COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus, from a large family of viruses that cause illness, ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases. This particular strain has been proven to transmit from human to human and animal to human.
Symptoms of COVID-19 can include: fever, fatigue, dry cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In severe cases, it can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome & kidney failure. However, it does not exclude: aches & pains, nasal congestion, sore throat and diarrhea.
If you are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, before you enter a doctor's office or emergency room, take this self-assessment provided by the province of Ontario. Call ahead before you enter any health facility.
What can we do to mitigate mass spread?
Practice excellent basic hygiene like hand washing for at least 20 seconds with soap, cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing and stay home when sick. More recently, social distancing measures have been put into place. These include: working from home when possible, avoiding large gatherings, events & public places and avoiding contact with people in the high-risk category (60+ years old; those with pre-existing health conditions).
(All above information provided by the World Health Organization website)
[UPDATE: If you're looking to become more informed about COVID-19 we'd recommend reading the article called Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance written by Tomás Pueyo]