We've been getting inquiries from our communities about things that show up often on the news recently, the Novel Coronavirus, or by its official name, COVID-19. Since the case is still developing, information from various sources could be confusing and conflicting. So we feel it is our responsibility to bring our hosts to the right path in terms of battling with COVID-19. Let's get started.
What is COVID-19?
According to BC Centre of Disease Control,
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses found mostly in animals. In humans, they can cause diseases ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). The new coronavirus has been named SARS-CoV-2. The symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, are similar to other respiratory illnesses, including the flu and common cold. They include cough, sneezing, fever, sore throat and difficulty breathing.
How did COVID-19 start and spread?
Though some researchers believe the 2019 novel coronavirus is related to human interaction with wildlife animals, there is no solid evidence to back up the theory yet. What we do know is how it spreads in the public.
Coronavirus is transmitted via larger liquid droplets when a person coughs or sneezes. The virus can enter through these droplets through the eyes, nose or throat if you are in close contact. The virus is not known to be airborne (e.g. transmitted through the particles floating in the air) and it is not something that comes in through the skin.
Are Canadians in danger?
Simple answer is, no. At the time of writing, there are 11 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Canada. 7 are in British Columbia, while the rest are in Ontario. According to BC Centre for Disease Control, "the risk to Canadians continues to be low."
The number of the patients affected is changing quickly everyday. It is important to stay alert of as the situation develops.
Which other countries are affected?
At the time of writing, 37 countries in the world have confirmed in total of 79554 COVID-19 new coronavirus cases. You may track the most up to date situation here.
When will COVID-19 stop?
Predicting when the spread of a disease will end is very difficult. We are not able to find any official information confirming when it will end yet. However, it's worth comparing it with some other respiratory infections, including influenza. According to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the peak flu season mostly happens in December to March. So it is reasonable to assume that the incremental cases of COVID-19 will begin to slow down in March or April.
How to protect myself and the students I host?
The key is follow the official instruction from provincial government. Many provinces across Canada have issued official instruction to the general public regarding COVID-19, new coronavirus. It is highly recommended to follow the instruction, and share such information with the students you host. Links are listed below for your convenience.
How many Homadorma students are from China?
About 20% of students using homadorma.com are from China. This is in line with the international student body in Canada as a whole.
Is hosting Chinese students riskier?
No. The new coronavirus does not tend to affect only people belonging to a particular ethnical group, or coming from a specific country. The fact that there are more Chinese people infected is due to the new coronavirus originally broke out in China.
Compared to the nationality of the students, the travel history of a student is more important. The ministry of health of Ontario gives specific instruction to travellers returning from mainland China,
Travellers who have returned from Hubei province, including Wuhan City, should:
Students need to indicate the nationality when registering on Homadorma.com. It gives hosts information about nationality, not about travel history of the student. Students also need to indicate the planned move-in date, which is likely the time of arrival.
As a homadorma host, you are likely familiar with the Find Students page. Pick any student you wish to connect and then click "check student info".
Let's take this student as an example. The student's nationality is China. She would like to move in on December 8, 2020. By that time, the COVID-19 outbreak is likely over. The risk of accommodating this student is very low. To learn more about the student's travel history, click the "connect" button to "promote" or "direct invite" the student to book. You may ask questions to the student directly.
Any other concerns related to COVID-19?
Feel free to leave a comment below. We will try our best improve the lives of our hosts and students in this particular period.
A blog where Homadorma team share information with our hosts and students.