Amidst this pandemic outbreak, the world is slowly starting to open back up. That does not mean that the virus is gone or is any less lethal, it just means that we have to learn exist alongside it. Now more than ever, taking safety precautions is the need of the hour! So what can we do to protect ourselves and still co-exist with the virus?
Meticulous hand hygiene
There cannot be enough emphasis put on washing our hands regularly. Our hands are the main mode of transmission of bacteria and viruses because we involuntarily or subconsciously end up touching our eyes mouth or nose with our hands after coming in contact with contaminants and pathogens.
Thus, if we remember to keep our hands clean and keep cleaning them regularly, it significantly reduces the chances of us transmitting and contracting the virus. It doesn’t matter what sort of soap you are using as long as you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and make sure to cover all the hard to reach areas. Make it a habit to wash your hands after every half an hour or so and never forget to immediately wash them once you come back home from any outside exposure. Follow the instructions in the figure prescribed by WHO to correctly wash your hands.
Don’t skip the mask!
Wearing a cloth-based mask can help prevent contraction of coronavirus as it keeps our key contact areas covered. It is unknown how long the air inside a room occupied by someone with confirmed COVID-19 remains potentially infectious. The air we breathe can carry droplets from Corona positive patients’ sneeze or cough but wearing a mask can reduce the chances of you being affected by the droplets. Wearing a mask plays a major role in high exposure areas where it is difficult to maintain 6ft distance at all times.
These include grocery stores, pharmacies, drugstores and banks. Since sometimes people don’t show symptoms but are corona positive, they go about their daily lives as normal and wearing a mask can help protect you from contracting the virus through them. Moreover, if you sneeze or cough in public please cough in your elbow or use a tissue paper and discard it immediately. If you have a mild cough or flu, please avoid going outside as much as possible and always wear a mask when you do need to go outside to prevent others from catching it. Lastly, please do not re-use disposable masks, throw them out before entering your homes. If you’re using cloth ask, always wash them before reusing.
Avoid Public Places & Gatherings
You never know who’s infected and hence it Is best that public meetings or gatherings are avoided and that you only leave your house out of necessity. When you are outside, make sure to maintain distance wherever possible.
Avoid touching things like stair/escalator railings, elevator buttons, doorknobs or handles, etc. Try not to have any monetary transactions. Switch to credit/debit cards, the tap to pay option is a lifesaver- literally!
Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize
For times where handwashing is not possible, you must always have a sanitizer with you. Look for Sanitizers with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. Keep in mind that sanitizing is not a replacement for washing hands, it is just a temporary solution for when you cannot readily scrub your hands with soap. You still need to wash your hands later, even if you have already sanitized them.
Sanitizing is essentially important after touching anything from outside. Carry sanitizing wipes and use them to clean the surfaces of your mobile phone. You can also you wipe down surfaces before you touch them. As for inside your house, make sure you first clean, and then sanitize every day or every time somebody from outside enters your house. Cleaning involves eliminating contaminants from a surface and disinfecting involves destroying pathogens. That is why it essential to do both, clean and then disinfect/sanitize high-touch surfaces like doorknobs, taps, doorbell, light switches, remote controls, counters, toilets, sinks etc. around your house.
Boost your immune system
A healthy body is going to be able to fight off any virus better than an unhealthy one, for that purpose make sure you are eating healthy and exercising. Exercising daily will enable you to fight off the lethargy that is bound to hit if you stay home all day and are not active. Drink lots of water as that is our body’s natural way to flush out toxins. Limit the use of sugar and at the same time increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Ginger, which has antibacterial and antiviral properties, is specially taken to help relieve the common cold, so using it in your daily diet can help increase your body’s resistance.
Lastly, adding vital vitamins to your diet can help boost your immune system. Vitamin C helps reduce the chances of respiratory infections by performing various cell functions. Since our bodies do not produce Vitamin C naturally, it is advisable to take it in form of supplements or by increasing the intake of Vit C rich foods like red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, oranges. Similarly, Vitamin A aids in the production of antibodies and is present in oily fish, egg yolks, cheese, tofu, nuts, whole grains and spinach. Vitamin D fights pathogens that result in infection. Harness all the sunlight you can get and also take supplements to increase your body’s Vit D levels.
Most importantly, remember to reach out to your doctor in case you feel sick or shortness of breath. These tips are to help you stay safe but are in no way a substitute for medicine if you fall sick. Please reach out to your nearest Urgent Care or Doctor in case you feel any symptoms of Coronavirus.
You must also check out WHO website for Covid-19 related updates and news.