H&W: The New Coronavirus

How Does it Spread?

The 2019 strain of the corona virus is what is known as a novel coronavirus, which means that it is a new strain of coronavirus that has not been previously identified. The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), is not the same as currently known coronaviruses that commonly circulate among humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.

Little is known about how 2019-nCoV spreads; what the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) does know is primarily based on their knowledge of the currently identified family of coronavirus.

Coronaviruses are large family of viruses that are common in many species of animals. Investigation as to how this virus spreads is ongoing. What is known it that it is spread by droplets that come from an infected persons cough or sneeze or other bodily fluids. Currently the CDC knows that the droplets or other fluids must be inhaled or land in the nose or mouth of persons adjacent to the infected persons. Conversely, not much is known about how the virus is spread when the droplets land on a surface that one may touch and then touch their nose, eyes or mouth.

Currently there is no vaccine for the 2019-nCoV; therefore, the CDC recommends preventative actions that are in-line with those that help reduce the spread of any repertory virus.

Even if you are the hardiest of humans, it doesn’t hurt to adhere to these preventive methods, especially during cold and flu season. As Musicians perform in social settings with substantial contact with other persons, it simply prudent and common sense to follow the CDC’s advice when you are at a gig.

How Protect Yourself and Your Family:

♪ Check the CDC website for up-to-date information, especially if traveling. As we have seen with travel to/from Asia, transportation can be substantially interrupted, delayed and/or canceled.

♪ Get a flu shot to prevent the flu. While the coronavirus is different from the flu virus, the flu is still a serious illness.

♪ Practice good health habits.

♪ Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing isn’t an option.

♪ Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

♪ Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

♪ Stay home when you’re sick. That includes staying home from work, school, errands and travel. Call a substitute instead of infecting the band!

♪ Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

♪ Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as your instruments, phones, doorknobs, etc.

♪ Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious food.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Please visit AFM Local 47’s COVID-19 Resources page at afm47.org/covid19.