Regarding the current health scare, the most important thing you can do is educate yourself on how to protect yourself and others. Firstly, we’re not going to let our negative thoughts, fears, and worries spiral and make us go panic-buy toilet paper. (Sorry–an awful joke, I know). But on a real note, understanding prevention methods in order to slow the spread of coronavirus can be extremely helpful for you, your family, friends, neighbors, and so on. We’re going to go over the prevention methods explained by the CDC.
- Know how it spreads.
- This virus is spread through person-to-person contact. This means close contact (about 6 feet) with someone who has been exposed or currently has the virus, and through contact of droplets produced by sneezing or coughing. The best way to slow down and avoid the spread of the virus is to avoid exposure.
- How to protect yourself.
- Wash those hands! We’ve heard this a million times, but it’s the truth. You should wash your hands as often as possible, and especially if you’ve been in a public space or have blown your nose, coughed, or sneezed. If you can’t use soap and water, make sure to use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact. This is especially true if coronavirus is in your state, city, or town. Luckily, many employers and schools are allowing us to stay at home during this time to ensure our safety. This is also beneficial to the at-risk population. Some people are at higher risk of becoming sick. These groups of people include the elderly, pregnant women, young children, and those who have compromised immune systems (meaning they’re already sick due to something else).
- How to protect others.
- Stay at home if you are sick. Unless you’re going out to receive medical care or treatment, you should stay home to make sure you don’t spread the virus to anyone else.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you can, try to cough/sneeze into a tissue, but if you can’t make sure to direct them into the inside of your elbow. Afterward, immediately wash your hands and throw your tissue away.
- Clean and disinfect. This is no one’s favorite chore, but right now it’s necessary. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned daily. Things that fall into this category are, phones, doorknobs, light switches, desks, and keyboards.
During a scary time like this, it’s important to stay educated on how to protect yourself and others.
Written by GUADS staff member Toni with contributions from www.cdc.gov