COVID-19 Safety Tips: Stay Healthy During Coronavirus
A pandemic of global proportions has impacted the world. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is something that will go down in history books forever.
While some start hunkering down and practice social distancing, many of us are still unprepared for something of this magnitude. Here are some information and safety tips that could help you avoid contracting the virus and keeping your family safe.
What Is COVID-19?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness, ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV), and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV).
COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 that had not been identified in humans. The virus is considered zoonotic, which means it can be transmitted between animals and humans. The most common signs of coronavirus that you should monitor include:
- Shortness of breath
- Breathing difficulties
Contact a physician immediately for medical treatment if any of these appear.
Severe cases that require immediate medical treatment include:
- Severe acute respiratory syndrome
- Kidney failure
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Safety Tips: How to Prevent Spreading
Governments around the world are beginning to implement strict measures to stop the spread of the virus. Some U.S. cities, such as San Francisco, have put mandatory measures in place and have locked down the city for three weeks.
All unnecessary travel throughout some cities is banned, with the exception of going to the doctor, grocery store, pharmacy, or gas station. People who must go out during these times are advised to take extra precautions to stop the spread of coronavirus and reduce their chances of picking it up.
Wash or Clean Your Hands Often
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that you must wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you have been in a public place, blew your nose, coughed, or sneezed, you must wash your hands with warm water.
If soap and water are not available, you must find a hand sanitizer that has at least a 60 percent alcohol level. Cover all surfaces of your hand and rub them together until they are dry. You must not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands first.
Avoid Close Contact: Social Distancing
In parts of the country that are not under complete lockdown, the federal government has suggested practicing social distancing. Canceling events that draw crowds is an example of social distancing, which, according to John Hopkins, is deliberately increasing the physical space between individuals to avoid spreading illness. You must stay at least 6 feet away from others to lessen your chances of catching coronavirus.
Other examples of social distancing include:
- Working remotely instead of at the office
- Visiting loved ones via electronic devices instead of in person
- Closing schools or switching to online classes
- Postponing or canceling large meetings or conferences
It may be disappointing to learn that a basketball game or a concert you saved money for all year has been canceled, but there is a public health reason behind all of this. The cancellations will help to slow or stop the spread of the disease and allow our health care system to be ready for patients over time.
Stay Home If You’re Sick
It’s crucial to stay home and self-quarantine if you are feeling sick. While many will not experience deadly symptoms of coronavirus, others who are immunocompromised could succumb to their symptoms and die. Unless you need medical care, do not leave your house.
Cover Your Mouth When Coughing or Sneezing
It may sound simple, and that’s because it is, but cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. These simple gestures could protect others from contracting the virus. If you cough or sneeze, make sure you do so inside of your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. If possible, you must wash your hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds.
Wear a Face Mask If You are Sick
Face masks must be saved for those who are ill. If you feel like you are getting sick and share a common space with others, a face mask can help prevent particles from coughs or sneezes from becoming airborne. Still, you must cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow and wash your hands often. If you are not sick, you do not need a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is ill. Face masks are in short supply, so, if you can, save them for caregivers.
Clean and Disinfect
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly. Some of these include doorknobs, tables, desks, cellphones, toilets, handles, light switches, countertops, and sicks. Try using detergent or soap to disinfect, or use hand wipes that kill 99.9 percent of bacteria. You may also use diluted bleach to clean floors and other surfaces if necessary.
Coronavirus, Social Distancing and Self Quarantine. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/coronavirus-social-distancing-and-self-quarantine
Prevention of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). (2020, March 16). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
James, & Abraham. (2020, March 17). San Francisco Bay Area economy enters a three-week lockdown. Retrieved from https://macdailynews.com/2020/03/17/san-francisco-bay-area-economy-enters-a-three-week-lockdown/