Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Most people infected with the virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and 'recover' without requiring special treatment. However, some will become seriously ill and require medical attention. Older people and those with underlying medical conditions like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer are more likely to develop serious illness. Anyone can get sick with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.
The best way to prevent and slow down transmission is to be well informed about the disease and how the virus spreads. Protect yourself and others from infection by wearing a properly fitted mask (a sealed N95 or higher provides the best protection for yourself & others) and staying in well ventilated spaces with adequate filtration. Get vaccinated when it’s your turn and follow local guidance.
The virus can spread from an infected person’s mouth or nose in small liquid particles when they cough, sneeze, speak, sing or breathe. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols (COVID is airborne). It is important to practice respiratory etiquette, for example by coughing into a flexed elbow, and to stay home and self-isolate until you recover if you feel unwell.
How could it affect me?
Current evidence suggests many people experience a variety of mid- and long-term effects after they 'recover' from their initial illness. These mid- and long-term effects are collectively known as post COVID-19 condition or “long COVID.”
According to a Public Health Ontario report (published April 2022), 51-80% of adults who contract SARS2 develop Post Acute COVID-19 Syndrome (long COVID) defined as "persistent or new sequelae present 3 or more weeks after severe, mildly symptomatic or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection... some of the most commonly reported symptoms included fatigue; shortness of breath; anxiety; depression; sleep disorder; cognitive and memory impairments; and negative impacts on quality of life. The most commonly reported risk factors for developing PACS were increased disease severity during acute SARS-CoV-2 infection and female sex."
Yale University Immunologist Akiko Iwasaki explains what we know so far about Long COVID in this video published by Knowable Magazine on August 8, 2022.
Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 can lower your risk of getting and spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. Vaccines can also help prevent serious illness and death.
Getting a COVID-19 vaccination is a safer way to build protection than getting sick with COVID-19. COVID-19 vaccination helps protect you by creating an antibody response without you having to experience sickness.
Various COVID-19 Resources.
Reading & Information
Various COVID-19 articles, threads, data, & information.