Coronavirus – What you need to know

Published: 18th Mar 2020

The dreaded “C” word is serious, with the coronavirus understandably dominating the media for the past few days…and no doubt for weeks to come. With no mention of toilet roll / hand wash shortages (damn, we’ve just mentioned them), Models Direct will give you the facts that models need to know. Whether you chose to believe all social media posts is your prerogative – that said, all the following information has been researched and taken from the World Health Organisation’s latest figures as of 17th March 2020.

What is a virus?

Most scientists define a virus as non-living (by themselves, they’re largely inert), whilst some declare them living (as they contain genetic material). Simply put, a virus is a microscopic piece of genetic material surrounded by protein. They can enter healthy cells, take them over, and create copies of itself. Many are infectious.

What is the coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that may cause illness in animals and humans. In humans, several coronaviruses are known to cause infections that largely affect the respiratory system. These infections can range from the common cold to more serious conditions, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). It must be stressed that Covid-19 is not the same as SARS. Though genetically related to each other, the diseases are quite different. SARS was more virulent, but Covid-19 is more infectious. There have been no outbreaks of SARS anywhere in the world since 2003.

What is Covid-19?

Covid-19 is the name of the disease caused by the coronavirus. The disease (and virus) were unknown before the outbreak in December 2019 in Wuhan, about 500 miles west of Shanghai.

What are the main symptoms?

The three main symptoms are dry coughs, fever (high temperature), and shortness of breath.

Can I catch it from my pet?

No. Though there was one instance in Hong Kong of a dog being infected, there is no evidence that dogs, cats or any pets can transmit Covid-19.

So – the big question. As a model, should you be worried?

If you’re fit and healthy, following basic hygiene routines will dramatically reduce the risk of acquiring the virus. If you’re living with over 70-year-olds, wait for further information from the UK government / Chief Medical Officer for instructions should full isolation become mandatory.

Let’s briefly focus on some recent upbeat examples

  • In mid-March, Apple reopened all of its 40+ stores in China.
  • Experts say Italy was hit hard only because of the country’s age.
  • In Wuhan, a 103-year-old grandmother made a full recovery from Covid-19 after six days’ treatment.
  • China closed its last makeshift coronavirus hospital on 10th March 2020, as there weren’t enough new cases to support them.
  • Canadian scientists are making excellent progress in Covid-19 research.

This is encouraging! However, the government expects the pandemic in the UK to worsen in March and April.

Models Direct remains optimistic, as you should. If millions of people in the UK are advised (forced?) to stay at home for a number of weeks, think of how many more people will see models on TV screens and spending more time reading magazines and catalogues. Staying safe is priority number one, no question. That said, if you’re looking for more modelling work over this period of uncertainty, please get in touch with us as we’re resuming our photo-shoots for all interested parties.

Stay safe, keep looking for government updates, and don’t despair! There is work out there for all models. We’ve launched thousands of models over the last 30 years, and we see no change in this exciting and fulfilling industry. May we even whisper… the time could even be beneficial for models. Now, there’s a thought.

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