Despite endless WhatsApp forwards, articles, and videos; The DOs and DON’Ts related to Corona Virus are still very much unclear amid the general public. There is widespread panic and people seem to have no plan of action at all. First of all, let me tell you that the panic and confusion is quite understandable. We can all feel it. Do not be hard on yourself for being too careful or for not being careful enough. In these tragic times, information or more specifically, verified and credible information can be key to our survival.
So here we are with a set of verified and credible Dos and Don’ts to fight COVID-19, more popularly known as the Corona Virus. Credible resources include the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization.
At BuddyBits, we believe in information that is actionable. Thus, I will not just simply draft a set of Dos and Don’ts for you but I will also address the FAQs related to all of them.
DO – Self-Quarantining and Social Distancing
The best option is a self imposed curfew. Just stay at home. It is as simple as that. The most important characteristic of this notorious virus is that it will never ever come knocking at your door until unless you carry it and bring it inside yourself. So, the idea is to stay at home and wait it out. No Office. No gym. No restaurants. STAY AT HOME.
What if I absolutely have to leave home?
That’s where the term “Social Distancing” comes in.
But what is Social Distancing?
It is just a fancy way of saying “avoid close contact with others”. You have to avoid mass gatherings, get-togethers, meet-ups etc. The idea is to not visit any place where people might gather. And yet, if you find yourself amongst people, just try and maintain a six-foot radius of personal space.
It’s just to scare us. How can staying at home help?
You will be surprised to know how instrumental you can be in stopping the virus from spreading by simply staying at home. In the simplest words, the virus will get fewer opportunities to jump from person to person or from person to thing to person. Thus, slowing down the spread significantly!
Honestly? It is indefinite. We really have no idea. None of us! But what we do know FOR SURE is that the spread can be controlled if citizens of a country stay at home, case in point – China.
How can I help?
GREAT QUESTION! You might feel out of ideas but there are a few things you can do to help others. While in social isolation, you must extend your helping hands to the vulnerable members of your society like senior citizens without family/staff. Call them and ask them what they need, get it for them, and put it at their door.
The entire situation can take a heavy toll on the mental health of people. Call your friends and relatives to extend your emotional support. Tell them that you are there for them. Just knowing that someone out there cares enough to call can be very comforting.
We will do a separate article on emotional health in these tough times, watch out for it. (You know where.)
DON’T – WORRY
I know it’s scary but you know what? We can fight this. Right now, for us, defence is the best offense. Take all the necessary precautions and you will be absolutely fine. You might find a lot of wrong information related to this pandemic on the internet. This misinformation can cause uncalled panic and worry. Do not fall prey to them. Verify every piece of information. Here’s a link that can help – Corona Virus: Myth busters.
While it is important to not worry, it is also important to NOT take this lightly as well.
DO – Frequently wash your hands with soap and water or sanitizer to kill the virus
20-30 seconds. The same goes for hand sanitizer.
(In case of hand wash, please turn your tap off while scrubbing. In case of sanitizers, make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol)
Actually, the correct question is “WHEN”. According to the UNICEF, we should make sure to wash our hands at the following times:
- After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
- After visiting a public space, including public transportation, markets and places of worship
- After touching surfaces outside of the home, including money
- Before, during and after caring for a sick person
- Before and after eating
For more question related to washing your hands – click on this link.
DON’T- Touch eyes, nose, and mouth
But we washed our hands?
Let us put it this way – DON’T touch them with unwashed hands but also, AVOID touching them anyway because it minimises the chance of virus entering your body. It’s just good old self-preservation. DO NOT call it being too careful.
DO – Cover your cough or sneeze.
The best way to cough or sneeze is into your elbow and not your hands. When accessible, you should use disposable tissues or handkerchiefs.
DON’T/DO – Wear Masks
Mass hysteria often leads to herd mentality. As per a common observation, people in general have started wearing masks. While the truth is that the use of masks for the general public is NOT recommended by medical practitioners. However, face masks are recommended for people who have symptoms of COVID-19, for health care workers, and for others who may be caring for them.
Since there’s a shortage of face masks in the market, it is important that only those who actually need them get easy access.
DO – Seek immediate medical attention if you experience emergency warning signs.
Seek immediate medical attention and virus test if you experience emergency warning signs. At the same time, please understand that it is important that you don’t unnecessarily ask to get tested for COVID-19. Your Doctor will make that decision based on your exposure risk, symptoms, and guidance from the Government. There is a screening process to determine who should get tested.
What are the Emergency warning signs?
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion or inability to arouse
- Bluish lips or face
DON’T – Be reckless and irresponsible
There are screening procedures placed strategically all over the country. Please cooperate with the authorities and follow all instructions. If at all you are under observation or tested positive, the healthcare professionals will keep you in quarantine to protect others from catching the viral infection. During this time, cooperate with the healthcare professionals and stay there for as long as it takes.
Do this for yourself, if not for the safety of your family, friends, and countrymen. Because, as per the statistics, you are HIGHLY LIKELY TO RECOVER from the infection but ONLY IF you receive the right kind of treatment.
DO – Take care of yourself and your surroundings
This is extremely important for various reasons. Take adequate sleep and rest. Drink plenty of liquids and eat a balanced diet. Get regular Exercise as it helps boost your immune system. And of course, I will say it once again – TAKE PRECAUTIONS.
While everyone should take precautions, the highest risk group appears to be adults over 60 years old and those with chronic conditions (such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease). People in these categories must take special precautions.
Now that you have taken care of yourself, pay some attention to your surroundings. Sanitize your home by wiping down doorknobs, countertops, stairway railings, light switches, and other frequently touched surfaces in your home once every 2-3 days. Don’t forget to sanitize your phone, credit cards, and other frequently touched items as well.
What do I use to sanitize my surroundings?
Any regular bleach-containing household products will work. You can also make a cleaning solution with 5 tablespoons bleach mixed with one gallon of water.
DON’T – Stigmatize illness
It is not the time to feel disgusted and vilify those who are either showing symptoms or are already tested positive. If anything, this is the time to show compassion and support for those impacted. Across the country, there have been cases of harassment and violence against those who are showing symptoms.
While, such impulsive reactions stem from fear and panic, the result of such actions will be even more catastrophic. This will only create an atmosphere of stigma and fear amongst the people who are infected and especially those who might not even know it yet. The viral infection or its symptoms MUST NOT be source of social shame. This will only discourage such people from seeking medical attention and simply carrying on with their normal lives while continuing to infect many others along the way.
I know this was a long and a tad bit difficult read but I had to be thorough and exhaustive. In the end, all I want to say is all the best and that I hope we emerge stronger and wiser from this.