We know everyone’s panicking, wondering how long this situation that’s impacted the world, will last and what the economic repercussions will be. All that aside, it all starts with us individually! We can ensure that this viral respiratory COVID-19 virus does not spread. Take the time to review the following recommendations and please put them into practice. Let’s fix this global problem, one human being at a time!
Wash Your Hands
You’ve heard it a million times by now, and you’ll hear it a million more, but the best way to lower your risk of contracting Covid-19 (or pass it on to someone else) is to wash your hands after you cough, sneeze, touch your face, use the restroom, or are about to leave one place for another. You should wash your hands when you leave and return from the grocery store, for instance.
If you can find any, hand sanitizer also works wonders. When you’re able, home soap and water can be a little easier on your hands. It won’t necessarily kill all pathogens on your hands, but it’ll wash them away. The World Health Organization has detailed instructions (which we’ve all seen in meme form) on how to properly perform the 20-second hand wash.
Even if you’re not sick, just stay home if you can. Being in large crowds or going out to restaurants pose unnecessary risks not just to yourself but to the people around you. The more you’re in public, the more chances the novel coronavirus has to hitch a ride on your hands, clothes, or person. Millions of people are very vulnerable to this virus. Putting yourself at risk also puts them at risk.
“There will be a sizable portion of people who are older, or who have other health conditions, and if they get sick all at once, they’re going to overwhelm the healthcare system. So we’re trying to decrease the number of transmissions,” Dr. John Townes, head of infection prevention and control at the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), told WIRED.
Important Rules to Stay Safe:
- Stay at least six feet away from other people in public
- Stay home as much as possible, avoid large gatherings, going out to bars, restaurants etc
- Wash your hands frequently, for 20 seconds (or use hand sanitizer)
- If you’re coughing or sneezing, wear a protective mask
It’s also important to liberally moisturize
your hands as well. Dry, cracked skin is at greater risk for all kinds of infections, so after you wash, apply a little moisturizer.
They serve an important purpose for people who are sick, or are caring for an ill person, but face masks are in short supply and needed by healthcare workers and those who are sick with the virus. Wearing a mask may also give you a false sense of security, causing you to put yourself at greater risk.
“You may in fact be touching your face more often because you’re adjusting your mask. Or you maybe trying to keep your eyeglasses from fogging up, then the portal of entry might be your eye,” Dr. Townes said. “I think we need to de-emphasize wearing masks in public as a strategy.
As far as we know, the novel coronavirus is transmitted through person-to-person contact, or respiratory droplets. Those droplets don’t stay suspended in the air, they fall to the ground within about six feet of the infected person.
To Keep Your Home Virus-Free
Clean and Disinfect
The first thing you’ll want to know is that cleaning and disinfecting are two very different things. The CDC recommends we all do a bit of both, even if nobody in your home is sick.
- Cleaning is about removing contaminants from a surface.
- Disinfecting is about killing pathogens.
- Do both daily if anything or anyone has entered or exited your home.
Transmission from person-to-person is a much greater risk than transmission via surfaces, but the CDC recommends we clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces in our homes at least once daily just to be safe, assuming we have had contact with the outside world in some way, either a person leaving and returning, or goods coming in.Target Your Home’s High-Touch Surfaces
Researchers have found that the novel coronavirus is capable of living on surfaces such as cardboard, plastic, and stainless steel for two to three days. So disinfecting high-touch surfaces is a step we should all take.
High-Touch Surfaces to Clean and Disinfect Daily:
- Table surfaces
- Hard dining chairs (seat, back and arms)
- Kitchen counters
- Bathroom counters
- Faucets, faucet knobs
- Toilets, (seat and handle)
- Light switches
- TV remote controls
- Game controllers
Everyone’s home is a little different, so just think about the surfaces you interact with most and keep them sanitized.
First Clean, Then Disinfect:
- First, clean the surfaces, removing any contaminants, dust or debris. You can do this by wiping them down with soapy water (or a cleaning spray) and a hand towel.
- Then, apply a surface-appropriate disinfectant. The quickest and easiest way to do this is with disinfecting wipes, or disinfectant spray.
That’s it. Just adding these to your daily routine can help lower the risk of infection for you and anyone else in your household.
The EPA has a full list of disinfectants that will kill the novel coronavirus
- Disinfecting wipes (Clorox, Lysol, or store brand will do)
- Disinfectant spray (Purell, Clorox, Lysol, all make sprays that will work)
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide