The COVID-19 disease, commonly known as coronavirus, has made its way from Asia to our shores, as the government and other public health officials mull what measures should be taken to prevent an outbreak in the United States.
Unfortunately, a virus can be caught rather easily, and this one is of major concern to the elderly and people with compromised immune systems because it causes respiratory problems that ultimately can be fatal to those groups.
In the meantime, we should be taking common-sense precautions that are wise to follow in our day-to-day life to prevent the passing of any virus, even one as simple as the common cold.
Wash Your Hands Often
Properly wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds under warm water, if at all possible) after using the bathroom and before eating.
Keep Hand Sanitizer Ready
Make sure the hand sanitizer you’re using is at least 60-percent alcohol-based. Anything less won’t be effective at killing virus germs.
While it can be considered bad manners in our culture, simply explain to someone that you’re taking precautions due to coronavirus concerns if you don’t want to shake hands to greet someone at this point. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is recommending either bumping fists or elbows as a temporary customary greeting.
Cleaning Common Surfaces
Shared surfaces in homes and businesses are common places for viruses and bacteria to linger. Doorknobs, countertops, refrigerator handles, and remote controls are places that get touched a lot, but people may not think to clean. This also goes for your cell phone, which the CDC recommends cleaning once per day.
Consider washing your hand towels frequently. In public places, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet after you wash your hands, and also use the towel to open the door in order to avoid direct contact with these surfaces.
On a final note, the World Health Organization recommends against healthy people (not working in a healthcare facility) wearing facemasks. People who are infected should wear a mask when they have to go in public — to the doctor, for example — or around the house in order to not infect others in close quarters.