How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus
COVID-19, better known as the coronavirus, is sweeping the world, with over 600,000 infected so far. The symptoms can be severe, especially for older adults. Coronavirus can even result in death. In fact, over 28,000 have died from the coronavirus. These grim statistics are resulting in social distancing and shelter in place orders worldwide.
With this worldwide pandemic, the most common question on peoples’ minds is how do they prevent catching the coronavirus. The answer is that there is no surefire way to prevent catching the virus, but that many common sense tips can dramatically reduce your risk of catching coronavirus. Here are four ways to reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus.
- Practice good personal hygiene
One of the most important things you can do to reduce your risk of catching coronavirus is to practice good personal hygiene. Coronavirus is a respiratory illness, meaning it is spread through respiratory vapor. If someone who has the virus coughs into their hand then opens their front door, the germs in their cough will transfer to their hand and the front door knob. This is why practicing good hygiene is the best way to reduce your risk of coronavirus.
What does good personal hygiene mean? It means a lot of things. First, wash your hands frequently. When washing your hands, wash them thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This way, any germs that are on your hands get disinfected and do not transfer to other surfaces. If you do not have access to soap and water, use hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol. Any less will not kill the germs that spread illnesses such as coronavirus.
Second, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hand. People touch just about everything with their hands, but they don’t touch much with their elbows. This means that coughing or sneezing into your elbow will reduce the risk that any germs in your cough or sneeze will spread to other surfaces.
Third, do not touch your face. Coronavirus is often spread when individuals who have germs on their hands touch their eyes, nose, and mouths. It is hard to avoid touching your face, but put in the effort. The average person touches their face over 20 times an hour. Reducing this amount will dramatically reduce your risk of accidentally infecting yourself with coronavirus.
- Practice Social Distancing
Coronavirus is often spead by people in close contact with each other. This is because respiratory droplets that carry the coronavirus in a cough or sneeze can travel approximately 6 feet. Social distancing is therefore one of the best ways to reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus. This is why governments across the world are closing restaurants, bars, and other places where large crowds gather, as well as ordering people to shelter in place.
There are plenty of easy ways to socially distance yourself from other people. First, avoid physical contact with other people. This means no handshakes and no hugging. Remember how people sometimes cough into their hand? If they then shake your hand, then that means your hand has the germs that carry the coronavirus.
Second, keep your distance from other people. As previously mentioned, respiratory droplets that carry the coronavirus can travel up to 6 feet. Staying more than 6 feet away from other people dramatically reduces your risk of catching the coronavirus. Avoid large crowds or areas where people gather in close spaces. Even better, meet people virtually via Zoom or Skype. It is impossible for the coronavirus to travel through internet connections.
- Keep Surfaces Clean
Studies have shown that the coronavirus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces and up to 24 hours on cardboard. Cleaning surfaces regularly is a great way to kill these germs and reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus. Some commonly used surfaces that you should clean on a regular basis are doorknobs, phones, light switches, tables, and remote controls.
- Boost your immune system
Another way to reduce your risk of catching the coronavirus is to have a strong immune system. The coronavirus is a virus. Just like with other viruses, having a healthy immune system can help reduce the risk of becoming infected.
There are several ways to boost your immune system. They include eating the right foods, including whatever fruits and vegetables you can find at your local grocery store; getting enough sleep; getting a daily dose of exercise; and, trying to relax. After all, stress lowers your immune system, so staying calm even in these times is a great way to stay healthy.