Corona virus is a household name. We’ve all heard of it and we’re all trying to decrease our chances of contracting it. Even though it is rapidly spreading across the world there are 5 essentials that can help in stopping the spread of this virus. These top 5 tips are something we can all do. In a time where you may feel scared and overwhelmed, partaking in these essential steps may help you feel more in control.
Wash Your Hands
I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times by now. Washing your hands is the single most effective thing you can do to help keep yourself safe from any virus. This is how you prevent the common cold as well as the Corona virus. You’ve also probably heard that you should ideally be washing your hands for 20 seconds or more. There are some other things to think about as well.
Be sure you’re using soap. It’s not an uncommon practice to just rinse your hands. Running water may visibly remove dirt but that doesn’t mean your hands are clean. In addition, when washing your hands what are you really washing. You should be sure you are soaping up not only the palms of your hands but the backs of your hands, your fingers, your fingernails, your wrists, and even up to your forearms. Simply cleaning the palm of your hands, which is not atypical, is not enough. We use our fingers to touch just about everything so make you’re scrubbing those guys too.
Washing your hands after you use the bathroom is no longer enough. You should be washing them before and after you leave your home. You should wash them if you receive any packages to the house. You never know what germs are on the boxes or the items themselves. You should be washing your hands if you are in an area where others have been, the grocery store, a gas station, a taxi or Uber, or even your mailbox. If anyone else has touched what you are touching you run the risk of having the virus on your body. Wash your hands to ensure you are removing any/all germs.
Practice Social Distancing
We can’t give you a hard and fast rule about how far away you should stand from the person next to you. Some information says three feet. Some information says six, and others are even saying ten feet. What we do know if that if you can touch someone near you then you’re too close!
The CDC recommended social distancing to help stop the spread of the Corona virus. When someone sneezes or coughs there are minuscule droplets that are released from their nose and mouth. If you breath in these droplets you too can get sick. Standing far enough away is the only way to be sure you’re not inhaling these droplets. You also might want to hold your breath for several seconds if you are within a close range to someone who has just coughed or sneezed in your direction.
Use Your Elbow
From a young age you’ve probably been taught that it is best practice to cough or sneeze into your elbow. We teach this because sneezing or coughing into your hand is obviously not a good idea. We use our hands constantly to touch the world around us. If we sneeze into our hands and then proceed to open a door, use a handrail on the stairs, answer the phone, hand over cash, or a million other everyday actions, we are simply spreading our germs. In reality, you could sneeze or cough into your elbow, or you could cover your cough with a tissue and then immediately dispose of the tissue.
It may be awkward, but if you see someone sneezing openly or into their hands you can kindly remind them to cover their sneeze in their elbow. We may not even notice we are doing it. Clearing our throats (with an open mouth) can also spread droplets. Be more mindful of these things in order to keep yourself and those around you safe.
Avoid Your Face
I have to assume you’ve also heard how important it is to avoid touching your face during this pandemic. Your face has many sensitive places that are easy to let germs in. Your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are all spots that have direct access. Rubbing your eyes, scratching your nose, biting your fingernails, or licking food off your finger are all examples of actions that should be avoided during a time like this. We’ve already discussed that your hands are coming in contact with the most objects, so it is wise to avoid touching your face at all costs. You should also encourage those around you to avoid this as well. Depending on the age it may be easier or more difficult to encourage this.
The best way to help stop the spread of the Corona virus is to just stay home. When you venture outside of your house you are putting yourself at risk for contracting the virus. You may be able to control your own actions, like covering your cough in your elbow, or not putting your hands on your face, but unfortunately you can’t control the actions of others.
Even if you decide to go to the grocery store you are still at risk. Imagine someone else who happens to be carrying this virus, whether they are showing symptoms or not, goes to the same grocery store. They sneeze, but forget to use their elbow. Now the germs are on their hands. They proceed to touch boxes of cereal, milk cartons, bags of chips, the grocery cart etc. Just because you are not directly having contact with this person you are still susceptible. It may seem like a challenge to stay home, but with modern technology you will likely be able to get the items you need as well as stay (virtually) connected with your loved ones.
We know this is a scary time. We know that these essentials may not be as easy to carry out as it may seem. If we all at least try to do these 5 things we will be able to help stop this virus from spreading even more rampantly. It’s important that we stay away from each other in order to be together in the future.