As you know, the world is in widespread panic now and rightfully so. News of the coronavirus (COVID – 19) have seemingly spread as quickly as the virus itself. As more horrifying news approached, the more precautions that came with it on how to prevent spread of viruses. This applies to all viruses, in addition to this strain of the coronavirus, since they are usually spread the same way: through coughing, sneezing, direct contact with bodily fluids and surfaces.
Although there is no sure way to prevent the deadly coronavirus and no vaccine has been announced yet, all precautions should be used as you would with any virus. I also pray for the families affected by this dreadful epidemic and for a cure. In the meantime, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, here is how to prevent spread of viruses in general:
Avoid Close Contact With Sick People
For workers, this seems easier said than done. This is especially difficult for those who work with the public. More avoidable places now are airports, airplanes and crowded events like markets, concerts, enclosed buildings with large crowds, cruises and other restricted places. If you have booked flights and cruises, you may need to contact your travel staff for vouchers or refunds and wait until it is legally cleared to travel anywhere.
It may seem surreal to have to cancel or postpone travel plans you have made months and a year in advance, since this pandemic is so new and mind-boggling. Use common sense before going forward with old plans.
Always Wash Your Hands
This includes after everything you touch or do nowadays, because you never know who touched surfaces before you and if they coughed or sneezed before touching anything. The most common filthy things that people touch are elevator buttons, doorknobs/handles, shopping carts, gas pumps, tables, bathroom faucets and toilet handles…just to name a few. If no cleaner is available, keep hands away from eyes, ears, nose and mouth.
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds and use a clean paper towel to dry them. Be sure to dry between the fingers and around cuticles so there will leave no room for germs to live on wet spots and moisture.
As soon as you dry your hands, use another dry towel to turn off the faucet and to open the door. It is never a good idea to touch anything with your freshly washed and dried bare hands. That would defeat the purpose of washing them in the first place.
Cough or Sneeze Inside Your Sleeve or Elbow
This has been common advice for the past decade now since more common serious diseases like the flu have also been a pandemic. Coughing or sneezing inside your elbow or sleeve will catch much of he droplets and helps prevent it from spreading. Just remember to launder your clothes as soon as possible. Although viruses are not supposed to survive on surfaces for long periods of time, I would not risk trying to prove it. It is better to use extra precautions just in case some strains of viruses survive anything.
Keep Hand Sanitizer On Hand
There may be times when you are in a position where sanitation is needed but no soap, water or alcohol is available. In fact, I recently went to Walmart to buy toiletries, including my usual rubbing alcohol to replace my bottle that was getting low. I looked everywhere and even asked some clerks, only to find out they were completely out. One said they were expecting the night before but it still had not arrived yet. I even searched elsewhere online and could not find any. There was even some price-gauging online. Hopefully that will be corrected.
If you are like me and have always kept sanitizer in your car when you need it, then you know how handy (no pun intended) hand sanitizer is. Apparently now everyone does since it and other products are now sold out in stores. When you rub in hand sanitizer, keep clean paper towels with you to wipe your hands, because rubbing hand sanitizer into your hands alone may not be enough. Without a towel, you could be rubbing the germs into your hands; especially without soap and water.
Disinfect Surrounding Areas Frequently
Every time your workspace or public area is used, spray and wipe down all surfaces with household products such as disinfectant cleaning wipes and/or alcohol if you have any. If you don’t have it, use soap, dish detergent or hand sanitizer for surfaces just as you would for your hands. With sprayed cleaner, you can let it sit on the surface for a few minutes to give it time to dry.
As you wipe, be sure to wipe corners and crevices too, as germs may multiply on an uncleaned surface. If you use a face mask as you clean or are out in public, make sure your face mask meets CDC guidelines.
After you have taken all these precautions to help ensure your safety and the safety of those around you, keep others informed to do the same thing. This way, everyone who takes these precautions can pass on the information instead of passing on the illness.
If you have any questions or comments please leave them here in the comment section. Do you live in an area where the coronavirus is present? Please feel free to share your thoughts below and this information with others.