Unless you’ve been living under a rock, chances are you’ve been hearing talk of Coronavirus virtually everywhere – and if you’re anything like me, you can’t help but have flashbacks to the 2011 movie, Contagion, starring Matt Damon and Gwyneth Paltrow. With so much talk about the outbreak, it’s easy to become worried about your health and safety, and questions regarding whether or not it’s safe to travel quickly arise. To help you get a better idea of what’s going on, FOX Corporate Housing has researched the subject. Here’s what we learned.
What is Coronavirus?
Despite it commonly being referred simply as “coronavirus,” the specific virus that originated in China – Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19), is actually one type of coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a large family of common, enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses characterized by the crown-like spikes observed on their viral surface. Coronaviruses range from common respiratory colds, to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Coronaviruses are zoonotic, which in simple terms means that they spread via animals and people – although some coronaviruses only affect animals. This new coronavirus is one that can affect humans and spreads from person-to-person – probably through means of airborne travel, i.e., viral respiratory particles in the air. Typically, it is obvious that a person is infected, but it is also possible that someone has been infected by the virus and has managed not to develop symptoms/feel sick.
It is worth mentioning that although COVID-19 is an RNA virus, i.e., it is a virus that’s primary genetic material is RNA as opposed to DNA, the tendency for RNA viruses to mutate is probably not a cause for concern. Most of the time, mutations are not beneficial to the virus and actually cause organisms to leave fewer descendants over time such that natural selection ultimately eliminates the organisms with said mutations. Usually, multiple genes code for a virus’s severity or transmission capabilities; so, in order for COVID-19 to become more severe and to become more easily transmitted, multiple genes would need to mutate, and the likelihood of this happening in a short span of time is incredibly low.”
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
Typically, symptoms of Coronavirus 2019 appear within 2-14 days post infection. According to the World Health Organization, “common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”
However, most people who contract Coronavirus 2019 will make a full recovery, although recovery times can vary by person. For infected people who aren’t terribly ill, recovery may not be all that different from recovering from a flu-like sickness, and people who display very mild symptoms may only take a few days to get back on their feet.
It is important to note that older people, as well as those with underlying health conditions and/or already compromised immune systems, should do what they can to avoid situations that put them at increased risk. This includes staying away from crowded places, as well as avoiding non-essential travel, i.e., lengthy flights and cruise ships.
Is it safe to travel?
So far, the CDC has not advised against domestic travel within the United States. Currently, the U.S. is listed as a “Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low.”
The following countries are considered to be higher risk, and non-essential travel should be avoided:
- China – (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). Foreign entry has been suspended.
- Iran – (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). Foreign entry has been suspended.
- South Korea – (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). Avoid all nonessential travel.
- Italy – (Level 3 Travel Health Notice). Avoid all nonessential travel.
- Japan – (Level 2 Travel Health Notice). Older adults and people with chronic health conditions should postpone travel.
- Hong Kong – (Level 1 Travel Health Notice). Travels should take proper precautions when traveling here.
The Safety of FOX Corporate Housing’s Clients
The health and safety of FOX Corporate Housing’s clients is always our top priority. We continue to monitor the situation and are staying vigilant by keeping up with any updates regarding official information published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The FOX team wants you to feel safe staying at our properties, and we are taking extra precautions to ensure that our units are properly sanitized and cleaned. All staff have been given extra guidance per CDC recommendations, and every effort is being made to keep our guests as safe as possible. Measures include disinfecting all surfaces that are frequently come into contact with, i.e., tables, door knobs, toilets, light switches, etc., with EPA-registered disinfectants, and instructing staff to wear gloves at all times.
The CDC recommends the following measures to prevent the spread of respiratory illness:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
The FOX Corporate Housing team will continue monitor any updates, and will provide information from the experts regarding this developing situation.
If you have any concerns regarding the cleanliness or sanitation of our apartments, please do not hesitate to contact us by phone at 1-844-440-4360, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about Coronavirus, you can visit the following sites:
US Centers for Disease Control: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
US Centers for Disease Control FAQs: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/faq.html
World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses