The year 2020 got off to an auspicious enough start, with people nervous, but also open to the possibilities that the new decade had to offer.
Unfortunately, any complacency we had was utterly decimated with the spread of the coronavirus, and the inevitable economic and political turmoil it helped to facilitate. Now, most of us remain focused on trying to stay healthy and prevent our loved ones from getting sick; the paranoia infiltrating every interaction we have on any particular day, leaving us wracked with anxiety.
While the medical experts are studying the virus closely and remain unsure of certain key details, a few preventative measures have already proven effective. If you are interested in finding ways to protect you and your family from getting sick, especially with this upcoming winter, then the following should help put things into perspective.
1. Wear A Mask
It really cannot be said enough, but you and your loved ones must take wearing a mask seriously. In the early days of the virus’ spread, with people panicking and hoarding all kinds of cleaning supplies, food, and toilet paper, most experts were unsure of the efficacy of wearing a mask and in fact cautioned against it to prevent a run on the market, so that what little PPE remained could go directly to the medical professionals. The utter panic of those early days has since subsided, and we now know a lot more about the virus than before. Also, there is no longer a severe shortage of medical supplies, so there is less worry that people will hoard important equipment in their homes. A few months in, and we all know that wearing a mask is incredibly important in helping to curtail the spread of the virus. Whether you have a fabric mask, an N95, or a disposable surgical mask, you should wear one whenever you go to the grocery store, take public transportation, or go anywhere where you know you will be near other people, for their safety as well as your own. Till a vaccine comes out, this is the safest way to prevent contracting the virus.
2. Invest in Technology
While no one knows yet how to kill off the virus, medical professionals and scientists have poured their energy into finding safe hospital treatments that might help patients before their lungs become severely impacted, or other deadly complications arise. At home, the best that you can do is to practice excellent hygiene, clean and disinfect as much as you can, and follow basic protocols. However, some people have grown tired of utilizing Clorox bleach in their home all the time, and with good reason: intense cleaning substances can be rather harmful in the long run. There are now different forms of technology that help disrupts the DNA of infectious pathogens and microbes, and they are not always that hard to come by. If you have the means to do so, then looking into ultraviolet C lights can help kill bacteria in surface areas that you are particularly worried about, without having to douse it in harmful chemicals day and night.
3. Practice Social Distancing
Another “ABC” rule we have learned in the past few months is the importance of social distancing. You mustn’t stand any less than six feet away from people who are currently not in your “pod” – e.g., those you live with on a daily basis. Standing too close to people you do not know or for whom you cannot verify their exposure to the virus can lead to you contracting COVID. Since the disease is airborne, standing too close to people increases the likelihood of the virus spreading. Therefore, err on the side of caution, even if you are both wearing masks, and stay six feet apart, and also avoid large gatherings indoors. This means that you should be enjoying the company of your loved ones outside, in smaller gatherings, while the weather still permits. In general, all indoor gatherings that have no social distancing and feature large groups are to be avoided at all costs.
4. Wash Your Hands
Most of us have learned from a young age the importance of washing our hands properly. But, this childhood dictum has become an imperative these days. Washing your hands for the amount of time it takes you to sing “Happy Birthday” twice is the protocol to follow, as is avoiding touching your face while you’re outside without washing your hands first. If you don’t have easy access to water and soap when running errands outside the home, then be sure to use hand sanitizer.
While there is no proven cure as of yet for the coronavirus, and the vaccine might take some time, the above rules, if followed correctly, should prevent you or your loved ones from contracting the virus. Remember to stay safe, wash your hands, wear your mask, and never congregate in large groups. The virus will be gone in due time, but it will take some patience for us to reach the finish line.