Coronavirus has become a global pandemic and governments are trying to keep people safe and healthy by enacting lockdowns and other social distancing measures. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that has a 3.4% mortality rate. The number may look small but it actually translates to almost 2 million casualties.
It is a dire situation that requires a lot of effort to get under control. Especially because carriers of the virus can be asymptomatic, meaning that they might have the virus but don’t feel ill. In such a situation, they might go out, meet people, and unknowingly spread the virus.
Six Sanitary Habits For These Troubled Times
So everyone needs to be careful and follow their state’s social distancing guidelines. But that alone is not enough, we all need to take action and alter our living styles, following are some habits that can help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Washing Your Hands
First and foremost you need to develop the habit of washing your hands thoroughly as much as you can. The coronavirus spreads through the droplets in the sneeze or cough of an infected person. So if an infected person had the droplets on their hand, then everything they touch also gets infected and other people can catch the illness by touching those surfaces. Soap can effectively tear through the shell of the virus and wash it away.
Using Hand Sanitizer
Another habit you need to establish is using hand sanitizer. The WHO recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizers when you can’t wash your hands with soap and water. Sanitizers kill the germs that you need protection from and are great for on-the-go use. But keep in mind that these days a lot of people are making and selling their own sanitizers. The quality of such sanitizers is not ensured and they may end up doing more harm than good. You should use a sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and is from a trusted hand sanitizer manufacturer.
Respiratory hygiene habits include covering your mouth when you sneeze. Most people have the habit of using their hand to cover up their mouth, that is not helpful in the context of preventing the spread of corona. Because it just covers your hand in the droplets and then you could infect all the things you touch afterward. The proper method is to use your elbow or tissue or handkerchief to cover your mouth. Even if the droplets are on your elbow, you won’t be touching everyday objects with your elbow so you are safe.
Disinfecting Your Home
You should make it a habit to disinfect the common surfaces of your home at least once a week. Coronavirus can stay on smooth surfaces for a long time so it is a good practice to clean mirrors, glass tables, marble counter-tops, and other such surfaces. You can use a piece of cotton cloth and a spray bottle containing a sanitizer to disinfect the most touched places like door handles. This will ensure that you don’t come in contact with the virus.
This is one habit that should become second-nature to you; stay 1 meter away from all people at all times. 1 meter is the safe-distance announced by the World Health Organization because droplets from a sneeze cannot projectile past this distance. It is very important to not make exceptions to this rule. Remember, even if someone does not look ill, they may have COVID-19 and if you stand too close you may catch it too.
No Hand Shakes or Hugs
Physical touch is an instinct for humans when you meet someone, you hug them without even giving it a second thought. But now you have to be careful about that. Develop the habit of greeting people with a bow or a wave, do not hug them or shake their hand. It is even better if you don’t exchange things with people, like a file or a pen. This is the habit that will require the most conscious effort to build because physical touch is a very important part of many cultures but sadly it has to be put on hold until coronavirus is under control.
Coronavirus has become a challenge and it cannot be fought without proper action and care. For the time that it is rampant, we will have to give up our old ways of life and adopt a more restrained approach. We have to avoid leaving the house as much as possible and work from home if we can manage that. It is important to practice proper hygiene even if you are stuck at home because you never know if you are in contact with the virus. Wash your hands as much as possible and remember to carry your sanitizer wherever you go.