR A FACE MASK if you are not sick! The CDC only recommends that people WITH CORONA VIRUS wear a mask to protect those around them. Also, those who are caring for an individual with the virus or who live in the same home should follow protocol.

6) The virus is spread by direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected individual. Therefore, to avoid contracting the virus you should avoid individuals with active symptoms of coughing or sneezing, because these droplets can travel up to 6 feet prior to inhalation. You should also avoid touching surfaces that may be infected (i.e. doorknobs, shopping carts handles, elevator buttons, etc.) and then touching your own eyes, nose or mouth because this will result in self-contamination.

7) The incubation period for the virus, which means the time it takes for someone to be introduced to the virus until they show signs of illness, is about 14 days but can be as early as 5 days. So, if you think you may have symptoms, stay home and do not unnecessarily expose others to you for at least 2 weeks if possible.

8) Those that are most likely to end up with more serious illnesses or death include older individuals (especially greater than 65 years of age) and those who are immunocompromised or have chronic diseases (i.e. heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, autoimmune disorders, sickle cell disorder, under-immunization, etc.). Therefore, it is currently recommended that these individuals limit their contact with large crowds and their limit travel (especially on cruises and to areas with high incidence).

9) Symptoms of COVID-19 include runny nose, cough or sneeze, sore throat and fever. Many cases remain mild and resemble the common cold, with recovery. However, some will go on to become more severe and progress to pneumonia requiring hospitalization for care, and on occasion, some will result in death. Currently the death rate is 3.4% of cases.

10) COVID-19 is a respiratory virus that causes pneumonia.