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The Covid Home Companion: What YOU Need to Know About the Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Covid-19

The Covid Home Companion: What YOU Need to Know About the Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Covid-19

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The Covid Home Companion: What YOU Need to Know About the Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Covid-19

113 pages
1 hour
Dec 16, 2020


Are you worried about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19?

Have you been concerned about false, conflicting and misleading coronavirus information spreading on the internet?

Do you want one source which explains in understandable language how to prevent the disease, how to know when you may have it, how to treat it, and what to expect next?

Then the Covid Home Companion is for you.

Veteran medical journalist Brian Dunleavy has interviewed hundreds of doctors, scientists, and other healthcare experts in his work for United Press International (UPI).

In the Covid Home Companion, he distills the knowledge he has gained into easily actionable information you can use to stay safe (and keep your family safe) during this uncertain and frightening period.

You can protect yourself. You can protect your loved ones. The trick is to know what to do.

The Covid Home Companion will teach you...

The REAL symptoms of Covid-19 infection;

What Covid-19 is, and what it is not;

The long-term HEALTH EFFECTS of having the disease;

Assessing your RISK for catching the disease, for having complications, and for passing it on to others;

How dangerous the disease is for your CHILDREN, and how contagious your children are;

How to PREVENT getting the disease in the first place;

What the TRUE prospects are for long-term immunity, how long it will take for the vaccines to be distributed, and what a “return to normalcy” might eventually look like;

...all in a handy, clear, and easy to follow reference guide.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been the deadliest worldwide outbreak of infectious disease in more than a century. In the United States (and many other countries), the winter of 2020 – 2021 looms as the most dangerous time of all.

While safe and effective vaccines are here and are beginning to be distributed, the process will take several months to play out. Meanwhile, the disease is running unchecked through society, and hospital systems are on the verge of being overwhelmed.

This is not the time to let down your guard. This is not the time for so-called “Covid fatigue.”

This IS a time to learn everything you can, clear up any misconceptions, and above all, STAY SAFE.

One simple way to do that is to get the Covid Home Companion. Buy it today.

About the Author

Brian P. Dunleavy has been covering health and medical research for more than 25 years, writing for United Press International, EverydayHealth.com, ContagionLive.com, Biography.com, History.com, the Village Voice and amNewYork, among others. He holds a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

Dec 16, 2020

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The Covid Home Companion - Brian P Dunleavy

The Covid Home Companion

What You Need to Know About the Prevention, Symptoms and Treatment of Covid-19

By Brian P. Dunleavy

Smashwords edition

Copyright © 2020 by Brian P. Dunleavy

All rights reserved




Chapter 1. COVID-19: A Brief History

Chapter 2. Symptoms

Chapter 3. Long-Term Health Effects of COVID-19

Chapter 4. Assessing Your Risk for COVID-19

Chapter 5. The Issue of Immunity

Chapter 6. Are You Contagious?

Chapter 7. Social Distancing

Chapter 8. Testing for COVID-19

Chapter 9. COVID-19 and Kids

Chapter 10. Treatment and Prevention of COVID-19

Chapter 11. Vaccines

About the Author


Most Americans first learned of the new coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2—the virus that causes the disease called COVID-19—in late December of 2019.

At the time, the outbreak of the new virus, which centered in the area around Wuhan, China, a city of roughly 11 million people, seemed like a small problem in a faraway place. Hadn’t there been strange disease outbreaks in that part of the world before—like SARS in 2004-05? Hadn’t we felt a little silly after the panic surrounding the Ebola virus in Africa in 2014-15, when only three Americans ultimately were infected?

New infectious diseases by their very nature sound scary. Usually, there’s no cure, and even experts aren’t sure how they’re spread. Each one, it seems, has its own set of particularly frightening symptoms and complications. We’ve all cringed thinking of those rare, flesh-eating bacteria (called, for the record, necrotizing fasciitis), and wondered, Could we catch this horrible bug?

However, even to most epidemiologists, infectious disease specialists and public health experts, the disease that became COVID-19 seemed of little threat, at least through the first few weeks of 2020. Yes, many of these same researchers had been predicting a global pandemic for more than 25 years—and urging world governments to prepare for one. Still, a strain of influenza, commonly known as the flu, was supposed to be the virus that caused the pandemic, not a coronavirus.

That’s because coronaviruses weren’t thought to be contagious enough to spread globally—and they hadn’t been in the past. SARS, or sudden acute respiratory syndrome, also a coronavirus, didn’t become a pandemic infectious disease. And neither did MERS, or Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome. It too is a coronavirus. Heck, the common cold is also a coronavirus, although it obviously doesn’t cause life-threatening illness in most people.

By early February, when it became clear that COVID-19 was spreading outside China, and that governments, including ours in the United States, hadn’t heeded those warnings about the potential threat posed by pandemics, it became clear we had a global emergency on our hands. A few weeks later, in March, when I interviewed William Hanage, PhD, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, for my job as a health reporter for United Press International, there was little hope we could sidestep the crisis. By then, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) efforts to distribute an effective test for COVID-19 to healthcare facilities across the country had failed, due to flaws in the testing kits and supply chain issues (Willmann, 2020.).* As a result, hundreds of Americans who had potentially been exposed to the virus while traveling abroad went untested, meaning they could spread it to countless others.

And they did.

This virus is going to be with us for a long time, Hanage told me. How right he was. As of this writing, more than 11 million Americans have been infected, and more than 250,000 have died (Johns Hopkins University. Coronavirus Resource Center).

Efforts to develop a vaccine to protect against the virus—like the annual flu shot does for the flu—and a drug that can treat its symptoms have made significant strides in the months since, but are still likely months, if not years, from these shots being widely available (Gale, 2020).

Early in the outbreak here in the U.S., a reader of some of my reporting on it contacted me to ask, What can I do to protect my family? In truth, nearly a year later (as of this writing), we’re still learning about COVID-19, with new research being published at an unprecedented pace. What this book will strive to do is answer that reader’s question, based on what is known now.

Unfortunately, all infectious diseases evolve—they are living viruses, after all—and current science-supported approaches to reducing risk for infection and/or severe illness could change. However, what I hope to provide in the following pages is a quick, easy-to-read guide to what the research says about risk, prevention and management, from a science- and data-driven perspective.

I hope you find it helpful. Stay safe.

Brian P. Dunleavy

New York City—December 2020


This book is meant to be a practical guide, and not a point-by-point critique of the global response—and the U.S. response—to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it’s worth taking a quick look at how the virus came to the United States, and how it spread, as it speaks to our individual risk here.

From the beginning, COVID-19 suffered from a bit of an identity crisis, and the confusion over what to call the mysterious bug likely contributed to the failure of many around the world to understand just how serious a threat it posed. It wasn’t until mid-February that the World Health Organization (WHO) dubbed the disease COVID-19 (WHO, February 11, 2020). Up until that point, it had been called—at least officially—SARS-CoV-2, an unwieldy name that referred to its similarities to sudden acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, and its status as a coronavirus (CoV). As it was the second SARS-related coronavirus to emerge in humans, after the first SARS outbreak in 2004-05, it was thus SARS-CoV-2.

Still, at that point, the WHO, somewhat controversially, had yet to declare the newly named virus a pandemic. The global health organization had declared it a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) in late-January (WHO PHEIC), but as alarming as that term sounds, it didn’t seem to inspire concern from world leaders—or the general public.

If this was influenza, we’d have expected widespread community spread, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told the press on March 2nd, in justifying the agency’s decision to not yet declare it a pandemic (Joseph, 2020). Containment is possible in all countries that are affected.

Of course, at the time, more than 80 percent of the cases of the disease outside China, where the virus originated, were in only four countries: Iran, Italy, Japan and South Korea. In fact, South Korea had more than half of all cases outside China, and most of those came from known clusters, not community spread—which suggests that disease surveillance and transmission control measures were working, according to Ghebreyesus (WHO, March 2, 2020).

Still, during the same press conference, Mike Ryan, head of the WHO’s emergencies program, warned, Clearly all health systems come under pressure with this disease. And, by then, the virus had already spread to all continents in the world (albeit with a small number of cases), except Antarctica, with the announcement by officials in Brazil on February 26, 2020 that a Sao Paolo man had been diagnosed with the virus. It was believed the man may have been among a group of Brazilian nationals flown back from Wuhan on a repatriation flight earlier that month (Yeung, 2020).


Meanwhile, public health officials here in the United States appeared to be far less optimistic about COVID-19 than their counterparts at the WHO. Leaders at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had already warned Americans to prepare for a coronavirus pandemic. Nancy Messonnier, MD, director of the agency’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a press briefing on February 25, 2020 that the rapidly evolving and expanding COVID-19 outbreak has now seen community spread in multiple

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