Five Steps to Survive Coronavirus
March 5th, 2020
4 minute read
The disease known as coronavirus is all over the news lately, and yet even the name is a bit misleading. There’s more than one coronavirus, for instance; in fact, the word actually refers to a group of viruses that can cause everything from the common cold to SARS and MERS. The one on the minds of many people, however, is SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, more commonly known as “coronavirus disease 2019”.
Opinions — and even data, depending on the source — vary as to whether COVID-19 is something to truly be terrified of, or whether it’s the next world-ending scenario that supposedly “we’re all gonna die” from. Whether you’re taking the position that it’s the next black plague or just a blip on the proverbial radar to roll your eyes at in a few years, the fact remains that there are some simple things that can help you stay safe.
These actions, in fact, won’t just help with COVID-19, but with any contagious disease — and quite frankly, you should be doing these as a rule, anyway. There are plenty of nasty viruses out there and you don’t need to risk getting infected.
Don’t Overlook This…
Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is everywhere, in a number of sizes and container types. You can have a big pump-based bottle for use at home or work, all the way down to very small ones that fit in the pocket of a purse or jacket.
They come in many different scents and types, and there are even recipes for making your own. I recently made a container of sanitizer with tea tree oil, alcohol, and a few other things to create the right consistency.
Whatever type you choose, carry it with you and use it often. There’s an argument to be made for boosting immune systems by exposure to various nasties, but there’s an equally compelling argument for just not even messing with germs when you don’t have to.
As a child, I remember my parents telling me that cash was one of the grossest things out there. To prove this point, I went online to WheresGeorge.com to see the travels of marked $1 bills. Over months and years, those dollar bills traveled all over the country, in the hands of thousands of people.
Your hands touch a lot of unsanitary things throughout the day: door handles and knobs are some of the worst. These are things that cannot be avoided. But, a good rule of thumb is to try not to touch your face with those unsanitary hands. Use a napkin to wipe your mouth instead of your hand. Don’t smooth your beard every few minutes. Think about where your hands are going and ask yourself if you really want to be rubbing whatever is on your hands into your eyes and mouth.
Speaking of nasty hands, let’s talk about the one practice that gets incessantly harped on — and that so many people apparently don’t do. Washing your hands periodically throughout the day, especially before and after using the bathroom or eating, is the single best way to keep yourself safe from catching various viruses and diseases. It’s that simple.
A quick rinse and wipe to “get the big germs off,” however, isn’t going to do the job. Use soap, and spend about 30 seconds actually washing your skin, including the backs of your hands and between your fingers.
Stopping Patient Zero
We all know that one coworker who insists on coming to work while they’re sick. Sure enough, the cold, flu or stomach virus seems to spread like wildfire for months, making round after round in your confined office space.
You can’t make Typhoid Mary stay home, but you can take action to protect yourself. Get some Clorox wipes — or even Cavi wipes if you’re really determined to kill every germ — and start wiping down those common surfaces. The doorknobs, countertops in the shared kitchen, even keyboards, mice, desktops and conference room tables should be cleaned.
Avoid Danger Zones
It might seem like cramping your style or “letting the virus win,” but the hard truth is that if this coronavirus ends up being what some say it will be, then you’re going to need to start thinking about where you go. Choosing to take a day trip to Pike Place Market or some other tourist attraction filled with thousands of people might not be so brilliant an idea.
By the way, when you think about how many hands touched the produce at the supermarket before you chose it, that might be enough impetus to get you growing your own veggies.
There is never a bad time to practice better sanitation. Consider it training for the day you truly need it — such as when the coronavirus might become something that can’t be ignored.
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