24 March 2020
It seems too bizarre to be true, and yet there it is, all over our newspapers, TVs and social media.
The coronavirus pandemic is messing with the line between fantasy and reality, leaving some of us feeling like we’re fictional characters in the movie Contagion.
There’s a mountain of information constantly bombarding us, and, on any given day, we can easily slide from thinking ‘she’ll be right’ to full blown panic. So, how do we calmly and collectively weather this storm?
Turning your phone off and taking a beer down to Bondi Beach is tempting, but what’s more responsible is knowing the corona facts from fiction and learning how to calmly adjust to our new – albeit temporary – reality.
So, let’s arm you with the facts and give you some trusted sources of information.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Health Direct:1,2,3
Source: Australian Government Department of Health, 21 March 2020
According to WHO and NSW Health:4,5
Droplets from an infected person only travel about 1 metre.
Image source: World Health Organisation
The length of time a person remains contagious (can spread the virus to others) is not yet entirely known. However, some evidence suggests that a person can spread the infection from about a day before they first develop symptoms until up to one day after their symptoms are gone.6
People showing possible symptoms of COVID-19 are tested by their doctor (or other medical professional at a hospital) by taking swabs from the back of their nose and throat, or fluid from their lungs.3 These are then sent to public health labs for testing. Testing may also be done at specified private pathology labs.
If you need to be tested by your doctor or at a private pathology lab, call ahead to let them know you have symptoms.
Find out specific testing information for your state by visiting your state government health website.
Test results will usually be processed within one day, but it may be longer depending on where your test was done and how quickly it was delivered to the lab.3
According to the Australian Government Department of Health,7 you will only be tested if your doctor decides you meet the criteria:
There is a global shortage of the test kits used to diagnose COVID-19. This is why Australia is doing targeted testing instead of widespread testing. However, these criteria may change as more testing kids become available or alternative ways of testing are developed.
The best way to protect yourself is to:4,5,8
When it comes to masks, only wear one if you’re sick with COVID-19 or looking after someone who has it.4 Disposable face masks can only be used once. There is a world-wide shortage of masks, so use them wisely.
Image source: Australian Government Department of Health
If you have severe difficulty breathing, call 000 immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with an infected person.
To find out if you need to seek medical help, use this:
If the Symptom Checker tells you to seek medical help, you must call ahead before visiting your doctor or the hospital emergency department, to describe your symptoms and travel history.
You’ll be asked to take precautions when you attend for treatment, so follow the instructions you’re given.
For more information about COVD-19, you can also call the Australian Government's National Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080. The line operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The following actions are NOT effective against COVID-19 and can be harmful:1,2
There are a lot of smart and qualified people working on and writing about COVID-19, but there’s also a lot of noise and misinformation. Here are the trusted sources we recommend:
We hope you stay safe and well in these trying times!
The Mosh Team.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns, please talk to your doctor.
Guidance provided here is subject to change as the COVID-19 virus progresses.