LifeStyle Newsletter - Coronavirus 101: The Basics

| March 04, 2020

The coronavirus, which is now officially called Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), has received a lot of attention. Since the outbreak began in China, late in 2019, the disease and efforts to understand and manage it have made headlines around the world. The situation has been changing rapidly, but the body of knowledge about COVID-19 is growing.1

Unfortunately, not all information being distributed is accurate. Axios reported “The spread of the novel coronavirus outbreak is being matched, or even outrun, by the spread on social media of both unintentional misinformation about it and vociferous campaigns of malicious disinformation, experts tell Axios.”2

Here are the United States Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) answers to some basic questions about the virus:

What is a coronavirus? The term describes a broad category of viruses that typically circulate among animals. On rare occasions, coronaviruses infect people and spread from person to person. In 2002, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) infected humans as well as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) in 2012.1, 3

What is COVID-19? It’s classified as a ‘novel coronavirus’ because it is a type of disease which has not been identified before.1

What are the symptoms? Symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to those of an upper respiratory infection. They may appear within two to 14 days of exposure and range from mild to severe. According to the CDC, people with the virus may experience:4

• Fever
• Coughing
• Shortness of breath

How can you protect yourself? There is not a vaccine for COVID-19 yet. However, you can protect yourself much the same way you would protect yourself from other respiratory diseases. The CDC recommends:5

• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
• Staying home when you are sick.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve – not your hands – when you cough or sneeze.
• Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
• Washing your hands frequently.

Incidences of the virus in the United States remain low, although that may change. If you develop symptoms, stay calm, stay home, and contact your medical professional.5

A New Twist on an Old Favorite
Cauliflower is a powerhouse food. It ranks among the top 25 fruits and vegetables when measuring nutrients per calorie. Recently, cauliflower has been substituting for mashed potatoes and rice. Some pizzas sport cauliflower crusts, and the veggie is making headway into snack foods. If you favor a plant-based diet or are looking for a healthy-ish snack, try this recipe from

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup gluten-free baking flour
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 heads cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup hot pepper sauce, your choice
1 teaspoon honey

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix flour, water, garlic powder, salt, and pepper together in a bowl using a whisk until batter is smooth and somewhat runny. Add cauliflower to batter and mix until cauliflower is coated; spread onto the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Remove saucepan from heat and stir hot pepper sauce and honey into butter until smooth. Brush hot sauce mixture over each cauliflower piece, repeating brushing until all the hot sauce mixture is used. Bake in the oven until cauliflower is browned, about 10 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and allow the cauliflower to cool 10 to 15 minutes.

What Do You Know About Dogs?
Dogs are family in a lot of American households. Surveys suggest that somewhere between 49 and 68 percent of homes have one dog, and many have more than one.7 See what you know about our canine companions by taking this brief quiz adapted from

1. What training command is most commonly taught to dogs?
a. Sit
b. Play dead
c. Beg
d. Stay

2. What dog breed is the smallest?
a. Alaskan Klee Kai
b. Pomeranian
c. Chihuahua
d. Rat Terrier

3. How many teeth do normal adult dogs have?
a. 28
b. 32
c. 38
d. 42

4. What is the name of the dog on the front of the Cracker Jack box?
a. Jack
b. Bella
c. Bingo
d. Charlie

A Low Salt Diet Could Improve Your Health
Salt helps make many dishes taste delicious. However, it comes with an unwelcome side effect. Salt can raise blood pressure, which can stress the circulatory system, increasing the risk of heart disease or stroke, reported McKnight’s Long Term Care News.9

Research suggests people with high blood pressure benefit from low-salt diets, and there may be benefits for people with normal blood pressure, too. The American Heart Association recommends limiting yourself to 1,500 mg of salt a day is ideal.9, 10

Harvard Medical School offered some tips for reducing salt intake. They include:11

• Pass on bread and rolls, which often have high levels of sodium.
• Make your own pizza, at home, with low-salt ingredients.
• Choose homemade soup rather than canned, unless you buy low-sodium options.
• Stick with lower-sodium cheeses. Feta and blue cheese are typically quite salty, while goat cheese and ricotta are not.

When you’re trying to reduce salt in your diet, eating out can be challenging. One way to manage the risk is to review online resources for information about nutrients in popular restaurant chain meals. Then, you can decide what to order ahead of time.11

Quiz Answers:
1. A – Sit
2. C – Chihuahua
3. D – 42 teeth
4. C – Bingo

This material was prepared by Carson Coaching. Carson Coaching is not affiliated with the named broker/dealer or firm.