The new coronavirus infection has been spreading through the world like wildfire. Officially called the SARS-CoV-2 virus, or the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, this virus causes an infection known as COVID-19. With the coronavirus wreaking havoc around the world, research has found that the only way to keep yourself safe from getting infected is to follow certain prevention strategies. If you are wondering how to keep yourself safe, then here’s what you can do to prevent the coronavirus disease at home.
How to Prevent the Coronavirus Disease at Home?
Here are some basic guidelines to keep yourself and your family safe during this pandemic. These will help protect you from catching and transmitting the COVID-19 infection.
1. Frequent Hand Washing
The most important thing you can do to keep yourself safe from getting infected is to wash your hands frequently and carefully. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is essential to wash your hands for at last 20 seconds.(1)
Use soap and warm water to rub your hands for at least 20 seconds. You need to ensure that you work the lather between your fingers, to your wrist, and also under your fingernails.
Using an antiviral and antibacterial soap is ideal, but if you don’t have any such soap available, then any regular soap will also work. If you are unable to wash your hands properly, then use a hand sanitizer.
You should make sure to rewash your hands several times a day, especially after you touch your phone or laptop.
2. Stop Shaking Hands And Hugging People
It is important to stop shaking hands with people or hugging them. With news that many people are asymptomatic carriers of the virus, there is no way of telling who has the infection.(2)
Skin to skin contact is one of the easiest ways to pass on the virus from one person to another. There are many ways to politely decline a handshake.(3) Furthermore, most people are themselves avoiding shaking hands and hugging others.
3. Avoid Touching Your Face
Research has shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on hard surfaces.(4) Due to this, it is possible for you to get the virus on your hands if you touch a surface such as your cell phone, doorknob, or even a gas pump handle.
While outside of the house, you should avoid touching any part of your face or head, especially your eyes, mouth, and nose. People should also take care not to bite their fingernails. This will give the virus a direct chance to go from your hands straight inside your body.
Once you come inside, make sure to immediately wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. It is also wise to put the clothes you were wearing for washing and go straight to take a bath.
4. Cover Your Nose And Mouth While Coughing Or Sneezing
The COVID-19 virus is present in large amounts in the mouth and nose. This means that it can easily be carried by air droplets and transmitted to other people when you sneeze or cough. It is also possible for the virus to land on hard surfaces and remain there in an active state for up to three days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you either use a tissue or sneeze and cough directly into your elbow to ensure your hands remain clean.(5) Regardless of sneezing or coughing, you should always wash your hands afterward for at least 20 seconds.
5. Avoid Sharing Personal Items
It is not at all a good idea to share personal items such as makeup, combs, or phones at this time. It is also essential that you don’t share any eating utensils and straws to avoid the spread of the virus inside your home.
You should also take the time to teach children to keep their reusable cups, straws, and other dishes for their own use only. Children should be actively encouraged to avoid sharing personal items.
Following these prevention strategies diligently can help you remain safe from catching the infection. Remember that the COVID-19 disease is different than your regular seasonal flu and is much more contagious. Also, keep in mind that you may be carrying or be infected by the virus without experiencing any symptoms at all. This means that you may unknowingly pass it on to your family members. This is why it is so important to take all the precautions you can to remain safe inside your house as well. If you suspect that you might have caught the virus, it is best to contact your doctor and self-quarantine yourself for at least 14 days.
- Cdc.gov. 2020. Keeping Hands Clean | Handwashing | Hygiene | Healthy Water | CDC. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/hand/handwashing.html> [Accessed 14 April 2020].
- Yu, X. and Yang, R., 2020. COVID‐19 transmission through asymptomatic carriers is a challenge to containment. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses.
- MacLellan, L., 2020. How To Politely Decline A Handshake. [online] Quartz at Work. Available at: <https://qz.com/work/1813557/an-etiquette-expert-on-how-to-decline-a-handshake/> [Accessed 14 April 2020].
- ScienceDaily. 2020. Study Reveals How Long COVID-19 Remains Infectious On Cardboard, Metal And Plastic: People May Acquire Coronavirus Through Air And By Touching Contaminated Surfaces. [online] Available at: <https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200320192755.htm> [Accessed 14 April 2020].
- Cdc.gov. 2020. Coughing & Sneezing | Etiquette &Amp Practice | Hygiene | Healthy Water | CDC. [online] Available at: <https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/hygiene/etiquette/coughing_sneezing.html> [Accessed 14 April 2020].
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