Tips for Avoiding Corona Virus COVID-19 and Other Illnesses
IN THE HEADLINES
The whole world has braced for the impact of coronavirus. While stocking up on groceries and keeping your personal space clean are great strategies, we’ve got some solid tips for avoiding coronavirus in your daily life.
Let’s start with the facts. You may have heard on social media about the conspiracy involving the Lysol and Clorox companies having advanced notice of the outbreak because the words “Human Coronavirus” appear on their products. Actually, there are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. The COVID-19 version is a new disease, simply because this strain has previously not been seen in humans.
TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
Your first line of defense against any type of infection is a strong, healthy body. Here are some very basic tips for keeping yourself in top shape:
Eat healthy – including fresh fruits and vegetables. Cut down on sugars. Give your body the fuel it needs to naturally fight off illness.
Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, juice, and other liquids. Fluids are crucial to helping flush out toxins and fight infection.
Get enough sleep. Sleeping helps your immune system locate and destroy bacteria and viruses while restoring your bodily systems, so instead of staying up late reading about coronavirus on the Internet, do yourself a favor and turn in early.
Exercise regularly. Your physical strength and endurance is a key factor in your overall health. Try to exercise at least 20 minutes per day. If you can’t make it to the gym, head out for a brisk walk.
KEEP GERMS AWAY
Avoid close contact with those who are sick. If your workmates are coughing and sneezing, stay a safe distance away (politely, of course).
Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing; using the restroom; eating; and touching things in public. Here is the proper method.
If soap and water isn’t available for washing hands, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Wash many times daily.
Cover your mouth with your elbow or forearm area when sneezing or coughing.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces with household spray or wipes. This includes your keyboard, mouse, steering wheel, writing utensils, phone, car keys, and more.
Avoid touching your face. When you touch your face, you move germs closer to your eyes, mouth, and nose.
Wash your glasses and sunglasses periodically with soap and water. It might seem weird, but your glasses can gather germs from the air and from your own hands when taking them off and putting them on your face.
Wipe down your cell phone with an alcohol wipe or a damp soapy cloth from time to time. If you’re like most people, your phone goes EVERYWHERE with you. We’ll just leave it at that.
Use a paper hand towel or tissue when touching public doors, faucets, etc. This provides a germ shield. Remember, not everyone may be taking the same precautions as you. The person who touched the door handle before you may have more of a “live-and-let-live” attitude than you.
Don’t eat or drink using the same cups and utensils as others – even if it’s your BFF or soul mate. People carry unique bacteria and viruses and their immune systems are different so it’s never a good idea to use someone else’s drinking container, utensil or eat from their plate.
WHAT TO DO IF SICK
According to the CDC, symptoms are: fever, cough, shortness of breath. However, those with underlying health conditions are at greater risk and should check with their healthcare provider regarding monitoring symptoms. Pay close attention to your body.
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness is worsening (for example – if you’re experiencing difficulty breathing). Note: call your doctor or other healthcare professional before coming in for an appointment or urgent care so they can help you take proper precautions and so they can minimize your wait.
The CDC also advises that if you are mildly ill, you can isolate at home and separate yourself from other people and animals. Stay in a specific room and if possible, use a separate bathroom. Notice that we said “animals”. Animals can easily transport viruses and bacteria from one person to another (think kissies, face licks, and paws).
If ill, a face mask is advised to avoid the spread of germs. However masks are at a premium at the time of publishing this blog. Even a head buff or bandanna can serve as a makeshift mask to avoid spreading germs.
Keep your hands washed (many times a day). Err on the side of overdoing it.
Sanitize all household surfaces and commonly touched items daily (phones, remote controls, keyboards, tablets, bedside tables, doorknobs, counter tops, bathroom fixtures, etc.). For best results use a sanitizing wipe or a cleaning spray and paper towels.
For more information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus. In addition, always follow local, state, and federal guidelines.