How Cannabis Users Can Prevent Coronavirus
Here is how cannabis users can prevent Coronavirus spread. COVID-19 poses a significant disruption to our daily routines. The public is slowly warming to the reality of a need to take precautions against getting the virus. Coronavirus is new to the scene, and there is much we do not know about it. Admittedly, we know even less about any interaction between cannabis and Coronavirus. What we do know about it warrants practice of getting back to the basics to prevent its spread.
Avoid Large Crowds
America is adjusting to 'new rules' around this virus outbreak. The closure and cancellation of schools, large gatherings, cultural events and our beloved sporting events is proof. These closures are unfortunately necessary as older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions seem to be at higher risk. If you use marijuana and have diabetes, heart or lung disease, you risk developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. We encourage to avoid crowds as much as possible. At this time, while awaiting specific CDC guidelines, different communities define 'large crowds' as over 250-500 people.
Healthy Tips for Marijuana Users
Cannabis users tend to be quite laid back, 'go with the flow' types. As such, our puff-puff-pass culture creates an excellent way to spread any virus, including Coronavirus. The sharing of joints, vapes, pipes, blunts, and bongs put us at higher risk. Until the COVID-19 threat passes, I recommend not sharing your weed supply, and not using anyone else's. If they give you the side-eye, give them a friendly elbow bump instead.
Smoking Cannabis While You have COVID-19
When you have a respiratory infection, smoking weed (or anything else for that matter) is not what the doctor orders. Viral infections often show symptoms of muscle aches and pain, poor sleep, headache, and signs of inflammation (fever). While it is true that CBD and THC both help many of these symptoms, there is not enough research to confirm the benefit of cannabis in colds or the flu. Smoking or vaping during an active infection is not recommended, as it may further irritate your lungs. If you are set on using weed during your illness, we advise using edibles as a safer alternative during your illness.
Don't Believe the Hype about Coronavirus Treatments
Whenever there is an emergency, snake oil salespeople will claim to have the latest' cure-all' for it. From sesame oil, sea rocks, vitamin D, or Jim Bakker's Silver Solution, there is no shortage of worthless disinformation on social media. With the hype around CBD, you can also expect to hear unfounded claims about its effect on Coronavirus. There is no reliable research on CBD and Coronavirus. These claims are false and meant to prey on the public's hysteria. Nor is there any good reason to buy a $50 face mask on Amazon. While wearing a mask lowers the chance of an infected person spreading the virus, proper handwashing is a much more effective way to keep you from catching it.
Coronavirus is Mainly Spread by Person-to-Person Contact
COVID-19 is spread by direct contact. Although infection may occur with exposure to respiratory droplets from an infected person's sneeze or cough inhaled into our lungs, it is not an airborne virus. Persons at higher risk are in close contact (within about 6 feet of other people). In general, the CDC recommends:
- Avoid all close contact with people who are sick. Just smile and wave.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Stop shaking hands.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue, then toss it away. If you don't have a Kleenex, cough into your elbow.
- Clean and disinfect the surfaces of frequently touched objects with a regular household cleaning spray or wipe. Avoid touching public surfaces when you're out and about.
- Wash your hands a lot. Thorough handwashing is perhaps the most important exercise we can do to prevent the virus spread. Wash your hands with soap often for at least 20 seconds. Try singing two verses of Happy Birthday to You or perhaps Baby Shark. You can stop when you get through Daddy Shark). The CDC has a guide on How to Wash Your Hands and Stay Healthy.
How Do I Know if I Have COVID-19?
If you fit the following criteria for COVID-19 symptoms, get yourself tested at a local health clinic. We suggest you call the clinic ahead of time to give them a heads-up for your arrival. The medical response to COVID-19 in the U.S. has been slow, and not all clinics have the test kits yet.
- Shortness of breath
- You've been in contact with a COVID-19 patient or recently traveled to an area with an ongoing spread.
Note: The definition of "area with ongoing spread" changes practically by the hour, and this item on the symptom list is becoming less relevant. We now recognize the virus as already existing in local communities.
Quarantine Yourself if You are Sick
If you suspect you are sick with the virus and medically stable, self-quarantine is the best option. According to the CDC recommendations, 'People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 can isolate at home during their illness. It would be best to restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
When Should I Be Worried?
At this time, as far as we know,the younger a weed user is, the less they need be concerned. Of course, kids and teens should not be using marijuana under most circumstances. If you are relatively younger (<60), and otherwise healthy with mild illness, your risk of a good outcome is excellent. Riding the illness out is similar to a case of a mild cold, or at worse, the flu. For those persons older than 60, and/or with a pre-existing health condition, the risk of a bad outcome is a little bit higher. That said, there is no need to panic as the overall risk remains low. Of course, if you are sick, and not medically stable, then you should seek professional medical supervision.
The Coronavirus emergency is ongoing and rapidly evolving. This article will be updated as new information is disclosed as the crisis develops .
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