The emergence and subsequent spread of Coronavirus in Australia and globally has affected the way of life as we knew it. COVID-19, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. 

Already declared a pandemic, the virus with flu-like symptoms has caused over 177,000 deaths with 3 percent of the infected people in critical condition. In Australia, over 70 of the 6,645 confirmed cases have succumbed to the virus. The numbers keep growing with every coronavirus update the WHO releases, although the number of recoveries is impressive.

Just like the pandemic has altered our normalcy, it has brought with it quite a number of terms that we were evidently not keen on initially, and others that we didn’t know existed. 

Since the virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, governments across the world have joined hands with WHO and medical professionals in the fight against the virus. 

You’ve probably read or watched a lot of coronavirus news. But just to remind you again, here are some of the measures you should strictly follow to minimise or prevent coronavirus spread. 

Keep Social Distance

This helps to reduce the chances of transmitting the virus from one person to another. Social distancing talks about staying at least a meter away from the next person to prevent breathing in their air. 

Stay At Home

The Australian government closed schools, pubs, restaurants, casinos, and other ‘social gathering’ places indefinitely to limit coronavirus spread. In fact, this is the new norm even elsewhere in the world and many businesses have been closed, leaving essential services providers only. 

Hand Hygiene

Since touching your mouth, nose or eyes with hands that have come into touch with the virus puts you at risk, appropriate hand hygiene is key. The WHO recommends that you wash your hands with soap and adequate water to eliminate this chance. Where water and soap is not an option, use a hand sanitizer. 

Mask Up

In case going out is inevitable, you need to cover your mouth and nose with a filtered mask.  Medical practitioners have advised that this reduces your chances of inhaling contaminated air. 

Avoid Close Contact

Although humans are social beings who find pleasure in spending time with others, the ease through which Covid-19 spreads has made it impossible to hang out with your friends, colleagues and family members who are infected. 

But Just Where Do You Draw The Line Between Close Contact And Casual Contact?

1. Close Contact

This phrase in matters regarding Covid-19 means you have been in close contact with an infected individual. Close contact means that you had face-to-face contact within 1 meter or were in a closed space for more than 15 minutes with a person with the virus. 

As a close contact of an infected person, you are at a high risk of contracting the virus. Common infected close contacts include:

  • Roommates
  • Colleagues
  • Someone you may have attended the same gathering with
  • Someone you sat in the public transport with
  • Someone you queued for groceries with 
  • Someone who may have attended to in a healthcare facility

2. Casual Contact

This, on the other hand, refers to the level of contact at which you are not subject to contracting a communicable disease from another individual. 

In the context of COVID-19, you are considered a casual contact if you have been within only two meters of someone with the virus for less than 15 minutes. It could also be if you have been in the same space as the infected person for longer than 15 minutes, but more than two meters away. 

As a casual contact, you are considered to be at low risk of contracting the Novel Coronavirus. You are unlikely to get infected just from having been in the same place as the person with the coronavirus in Australia.

Recent research revealed that between 5% – 80% of the COVID-19 cases may be asymptomatic, meaning they are carriers that exhibit no signs and symptoms of the same. This group of people, therefore, tends to spread the virus without really knowing it. That’s why it is safe to observe social distancing and wearing of masks even when the people you are interacting with display no signs of the virus. Keep checking the relevant coronavirus updates for more information.