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Preventative Measures to Avoid Contracting the Coronavirus

Preventative Measures to Avoid Contracting the Coronavirus

In the wake of the coronavirus, it's important that we're all taking extra preventative measures to stop COVID-19 and avoid contracting it.

2020 was the beginning of a new decade, new opportunities, and a fresh start for many. Little did we know that it would be the beginning of a long and arduous journey of sickness and uncertainty. January 7th was the day that officials in China announced the outbreak now known as Coronavirus Disease 2019, or simply COVID-19.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is part of the coronavirus family that's related to the common cold, SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome), and MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome), all affecting the upper respiratory tract. SARS occurred in February 2003, MERS was reported in 2012, and now COVID-19 appeared last year.


It's highly contagious, currently affecting over 120,000 people, with 66,000+ recovered and killing over 4,000. The numbers are startling, considering the disease has only been spreading for a few months, but it's been globe-trotting at an exponential rate.

Will the bad news slow down anytime soon?

There's cause for concern; the virus affects the elderly the most, with a 15% mortality rate for those 80 and over. Interestingly enough, the virus is sparing children who typically experience only very mild symptoms.

Unfortunately, every day seems to be another day with more grim news. Cases are popping up in new cities, doubling in others, the death toll is rising, and businesses are temporarily closing their doors to prevent employees from contracting COVID-19. On top of all that, there's no current vaccine in sight.


What can you do to prevent getting sick?

What is one to do under these troubling times? There are several recommendations you should implement courtesy of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control). The three below are the best preventative measures you can take to mitigate transmission. They may seem "too simple," but sometimes simplicity is key.

1. Wash your hands

Wash your hands often with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds, especially after being in public. They say to sing the Happy Birthday song twice to get to 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol in between washing your hands.

Avoid touching your nose, eyes, and mouth if you haven't washed your hands.

2. Limit close contact

  • If you're out and you see someone coughing, avoid contact with them at all costs.
  • Avoid unnecessarily gathering in large crowds. Some people are asymptomatic and unaware that they're infected, causing the virus to spread unknowingly.
  • Stay home if you can. Those fun events you want to attend will come around at a later date. Social distancing is a great way to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

3. Clean

Germaphobes rejoice, this is something we do on the daily. Clean and frequently disinfect, especially high use and often touched surfaces like doorknobs, window sills, handrails, elevator buttons, etc. Studies have indicated that COVID-19 can linger on surfaces for up to nine days in contrast to the common cold virus, which only sticks around for a couple of hours.

So, bust out your Lysol, Mr. Clean, Windex, and any other EPA-registered household disinfectant and start cleaning.


If you're symptomatic, self-quarantine. 

Stay home if you're sick. If your symptoms are getting worse, call your primary care physician to get advice. They may instruct you to go to the hospital. Before heading to the hospital, call them, so they can prepare for your arrival with the appropriate protective gear for their safety and those that are at high risk.

If you're coughing or sneezing, use a tissue paper and immediately dispose of it when done. If there's no tissue around, use the inside of your elbow sleeve to cough or sneeze into. Wash your hands after.

Let's try to protect others around us, as well.

Together, we can slow it down.

We all must work together to slow down the spread of COVID-19, so our healthcare system isn't overflowing with coronavirus patients.

These measures, as simple as they are, are effective. The good news is that many of these measures we should already be practicing, like washing our hands. We now simply need to implement these measures more than usual to protect ourselves, and others.


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