The world has been filled with chaos and worry amid the coronavirus outbreak that has affected many people around the world. In response to the virus, many businesses have been forced to shut down and states have begun issuing stay at home orders. Below are some facts about the virus and what you can do to help protect yourself and others.
The COVID-19 coronavirus is mainly spread through person-to-person contact. This is why following the government guidelines such as staying six feet apart (or social distancing) and staying inside your home (or self quarantine) is crucial to limiting the coronavirus’ spread to others. Being within six feet of a carrier of the virus or a potential carrier who sneezes/coughs near you could lead to you contracting the virus. The best way to prevent this virus is to avoid being exposed to it, which is why it is so important to follow the guidelines given by the CDC and the government.
How else can you protect yourself if you are already participating in social distancing and practicing self quarantining? We’ve learned through the weeks fighting the virus that washing your hands for at least 20 seconds is a key factor in fighting off germs associated with the virus. If you do not have access to soap and water, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is important to not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands. As mentioned above, the best way to keep yourself protected is to avoid close contact with people.
Protecting yourself is one thing, but how can you protect others? If you are sick, it is important that you stay at home. When you are sick and have to leave the house, wear a face mask while out in public to minimize the spread of your germs. You will be putting others at risk to get sick if you choose to go out. When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue or use the inside of your elbow. If you do use a tissue, throw it away as soon as you are done. After you cough or sneeze, wash your hands immediately. If you are not sick, do not wear a face mask unless you are caring for someone who is sick. Face masks are in short supply and should be saved for those caregivers and medical professionals.
It is important to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. These types of surfaces could be light switches, tables, doorknobs, handles, toilets, and other high-touch surfaces.
We’ve been thrown into a time of uncertainty and it is up to us to protect each other so we can return to normalcy and work towards a healthier tomorrow. If you would like to know more about the COVID-19 pandemic and how to stay safe visit the CDC Official Website.