Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.
Skip to main content

Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and Steps to Prevent it

Before December of 2019, you’d probably never heard of coronavirus. Even during that period, when coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) was just starting to surface in China, you may not have given much thought to a disease spreading thousands of miles away. That has all changed in the past month. COVID-19 has spread to well over 100 countries, and the United States has seen a rapid spike in cases.

As the disease has spread like wildfire, you’re likely getting a deluge of information. Although much of what you’ve heard about it is true, COVID-19 has also sprouted plenty of false and dangerous myths. Use this blog to cut through the noise and find out the key facts about coronavirus and what you can do to prevent its spread. 

In uncertain times like these, knowledge can trump fear and is a powerful tool. Rimma Gelbert, DO, is researching COVID-19 through the lenses of both conventional medicine and alternative methods. The more you know about the coronavirus, the better you can prevent it.

What is coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface; “corona” is the Spanish word for “crown.” Researchers first discovered this family of viruses in the 1960s, and there are seven main strains that can infect people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), most people will contract a coronavirus in their lifetime and experience symptoms similar to a cold.

While the disease can be fatal, most people who contract COVID-19 will recover. 

Some strains of coronavirus have already had serious consequences. The SARS pandemic of 2002-2003 killed 774 people worldwide; 858 deaths have been reported since MERS first appeared on the Arabian Peninsula in 2012. COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 strain coronavirus and has reached pandemic levels in 2020.

What are the symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms can vary from mild to severe and life-threatening. Although some cases are asymptomatic, most people experience the following within 2-14 days of exposure: 

You’re not in immediate danger if these symptoms develop and should not go to the hospital or emergency room. If you develop the following emergency warning signs of COVID-19, the CDC recommends that you seek medical attention immediately:

Who is most at risk?

The elderly and immunocompromised are at the highest risk of developing serious symptoms. The death rate has been highest for those over 60. With this in mind, many nursing homes have banned visitors unless there is an "end of life" or emergency issue.

What can you do to prevent the spread of the virus?

There are three terms to remember when it comes to preventing the spread of coronavirus: self-quarantine, social distancing, and flattening the curve.


Self-quarantining means staying home and away from other people as much as possible for 14 days, the incubation period for the virus. While many companies are pushing their employees to self-quarantine out of an abundance of caution, this term is most important for those who believe they may have come into contact with the virus.

Social distancing

When you do need to travel outside of your home, practice social distancing. It’s easy to do — the idea is to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between you and others. When you apply this to your life, it means staying away from bars, gyms, theaters, and even houses of worship.

Flattening the curve

Social distancing and self-quarantining are both proven methods of flattening the curve. The curve, in this case, is a bell curve of the amount of people who will become infected with COVID-19. A high-curve overwhelms hospitals and resources; a low curve keeps things under control. The flatter the curve, the more quickly life can return to normal and the more lives that are saved. 

Coronavirus is frightening, but there are steps you can take to help control this outbreak. Contact our Brooklyn, New York, office if you have more questions or need advice.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Recognizing the Most Common Skin Disorders

At some point, you’ve probably experienced the discomfort of a skin disorder. Skin disorders vary in type, severity, symptoms, and source. Learn more about the most common disorders and what to watch for.

Trouble Sleeping? We Can Help

Does insomnia have you feeling tired all of the time? This common sleep disorder can have serious health consequences. Learn how we can help you finally get a good night’s sleep.

Who Should Undergo a Bone Density Test?

As you age, your bones slowly lose density. Over time, this means bones become more brittle and fragile, increasing your risk of fracture. Find out how a bone density test can help evaluate your risk.

The Correlation Between Smoking and COPD

It’s hard to quit smoking, especially when it’s been a lifelong habit. But it’s never been more important to stop. Take a moment to learn more about chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, a lung disorder affecting up to 210 million people worldwide.

Living With Arthritis

For most people, arthritis develops with age. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to impede your lifestyle. Living with arthritis may be easier than you think! Keep reading to learn how we can improve your life.

5 Reasons You're Getting UTIs

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) often seem to come out of nowhere and strike without warning. In reality, there are a few reasons why you may be setting yourself up for these painful infections, and we cover five of them here.