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Asked by Answers Staff in COVID-19


What should I know about coronavirus?

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   We've compiled frequently asked questions about the novel coronavirus at the center of the current pandemic. Each section includes links to trusted health organizations.What is coronavirus? Is it the same as COVID-19?The coronaviruses are a family of viruses whose symptoms can range from the common cold to something more serious and potentially lethal. A new coronavirus is currently spreading across the planet, affecting the daily lives of many.In December 2019, an outbreak of a new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) occurred in Wuhan, China. It causes a disease called COVID-19, which can lead to death, particularly for the elderly and people with serious chronic medical conditions.More than 200 countries and territories, including the United States, have confirmed cases of the infection since the initial outbreak, and on March 11, the World Health Organization declared it a pandemic.What are its symptoms?According to the CDC, fever, cough, and shortness of breath are the main symptoms of COVID-19.
   Additional symptoms may include aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat, diarrhea, and new loss of taste or smell. Severity of the symptoms range from mild to life-threatening—about 1 in 5 people who are infected require hospital care.How do I get tested?If you have symptoms of COVID-19, particularly severe symptoms, the CDC recommends you call your healthcare provider. Tell them about your symptoms, and they’ll give you instructions on how to safely receive a test. They note that while testing supplies are increasing, it may still be difficult to receive a test.More specific guidelines vary from state to state. NBC News has a handy guide here. You can also check your local health department's website for testing information.It’s especially crucial that you call your medical provider if you’re elderly or have a serious chronic medical condition. Also, if you or a loved one are very sick (e.g., experiencing symptoms like difficulty breathing,
   persistent chest pain or pressure, confusion, or bluish lips or face), seek medical attention immediately.How does it spread?The CDC and researchers worldwide still have a lot to learn about COVID-19 and how it spreads. According to current knowledge, though, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is mainly spread from person to person through respiratory droplets. That means droplets from an infected person’s coughs and sneezes land on other people’s noses or mouths, or they breathe them in, and that infects them, too. It’s also possible that the virus can spread through people touching contaminated objects and then touching their mouth, nose, or eyes.How can we prevent it?According to the CDC, “the best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” Some steps you can take to limit your exposure to the virus:Regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Pay attention to hand hygiene, especially
   when you’ve been in a public place and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.Practice social distancing by increasing the space between you and other people. That means staying home as much as you can, especially if you feel sick.Disinfect frequently touched surfaces (like keyboards, doorknobs, and light switches) every day.Cover coughs and sneezes with the inside of your elbow or a tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.When you're out in public, wear a cloth facemask (not the kind meant for healthcare workers; see this guide for making your own).Are there any approved treatments for COVID-19?There are currently no FDA-approved drugs to treat COVID-19. The FDA does, however, have a special program for possible treatments, attempting to quickly determine if new drugs or drugs already approved to treat other illnesses could be helpful in fighting COVID-19. Although some studies are promising, none of the research is conclusive, and you should always consult
   a healthcare professional before trying to treat yourself—do not ingest anything you think might protect against the novel coronavirus without talking to your doctor first.When will a vaccine be available?There are several potential vaccines in development, but in order for them (or any vaccine) to be approved for public use, they must pass a three-phase clinical process before being considered by the FDA. The FDA’s approval process includes multiple steps to ensure the vaccine candidate’s efficacy and safety. While the FDA is working with vaccine developers to expedite the development and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, this depends foremost on the candidate’s success in clinical trials, which take many months.For more information on this ever-developing COVID-19 pandemic, consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s page dedicated to the virus, found here.

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Asked by Laverna Zieme in TV Shows and Series


What was the best series finale in TV history? What was the worst?

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   Definitely Avatar: the Last Airbender. This show went well beyond the normal confines of a "show for kids" by exploring much more serious themes and subjects, such as personal loss, genocide, familial rejection, and greater responsibility to one's community, all while handling these complex and dark topics with the whimsical curiosity and honesty of a child. It recently got added to Netflix's catalogue in the United States, so check it out!

Asked by Dahlia Hagenes in Mufflers and Tailpipes, Cars & Vehicles


Why are car mufflers loud?

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   Well, you only hear the loud ones. The purpose of a car muffler is to silence the car’s exhaust system—in fact, in the UK, they’re called silencers—and most are pretty successful. The loud ones are either faulty, modified to be loud, or are something called “performance mufflers,” which are designed to increase car performance and split the gap between, well, muffled and unmuffled. So, your average muffler eliminates most of the exhaust noise by leading sound waves through sound-cancelling channels and chambers; modified and performance mufflers, on the other hand, let some of the cool sounds out. If your muffler isn’t usually loud but starts to make noise, get that checked right away, as that could mean harmful fumes are leaking into your car.

Asked by Ursula Block in Founding Fathers, History of the United States, American Revolution, Declaration of Independence


How many signers of the Declaration of Independence became president?

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   Surprisingly, of the 56, only two: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. They both also served as vice president before their presidential terms—another signer, Elbridge Gerry, became a vice president but never reached the presidency. The rest of the signers weren’t slouches, mind you, as they held various positions in government. Benjamin Franklin was among them, as was Benjamin Harrison, the father of eventual president William Henry Harrison.

Asked by Wiley Waelchi in Memorial Day


Where was the first Memorial Day celebrated?

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   According to federal legislation signed in 1966, Waterloo, New York, is the birthplace of Memorial Day, but there are a lot of other towns that claim the honor for themselves. Boalsburg, Pennsylvania, for one, points to a 1864 gathering to honor those killed at Gettysburg as the first-ever Memorial Day, while Carbondale, Illinois, cites a parade in 1866 led by John Logan, who later helped bring the official holiday to fruition.

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Asked in US Congress


Which states have only one representative in the house of representatives?

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   There are currently seven states that only have one Representative: Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. There are other territories that don't have any Representatives in the House, but they do have a different kind of representation—the District of Columbia, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa each have one non-voting Delegate, and Puerto Rico has a non-voting Resident Commissioner that fills much the same role in the House. They can't vote, but they can serve on committees. Representatives are allocated by population, which is counted every ten years by the census. This year, 2020, is a census year, and the House will be automatically reapportioned based on that data in 2023.

Asked by Frederik Thompson in Global Warming, COVID-19


Is COVID-19 having any impact on global warming?

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   According to the International Energy Agency, as much as 2.6 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide will never be emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the pandemic. That’s almost 8 percent of the estimated total for the entire year. This is the biggest drop in emissions in recent history, which sounds promising—some polluted cities are even seeing smog-free skies. Unfortunately, this is a drop in the bucket compared to the long-term changes that would need to be made to reverse the damage to our environment. As the threat of COVID-19 starts to fade, people will likely get back to their daily lives, and emissions will return to the status quo. “Broadly speaking, the only real times we've seen large emission reductions globally in the past few decades is during major recessions,” said Zeke Hausfather, the director of climate and energy at the Breakthrough Institute. “But even then, the effects are often smaller than you think. It generally doesn't lead to any sort of systematic

Asked in Russia, Continents


What continent is Russia on?

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   Russia is typically considered part of both Europe and Asia. There's some dispute over where the border between the continents actually is (in Russia and beyond), but most people say the part of Russia west of the Ural Mountains is European and the eastern part is Asian. That means more of Russia's landmass is in Asia, but more of the population lives in Europe, as the biggest cities, Moscow and St. Petersburg, are both on the European side. If this frustrates you—"Why can't everything fit cleanly into our categories!"—I have bad news. Russia isn't the only country that spans multiple continents; Egypt, Greece, and Turkey do it, too.

Asked by Danika Abbott in Animal Life


Do animals name each other?

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   There's no way to speak for all animals, but there is evidence that some animals do have ways to differentiate each other. Some parrots, for example, seem to identify themselves with specific sets of peeps, and it's possible their parents give them those names. Sweet, right? And parrots aren't the only animals we suspect name each other. Dolphins also have distinctive whistles that function similarly to names. To prove this, researchers played a variety of whistles to a group of dolphins, and the individuals only replied to their signature sound, as if they were calling back when their name had been called.

Asked in Health


What does the term morbidly obese mean?

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   A morbidly obese person is someone who is very overweight to the point that it can often cause a shorter lifespan and health problems. According to the BMI scale: Underweight: < 18.5 Ideal: 18.5-24.9 Overweight: 25-29.9 Obese: 30-39.9 Morbidly obese: 40-49.9 Super morbidly obese: 50+ BMI (Body Mass Index) is a calculation of height and weight.

Asked by Scarlett Bashirian in Hotels and Lodging


What makes it a "continental" breakfast?

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   The term stems from 19th century England—when they said “the continent,” they meant continental Europe. In places like France and the Mediterranean, breakfast was (and is) a light meal. A traditional English or American breakfast, however, is much heavier, with heaping mounds of eggs and meat. A “continental breakfast” was meant to cater to the tastes of those in mainland Europe who preferred a smaller breakfast, and it stuck, in no small part because the central items require little oversight and have a decent shelf life.

Asked by Ashton Stoltenberg in Netflix, Movie Downloads and Rentals


Did Blockbuster refuse to buy Netflix?

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   Yes. In 2000, when Blockbuster was the titan of the movie-rental industry and Netflix was a scrappy DVD-by-mail upstart, top dogs from both companies met about a potential sale. Netflix's founders offered to sell their company to Blockbuster, and when they mentioned their price tag of $50 million, Blockbuster’s CEO stifled a laugh and ultimately turned them down. Ten years later, Blockbuster went out of business; that same year, Netflix, by then in the streaming game, brought in over $2 billion in revenue. In 2019, they brought in $20 billion.

Asked by Darien VonRueden in World Heritage Sites


What does UNESCO World Heritage stand for?

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   UNESCO stands for United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization. UNESCO works to help identify and protect important cultural and natural places all over the world by designating them UNESCO World Heritage sites. That designation means a site is "of outstanding universal value" and meets at least one of UNESCO's 10 criteria for determining its importance to humanity. The long list of World Heritage sites includes historical buildings like the Palace of Versailles as well as natural preserves like Yellowstone National Park.

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Asked by Alek Batz in Quarantine, Subjective Questions


What will your first vacation after quarantine be?

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   I think I'll go to a mountain town, maybe somewhere in the Appalachians. I miss people but have loved the peace and quiet these times have offered, and I think that would allow me to get both.

Asked by Dane Bernhard in Health, Apple Cider Vinegar


How much apple cider vinegar should you drink a day?

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   First, I should say that there's not a whole lot of research about the benefits of apple cider vinegar, and drinking too much can cause the enamel in your teeth to erode. There's no official recommended dose—definitely talk to your doctor if you're looking to drink apple cider vinegar to treat a condition. However, apple cider vinegar also has a long history of being a home remedy, and there is some scientific evidence that it might be beneficial to your general health. The typical dose of apple cider vinegar is 1-2 tablespoons mixed with a glass of water. You can drink the mixture before or after a meal.

Asked by Derrick Reichert in Flower Gardening


Do perennials come back every year?

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   yes they do

Asked by Virginia Bradtke in Celebrities


Did Bill Nye go to jail?

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   No, Bill Nye never went to jail. Some people took a satirical article about him being arrested for manufacturing drugs in his basement and turned it into a rumor about the beloved science guy. Many social media users were duped into believing the joke was fact, some going so far as to tweet #FreeBillNye, but it's just not true. The original "article" claimed he had a stripper pole right there in the lab, and that's probably the most believable part of the whole thing.


Can crying make your eyelashes grow?

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   No, but you typically rub your eyes when you cry which can actually cause your eyelashes to fall out.

Asked by Daija Kreiger in Astronomy, Social Sciences, Apollo Moon Missions


How long will the footprints on the moon last?

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   The footprints on the moon will likely be there for as long as the moon is. Unlike Earth, there’s no liquid water, no volcanic activity, and no weather to speak of on the moon, so aside from the occasional meteorite and solar wind (which takes ages to have an effect), there’s nothing on the moon to mess with the footprints. They’re still there—along with spacecraft, scientific equipment, mementos, bags of human waste, and a lot more.

Asked by Giles Wiegand in Animal Life, Guinness World Records


What is the oldest living land animal?

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   It’s a tortoise. He’s either 187 or 188. His name’s Jonathan. He hatched in the Seychelles archipelago around 1832, and he moved to the island of St. Helena in 1882 (he was a gift to the governor), where he’s lived ever since. He’s quite a guy. He’s older than cars and planes. He eats bananas, lettuce, and other fruits and vegetables. When World War I began, he was 82. He likes to listen to people play tennis.

Asked by Obie Bradtke in Wasps and Hornets


What are murder hornets?

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   Asian giant hornets, terrifyingly nicknamed "murder hornets," are really nasty creatures. At up to an inch and a half in length, they're the largest hornets in the world. They prey on beehives, decapitating their victims and then sticking around to eat the immature bees in a horrifyingly named process called "slaughter and occupy." Murder hornets, indeed. Their sting is very painful to humans, but they don't typically bug people unless they're provoked. The bigger concern with their introduction to America is that they threaten bee populations that are already on the decline. Asian honeybees have defenses against the murder hornets—if one gets into their hive, they gather around it and vibrate their flight muscles, making too much heat and carbon dioxide for the hornet to survive. This defense gets the deceptively cute nickname of "bee ball." Honeybees in the U.S. don't make bee balls, however, and are thus really vulnerable to the murder hornets, which is why beekeepers are trying to get
   rid of them.

Asked by Carmella Mosciski in Slogans and Mottos, Companies


Does Heinz actually have 57 varieties?

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   They actually have more, and that’s been true since before Henry John Heinz coined the “57 Varieties” slogan in 1896. By that time, the H.J. Heinz Company already had over 60 products, but the founder thought 57 sounded lucky. He took inspiration from an advertisement he’d seen on a train car, boasting “21 styles” of shoe.
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