How To Protect Ourselves During the COVID-19 Outbreak
Since COVID-19 first arrived in the northeast region of the United States, the wife, son, daughter and neighbor of a NYC attorney who was hospitalized in severe condition since being diagnosed with the COVID-19 have also tested positive as of March 4. Events such as this have sparked many internet users to discuss the spread of COVID-19 between family members in the United States and many have expressed concerns about the safety of themselves and their family. So, how can we protect ourselves？
It is indeed very important for us to follow the science and listen to experts. EnvGuide summarized the prevention guidance from CDC and WHO, both of whom have had a large amount of practical experience.
Prevention Suggestions from CDC and WHO
As CDC mentioned in its website, “there is currently no vaccine to prevent the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.” The CDC and WHO recommend the following daily preventive actions to help prevent the spread of this disease:
- Maintain at least a 1 meter distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
- Disinfect frequently touched objects using regular household cleaning sprays or wipes.
- Often wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Stay home when you are sick, even with mild symptoms such as a headache or slightly runny nose until you recover. If you develop a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly, make sure to also call in advance and inform your provider of any recent travel.
- The CDC’s recommendations for using a face mask.
- The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
- Face masks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of face masks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of others in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
The Importance Of Washing Hands
Washing one’s hands is the easiest and most effective way for to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many studies have proven the importance of washing one’s hands with soap for at least 20 seconds.
Figure 1. Daily Mail Online used Glo Germ, a lotion-like liquid that reveals germs under a UV light to reveal the cleaning conditions for washed hands after different time periods.
Figure 2. Daily Mail Online also used Glo Germ lotion to reveal how germs on our hands transfer to objects we touch regularly, including a coffee cup
The recommendation for what we can do for now is to wash our hands frequently, clean and disinfect surfaces and objects we often touch (the coronavirus is easily transmittable, disinfectants are highly effective at killing this virus on surfaces), try not to touch our eyes, nose, and mouth outside without washing our hands, and try not to get too close to others to prevent contacting their droplets. Don’t panic, be rational, and protect yourself!
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