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Coronavirus forces motivational speaker to take message online

Popular speaker and author Damon West is going digital with his "Be a Coffee Bean" message.

HOUSTON — For people always on the go, these days can be extra challenging.

Don’t tell Damon West that, though.

His message to everyone is “Be a Coffee Bean,” and it’s usually delivered in front of rooms full of hundreds of people. 

Now, his audience is of the digital variety -- a measure he’s had to take due to ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"I know what it’s like to go into a lockdown," West said. "The first rule when you’re in a lockdown is you have to do your time and not let your time do you."

West spent seven years in prison. Since then, he’s taken it upon himself to show people a new way forward with public speeches and published books.

Lisa Spain, a former teacher, partnered with West to get him in front of any teacher or coach willing to listen.

“You know the response has been phenomenal,” Spain said. “Teachers are like, 'Holy cow, I have not been in prison but look what I can do right where I’m at right now.'"

RELATED: Meet author and motivational speaker Damon West

“You’ve got to figure out a routine,” says West. “First of all, get up every day the same time you usually get up -- we’re not sleeping in, this is not a vacation, this is still work -- and you have to go on living your life”

A small portion of a person's day seemingly well spent for many who have already heard his message.

“When there is a huge negative thing, there is a huge opportunity as well,” West said. “One of my favorite quotes is, 'When it’s dark enough, you can seen the sun.'"

RELATED: How to stay social while 'social distancing'

Spain says she’s having trouble keeping up with the demand from educators across the country that want to tune in to his free, daily chats but she welcomes even more. 

If you’d like to be a part of it, just contact her at lspain@lyleds.com.

Coronavirus symptoms

The symptoms of coronavirus can be similar to the flu or a bad cold. Symptoms include a fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Most healthy people will have mild symptoms. A study of more than 72,000 patients by the Centers for Disease Control in China showed 80 percent of the cases there were mild.

But infections can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death, according to the World Health Organization. Older people with underlying health conditions are most at risk.

The CDC believes symptoms may appear anywhere from two to 14 days after being exposed.

Human coronaviruses are usually spread through...

  • The air by coughing or sneezing
  • Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands.

Help stop the spread of coronavirus

  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Eat and sleep separately from your family members
  • Use different utensils and dishes
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with your arm, not your hand.
  • If you use a tissue, throw it in the trash.

Lower your risk

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • If you are 60 or over and have an underlying health condition such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes or respiratory illnesses like asthma or COPD, the World Health Organization advises you to try to avoid crowds or places where you might interact with people who are sick.

Get complete coverage of the coronavirus by texting 'FACTS' to 713-526-1111.