How to protect yourself from COVID 19
This pandemic has been a part of our lives since March 2020. It was first reported in December 2019 and till now the different variants of the virus has been reported.
According to CDC, “The best way to prevent illness from COVID 19 is to avoid being exposed to this Coronavirus”.
How does it spread?
A coronavirus is a group of viruses like SARS, MARS, influenza and it causes common illnesses cold and sometimes it can be very dangerous as it can lead to the death of an individual. It usually spreads when we come in close contact (within 6 feet) with an infected person or an infected person sneezes or coughs on us. This highly contagious virus can spread from person to person through respiratory droplets which are produced when a person sneezes or coughs, or by coming in direct physical contact with an infected person, such as by shaking hands. This virus in the form of small droplets and particles can live in the air for minutes to hours,”
This coronavirus can infect people who are more than 6 feet away from the infected person or may infect a person after that has left the space. These transmissions mostly occurred within enclosed spaces and that had inadequate ventilation.”
These are the precautions that one should follow for preventing the spread of COVID 19:
Wear a Mask
All should have to wear face masks in public places or when meeting other persons for preventing COVID-19 transmission. The WHO (World Health Organization) recommends masks for all health care workers as well as for others who have or may have COVID-19 and who is caring for someone who has or may have COVID-19.
What kind of mask one should wear?
One can wear any type of mask according to their personal choice. Surgical masks and N95 respirators should ideally be reserved for healthcare workers. Cloth coverings are fine, as long as you wash your hands before putting them on and cover your mouth and nose.
- Medical masks
- N95 masks
- Cloth masks
How to wear mask?
The effectiveness of medical and cloth masks can be improved by checking that the masks are well fitted to contours of face to prevent leakage of air around the edges of masks. Masks should be snug over the nose, chin and mouth with no gaps. One should feel warm air coming from the front of mask when you breathe out. One shouldn’t feel air coming out from the edges of mask.
These are the steps for putting on and taking off your mask:
- Always wash or sanitize your hands before and after putting on your mask.
- Always place your mask over your nose, mouth and chin.
- Do tie it behind your head.
- Never touch your mask after wearing it.
- If you touch your mask, sanitize or wash your hands.
- If your mask becomes dirty or wet, use new one.
- Always wash your mask before applying it again.
- Remove the mask without touching the front of the mask.
- Wash your hands after removing your mask.
- Washcloth masks regularly in the washing machine or by hand like other clothes.
Launder your masks
After every use wash your mask or send them to laundry or soak them in bleach solution for 5 minutes;
- 5 tablespoons household bleach as per gallon of water at room temperature or
- 4 teaspoons household bleach as per quart of water at room temperature
After soaking, rinse the mask thoroughly with water and you can also soak masks in hot water with detergent or soap for about 10 minutes. This will help to kill the virus and also remove dirt and other things from the fabric.
Maintain social distance
Close contact among people appears to be the main source of transmission, hence maintaining social distance remains a key way to mitigate the spread of COVID 19. According to CDC, maintaining a distance of approximately 6 feet from others can prevent you from coronavirus as this distance will help you in avoiding direct contact with respiratory droplets produced by coughing or sneezing.
Outdoor settings with enough space and good ventilation can reduce the risk of exposure. There is up to 80% fewer chances of transmission of the virus happening outdoors in comparison to indoors.
Avoid close contact
This COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person, if an infected person sneezes or coughs, their droplets can infect the people nearby. Hence it becomes important to avoid close contact with others. All people including children and old citizens can be infected with the new coronavirus.
Wash your hands regularly
Maintaining good hygiene can helps in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Hands are that part of the body that comes in regular contact with other surfaces in surrounding and are most often used like in an elevator, touching door handles etc. For preventing the spread of the virus one should follow these;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for more than 20 seconds or with a sanitizer.
- Wash your hands especially;
- Before touching your face
- Before eating or preparing food
- After using the restroom
- After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
- After touching your mask
- After caring for someone who’s sick
- After touching animals
- After leaving a public place
- If soap and water are not available, use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your nose, eyes and mouth with unwashed hands.
COVID-19 vaccines are effective and can prevent us from this virus as it reduces the chances of getting infected. When a person receives the first slot of vaccine, the body starts producing antibodies to the coronavirus. These antibodies will help a person’s immune system in fighting the virus if they get exposed to COVID-19, hence reducing the chances of getting infected. It is the second dose of vaccine that triggers the immune system for producing a large number of antibodies, which results in cell-mediated immunity. It stimulates the memory cells such that the body can remember this injection or dose for a long time and can build antibodies in case of reinfection.
One can get infected even after vaccination, if not follow the other safety measure but when more of the population is vaccinated chances will get reduced. So it is necessary to follow the all safety measures even after vaccination.
Restrict your travel
An activity like travelling, which involves close contact with other peoples increase the chances of getting infection. Travelling involves coming into contact with other people from different households, and which is not risk-free even after full vaccination. CDC recommends delaying travel until you are full vaccinated because it increases the chance of getting and spreading COVID-19. Until you are not fully vaccinated you should not travel. People who have symptoms of COVID-19 recently tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 are very high risk to others during travel.
Maintain good hygiene
COVID-19 can survive for hours or days on many surfaces. Touching a contaminated surface and then accidentally touching your face is one of the reasons for getting infected. This virus can live on plastic for 72 hours, and on stainless steel or cardboard for about 48 hours.
Disinfectant your computer device and cell phones
According to a study by the University of Arizona, Cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than toilet seats. So we remain in contact with germs and bacteria from our phones to our faces and hands, and vice versa.
When you come home from outside, use a disinfectant wipe to clean your phone after it washes your hands. Do the same with computers and devices and computers equipment.
Disinfectant glasses and sunglasses
When we wear glasses, we likely touch them and our face often, we should have to avoid touching our eyes, mouth, or nose with unwashed hands. Viral particles can cause infection when they come in contact with mucosal surfaces, like the nose and mouth, and recent research shows that the eyes may be an entry point of infection. Regularly cleaning glasses and sunglasses removes excess dirt, oil, bacteria or virus that may build up on the surface, and can cause problems like infection and acne.
Disinfectant door handles
From house to car and everywhere you visit outside the house, there’s no doubt you’ll touch handles, so keep a habit of regularly disinfecting handles. It is always good to use a hand sanitizer after touching the surface in public. As for the handles, unless you are the owner of the handles that may be of a car, bike etc, it is best to clean them.
Disinfect your wallet and purse
Wallet and purse probably travel with us wherever we go. Along the full journey, they are placed down on multiple surfaces. So it’s better to disinfect them after coming home, or in between the way.
Always wear a barrier on public transportation
If you are using public transportation to get to work or elsewhere CDC suggest maintaining good hand hygiene, maintain social distancing, and wearing a mask. Always have hand sanitizer while travelling. Physical distancing alone, without the use of masks, isn’t enough to mitigate an increase in the infection rate. A study indicated that the use of physical distancing and masking among 50 and 80 per cent of the population results in the substantial reduction of infections. The models indicate that if 80–90 per cent of the population wears masks regularly, this disease will eventually be eliminated.
Keep an eye on symptoms
The symptoms of infection for the COVID-19 are often similar to those of other respiratory virus infections, such as MARS, SARS or influenza. Symptoms can include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Loss of smell
- Loss of taste
- Muscle or body aches
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Persistent pain in the chest
If you have these symptoms immediately contact your doctor.
What to do if I am or maybe ill with this coronavirus, COVID-19?
If you develop symptoms or you’ve been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, contact your doctor and take medical advice.
- Avoid public transportation.
- Stay home from work, school and public areas.
- Visit a doctor if the problem continues.
- Wear a face mask.
- Isolate yourself from others in your home.
- Use a separate room if possible.
- Avoid sharing items with others.
- Wash your hands regularly
- Sanitize the surfaces.
PRECAUTIONNS TO TAKE FOR PREVENTING THE SPREAD OF COVID-19
One should follow these steps:-
- Clean your hands regularly with soap and water, or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
- Don’t touch your nose, eyes, or mouth.
- Maintain social distance.
- Always wear a mask when outside.
- Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when sneeze or cough.
- Stay home when you feel unwell.
- If you have a cough, fever and difficulty in breathing, seek medical attention.
- Regularly seeking medical advices.
- Disinfect cell phones and other surfaces.