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The coronavirus is going to be with us for some time, and naturally, that is a frightening prospect. Even so, the Trump Administration has continuously downplayed the reality of the disease’s severity, leading many to believe they can and should continue as usual.
Instead of following the thread of misinformation on Trump’s Twitter page, I recommend you learn what practical things you can do right now. So, before you go out and buy all the toilet paper off the shelves, read up on a few of the most important ways you can prevent the spread of this virus, and prevent yourself from catching it as well.
1. Stay Home (If Possible)
You hear the advice on social isolation from the World Health Organisation, CDC and on many news broadcasts, but that’s because it works. Cancel your social events and stay hunkered down for another bit. If your boss offers a telecommuting option, take advantage of it, at least for as long as you can. The water cooler gossip will still be there when you return.
Unfortunately, you might lack the means to call in, even if you desperately need to rest. Sadly, the lowest-wage employees, like food service and childcare workers, often lack access to paid leave policies. Those who do have time accumulated may nevertheless report if their employer takes the stance that you show up unless you lose a limb. A lost job can mean homelessness for the millions living paycheck to paycheck.
If you own a business or serve as a manager, consider giving your employees paid leave during this time. You’ll not only improve their physical health, but also their mental well-being, too. Hello, productivity boost!
2. Wash. Your. Hands.
The best way to avoid the spread of nearly any infectious disease is to wash your hands. It’s not enough to give them a cursory splash of water — you need to lather and scrub for a good 20 seconds before rinsing. To keep track of the time, you can sing “Happy Birthday” through in your head twice.
— Michael Sweeney (@shhweeney) March 10, 2020
How often should you wash your hands? At least six times per day, if not more. You should always lather up before eating and after using the restroom. Additionally, if you change a diaper or come into contact with a sick individual, wash up after that, too. If you find your hands growing dry and cracked, keep a container of lotion by the sink so that you can rehydrate after cleansing.
3. Carry Hand Sanitizer
When you touch something that’s crawling with germs, you don’t always have a sink nearby. The American Red Cross recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizers when this situation occurs. However, like handwashing, there is also a correct technique to follow.
Rub the substance in thoroughly — don’t wipe the excess off on your pants. You want to use a nickel-sized dollop and rub for several seconds. Once it’s fully absorbed, you will have killed a significant portion of the nasties.
4. Masks Work but Should be Preserved
You’ve probably been seeing an uptick in the amount of people walking around with surgical masks on recently. Unfortunately, donning a standard surgical mask won’t fully protect you from the coronavirus, although it can help. The icky germ can fit right through the gaps, even the cloth. While you can find pricier N95 model masks that work more effectively, experts now recommend reserving the supply for medical professionals who come into regular contact with infected individuals.
However, wearing such an instrument can keep the byproducts of your sniffles and coughs from infecting surfaces, where they could potentially live for several days. Wearing a mask if you feel sick protects those around you from contamination.
5. Don’t Touch Your Face
Even when you follow proper hygiene, your hands pick up some contaminants. When you touch a mucous membrane, for example, by rubbing your eyes, you transfer these germs where they can enter your body and infect you. Furthermore, touching your face can give you zits from bacterial contamination, so your complexion will thank you for keeping your hands off!
6. Avoid Tobacco Use
It’s hardly a secret that tobacco use can lead to lung diseases like cancer and COPD. However, did you know that the habit reduces the ability of the pulp inside your teeth to help you fight disease? You weaken your immune system by maintaining the practice, but fortunately, the effects reverse themselves if you quit. Take advantage of free quitting resources to kick the butts.
7. Eat a Healthier Diet
You can take all the vitamin C and zinc supplements in the world, but your body still absorbs these nutrients from food more efficiently. Therefore, if you want to supercharge your immune system, you need to improve your diet. Add these suggested foods to your meal plan today.
Sweet peppers: Many varieties of brightly hued pepper contain more vitamin C than some citrus fruits. Of course, it wouldn’t kill you to eat an orange now and then, either.
Seeds and nuts: These tiny protein-packed plant miracles possess a ton of zinc in its natural form. They’re also friendly protein sources for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.
Kombucha or yogurt: Researchers believe a link between intestinal inflammation and overall health exists. These foods are rich in probiotics, which can help restore the balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.
8. Get Your Zzzs
When you’re rundown and tired, your immune system takes a hit. Now is the time to amp up your sleep hygiene. Ban electronic devices from your bedroom, as the blue light can keep you awake. Try to fall asleep and rise at roughly the same time each day — even on the weekend.
9. Keep In Touch With Your Doctor
Finally, you could have things wrong with your body, of which you remain unaware. If you have the means to do so, keep your annual checkup with your doctor. They can monitor things like your cholesterol levels and blood pressure, and recommend lifestyle changes if you tip into the danger zone.
Everyone plays a role in preventing the spread of disease. By following a few basic guidelines, you can continue to look and feel your best — even during an outbreak.