How to stay safe from Covid-19 infection

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by Dennis Dalman

The following are prevention tips on how to best stay safe from the Covid-19 virus. These tips are based on information from the National Centers for Disease Control, based in Atlanta.

Wash hands repeatedly all day with soap and hot water, and avoid touching one’s face. Do not shake hands or give hugs. Try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from people, especially people you do not know. Avoid touching, kissing or hugging elderly people, even parents and grandparents.

If at all possible, hunker down at home and do not attend any large gatherings (even family gatherings). This self-isolation, or social-distancing, as it’s called, should continue at least until after extensive testings, until the extent of the virus’s spread and its effects are widely understood.

Symptoms of infection may include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath and possibly muscle aches and a headache. However, people with those symptoms should not panic as they can be onset symptoms of other illnesses, as well.

Covid-19 symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure. The average time is five days from exposure.

If you fear you have Covid-19 infection, the best thing to do is call a clinic to find out the next steps you should take.

There is a Covid-19 hotline number: 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903.

The best site for updates of background information and updates on coronavirus is the webpage of the Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, Georgia. Google that site and it will pop up. Other good, reliable sites for information are the Minnesota Department of Health and for specifically central Minnesota updates Stearns County. Go to

The most important advice from the CDC is this: “Do not panic.” Try to be cool, calm and rational. Do not seek information about the virus from social media. Some wildly inaccurate sites are still claiming the pandemic is nothing but a “hoax,” and some other sites are promoting fears, panic or scams.

Author: Dennis Dalman

Dalman was born and raised in South St. Cloud, graduated from St. Cloud Tech High School, then graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in English (emphasis on American and British literature) and mass communications (emphasis on print journalism). He studied in London, England for a year (1980-81) where he concentrated on British literature, political science, the history of Great Britain and wrote a book-length study of the British writer V.S. Naipaul. Dalman has been a reporter and weekly columnist for more than 30 years and worked for 16 of those years for the Alexandria Echo Press.

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