The disease COVID-19 is caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus is from a family of viruses that can cause illnesses such as the common cold, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). Some of these viruses can cause severe respiratory issues, and in many cases, result in death. However, by exercising caution and maintaining a vigilant awareness of your environment, one can drastically reduce the opportunity for infection. So here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) on how to promote safety for yourself and family:
- Avoid large events and mass gatherings.
- Avoid close contact (6 feet or more) with anyone who is sick or has symptoms.
- Keep a distance between yourself and others if COVID-19, especially if you have a higher risk of serious illness.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (60% alcohol)
- Cover your mouth and nose with your elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth if your hands aren’t clean.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces you often touch daily.
- Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals with a focus on foods that help build your immune system. It is recommended to exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Other recommendations would be to remember to constantly maintain a positive outlook. Surround yourself with books, music or other materials that keep you uplifted, as well as be sure to help uplift others. Limit watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about COVID-19 repeatedly can be upsetting.
- Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
- Use this time for personal reflection and goal setting. This event is temporary, but start thinking about planning and goals after this outbreak has passed.
- Stay connected (virtually, that is) with friends and family that help keep each of you uplifted. If needed, talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
These tips will help you to manage this outbreak in safety and help maintain a good outlook to bring you through this event.
by Barry N. Bates, M.S.
Bioscience Technology Program Coordinator
ATC Exposure Control Coordinator
Division of Health and Public Safety