While the roots of the so-called Coronavirus remain unclear, it’s devastating effects are being felt around the world. Millions of people in Northern Italy are in quarantine while traveling restrictions and fear of a pandemic has all but paralyzed some countries.
COVID-19 is the official name for the Coronavirus and is mainly affecting people in China but has also reached further afield. The virus was first identified in Wuhan, Hubei, China, and to date, more than 110,000 cases have been confirmed, with around 5,800 being classed as severe cases. At least 100 countries have been affected by the outbreak with the majority of sick people located in central China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, France, and Germany. The good news is that at least 62,000 people have recovered from the virus already, and the springtime is expected to discourage the spread of Corona. However, there are ways to prevent oneself from catching Corona or at least to take the right preventative steps not to catch it at all.
Probably the best measure one can take to ward off the Coronavirus and keep it at bay is to wash their hands frequently and correctly. Try to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer when out and about, although washing with warm water and soap is the most vital. Washing hands thoroughly is considered to be the first and best line of defense when it comes to preventing the spread of Corona. If you have been out in public, especially if using public transport, wash your hands as soon as you arrive home and keep that hand sanitizer handy too!
Cover Your Mouth
Another vital preventative step when it comes to staying away from the Coronavirus is to practice what’s known as “respiratory hygiene.” This means ensuring that you cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. It’s also recommended to dispose of the tissue you used as soon as possible. It’s known that the Coronavirus spreads from the nose and mouth, and that’s why it’s so important not to share your germs with others and to stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing, just in case.
Keep Your Distance
Even though most people are used to shaking hands when they meet and greet each other – whether a new introduction or an old friend – now’s the time to keep your hands to yourself as much as possible and to greet others with kind words only. One of the main ways the Coronavirus is spread is through physical contact between people, and that’s why it’s vital to avoid it. Keep your hands in your pockets and show people that aren’t being rude by not shaking hands (as you don’t want to offend anyone). Even if you usually kiss and hug your spouse or kids when you get home, try to avoid that until the crisis passes.
Since your hands touch surfaces that could be infected with Corona, you need to be extra careful where you put your digits. As the Coronavirus is spreading faster than expected, one measure suggested by WHO and local authorities is that people should stop touching their eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible (and obviously within reason). The virus is primarily spread by saliva, and that’s why you should try to stop touching your face, picking your nose, or putting your fingers in your mouth as much as possible.
If you have taken all of the above precautions but still feel yourself coming down with cold-like symptoms or are running a temperature, there’s still probably no need for concern or alarm. As the seasons transition from winter to spring, it’s normal for people to get sick, usually with a common cold or perhaps a touch of flu. Unless you’ve come into contact with a person infected with Coronavirus, it’s unlikely you have it. If, on the other hand, you suspect you may have had some contact with Corona or are very sick or having trouble breathing, contact your doctor or local healthcare provider as soon as possible.