As the surge of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads to other countries from China, public health officials have been urging people to prepare – not panic – in order to contain the spread.
Apart from the policy of self-isolation as part of efforts to tackle the spread of the coronavirus, everyone, especially in countries that have recorded cases of coronavirus and are still being able to control it have a responsibility to help in containing the virus. There are correct ways of doing this successfully.
Do wash your hands with soap (making sure it lathers) for at least 20 seconds, several times a day. In the absence of soap, a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will do. Wash before cooking or eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
Don’t touch your eyes, nose, and mouth as the virus is respiratory. Touching your face especially when you don’t know you have come in contact with someone who has the virus can help it enter your body.
DO learn the symptoms, which are similar to the flu. It comes like fever, cough, shortness of breath. Please take note that most cases do not start with a runny nose.
DON’T wear a mask unless you are exhibiting symptoms and have tested positive. Masks help reduce the impact of the illness and protect others from catching the virus. Wearing one when you’re healthy won’t do much. More demand than supply has caused shortages. Please leave the masks for people who really need them, like the sick or health care professionals.
DO take extra precautions to stay out of public places if you’re 60 years and above, or have a condition, as you have a higher risk of developing the disease. As of now, reports show that the highest-risk groups appear to be seniors and people with preexisting conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases.
DON’T travel if you have a fever. If you get sick on the flight, call the attention of the crew immediately. Also, it is advisable not to travel to countries with high reported cases of the virus.
DON’T panic at all. Public health officials are saying that the risk of becoming infected with coronavirus is low. Therefore, just taking proper precaution is the best things you can do.
DO make sure you have supplies at home. It would include prescription medications for anyone in the family and other health supplies such as over-the-counter pain relievers, and disinfectants to clean household surfaces. Studies suggest that coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. So, cleaning surfaces regularly with a disinfectant would help kill the virus.
Do cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow or a tissue, not into your palms. Dispose of the tissue immediately in a covered bin. This should be done whether or not you suspect coronavirus you don’t want to spread a common cold, either.
Don’t hang around with your family or pets if you suspect you have the virus or have been confirmed positive. In order to protect them, eat and sleep separately, try to stay in a different room, and use a separate bathroom if possible.
Do wear a mask properly if must go around and have been confirmed positive (that is if you have been certified to move around). Be careful as the mask itself can be a source of infection if you don’t follow the guidelines. Please check our previous article to know how to place the mask properly.
While COVID-19 has not yet been declared a pandemic, it has been suggested to keep at least a 2-week supply of food and water in the case of a pandemic. Please do not share unconfirmed information as it could lead to worse situations.