By now we have all become used to the covid-19 virus narrative. Unfortunately, as the media and leading health experts in our country tell us, we could and most likely will mutations and higher numbers as long as we as a society are not doing our part to prevent a further rise. Until then (or even beyond that), here are a few things that you can do to help yourself and others around you. And in the process, we might even be protecting ourselves from other bacteria and viruses #byebyeflu!
1. Wash Hands with Soap
Any soap will do the trick as long as it is soap. At the beginning of the pandemic, a lot of people looked for antibacterial soaps over regular soap. The coronavirus is a virus not a bacteria. So antibacterial soaps were and are doing nothing extra for you. Soap is definitely at the top of the list for disorganizing the virus structure and making it invalid. It continues to be the most effective when in contact. So if you have the option to wash your hands whenever you feel you may be exposed, wash them with soap. Any soap.
2. Use Sanitizer
Only and only if you do not have access to soap and water, sanitizers come in a close second. Again the CDC and WHO recommend that the alcohol levels in your sanitizer be at a certain percentage for them to actively kill the virus in covid-19. Per the CDC, the labels should state that your sanitizer has at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol alcohols. However, the WHO does recommend ethanol be at 80% or isopropanol alcohol at 75%. I would go with the WHO recommended values due to studies performed on the effectiveness in killing the virus was effective at those percentages.
After generously applying it on your hands, make sure it’s a little “drenched” enough to get into areas like under your nails. Then let it air dry – do not keep rubbing! It takes about 30 seconds to kill the virus so you want your hands nice and wet.
3. Paper Towels
When going anywhere, carry a few dry paper towels in your purse or pocket. Use these to open doors and hit elevator buttons. Door handles, knobs, elevator buttons and anything else that is frequently used by others are a party scene for bacteria and viruses to thrive on. Taking the extra effort by using a paper or paper towel, you limit your exposure to anything possibly lingering on those surfaces.
4. Face Masks
Even if you don’t believe you will get sick, wear a mask when you are in public areas. It not only helps reduce the spread if someone is sick, but it comforts others around you by showing a sense of community duty. So while you may not like but it is a show gesture to others around you. You are acknowledging their mental health and physical safety. Also, have you seen all these couture brands making cool masks now? While you may have some doubts about the effectiveness of the mask, why not err on the side of caution anyways?
When wearing your mask make sure your hands have not been touching anything in public. Use the ear loops to get them over your ears, and pull the mask from the bottom-middle over your nose, mouth and chin area.
5. Stay Home or at least 6 Feet Away
The best prevention for the covid-19 virus is to stay home. You are in a safe place and the virus doesn’t travel to your home. However, if you cannot stay home, make sure you are abiding by the guidelines to staying 6 feet away. The reason for the distance is to reduce the amount of possible virus particles lingering in the air around someone who just sneezed or coughed, to land on your person.
As a bonus tip because I am a germaphobe, I also do the following:
6. Wash Products
I use soap and water to wash anything that can be safely washed. This includes milk cartons, plastic tubs of cream cheese, my body wash bottle, bag of chips,… you get the idea. Anything that is fully sealed, I will wash with soft soap and water. And for perishables like fruits and veggies, I use one of these fruit and veggie washes. And if I don’t want to use that, I let them sit in a cold salt-water bath for a few seconds before drying them off and storing.
We will continue to see covid-19 in the media and around us for a long time. And as the virus mutates and wrecks more havoc, we will need to be cautious about not getting infected. Thankfully we do have a vaccine, but if you’re not into getting the vax, then do your part and try not to infect others if you do get it.
This article is meant to provide a few things that we as a community and society can do to help lower our numbers and hopefully one day we can call this a thing of the past. If we all played our part, we’d probably see it die down soon. And while we wait, here are some tips to staying productive during this quarantine.
What have you been doing to protect yourself? Let me know below.
Featured photo courtesy of pexels.com
Article last updated September 10, 2021