3 Crucial Hygiene Practices to Implement During the Coronavirus Outbreak
Updated: Oct 10
The entire world is talking about the Coronavirus, and for good reason. This unprecedented outbreak has the potential to affect mankind the way no other disease has before.
As of this writing, there have been over 65,000 global deaths due to Coronavirus, but perhaps an even greater threat is the overwhelming of individual country's healthcare systems, which is exactly what's happening in Italy.
Fortunately, we have learned a lot about COVID-19, this specific Coronavirus, in a short time, and knowledge is power. We now know that every person has the power to take preventative measures against contracting COVID-19. While there are no guarantees, there are very specific ways that the virus spreads. If we implement proper hygiene practices, we have a shot at protecting ourselves and our loved ones.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
COVID-19 spreads when mucus or droplets containing the virus get into your body via your facial orifices. Namely, your eyes, nose, and throat. The virus gets into these orifices through our hands, which have come into contact with droplets of mucus from someone else, and then unwittingly touched our faces.
Here are 3 crucial hygiene practices you should start doing now, if you don't already do them, to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
1. Wash your hands. this is number one, numero uno, and even though it's so simple, it should not be underestimated. Coronavirus can be killed with plain old soap and water, just make sure to scrub your wet hands with soap for 20 seconds, then wash under a stream of water. It's best if you can wipe your hands on one-use paper towels or tissues. Hands should be washed after you come home from being outside, touching door handles, and after blowing your nose, coughing, and sneezing.
Washing your hands after you handle cash should also be one of the hygiene habits you adopt. While cash is not one of the main ways that the virus spreads, there is no reason to take a chance.
Hand sanitizer can also be used to kill COVID-19, but it isn't as effective as soap and water. Also bear in mind that not all hand sanitizers are created equal, so make sure to use one that contains at least 60% alcohol.
2. Refrain from touching your face. Research shows that we touch our faces at least 16 times an hour! Most of the touching is subconscious, of course, and that means that during this time of uncertainty we have to gain awareness of where our hands are going. There are several ways you can do this, including wearing gloves, putting post-it notes around the house, or using strong-scented hand sanitizer that you'll smell as your hands approach your face.
3. Disinfect frequently touched surfaces. While there is still much to learn about the COVID-19, current evidence suggests that the virus can stay alive for hours to days on various surfaces. Therefore, disinfecting commonly used items like tables, doorknobs, countertops, phones, keyboards and more is a good way of maintaining a sterile environment.
Social DistancingIn addition to practicing careful hygiene, the public is being called on to implement behavioral preventative tactics to the best of our ability. #Socialdistancing has become a social media buzzword. While social distancing can mean any number of things, there are two main points: Don't hang out in crowded places, and don't get too close to others. According to the CDC, COVID-19 can travel up to 6 feet, so 6 feet is the distance you want to keep between people.
Of course, every person should use their judgment and follow the guidelines of their physician and local government when it comes to COVID-19 preventative measures.
While the spread of Coronavirus is undoubtedly scary, the fact that we have some power to mitigate its advent is a glimmer of hope. As more people practice important hygiene and behavioral prevention tactics, we hope to see a slow down of the disease in the United States and the entire world.
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