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How to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19

The COVID-19 has become a global pandemic and governments all over the world are taking measures to contain it. Protect yourself and your family.

How to protect yourself and your family from Covid-19

The whole world is swept by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). ‘CO’ stands for corona, ‘VI’ for virus, and ‘D’ for disease. This disease was formerly referred to as ‘2019 novel coronavirus’ or ‘2019-nCoV.’

COVID-19 has been described as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, meaning the geographical spread of the disease has been formally acknowledged. 

How does Covid-19 spread?

The transmission of the virus is mainly from person-to-person. This happens when people are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet or 2 meters). Another way is when respiratory droplets from the coughing or sneezing of an infected person are inhaled or land in the mouths or noses of those nearby.

At this point, there is no known vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). There are already efforts in inventing one, and they are being tested on hundreds of subjects, but even then it will not be commercially available for many more months.

How to protect ourselves

  • Make it a habit to clean your hands often

When you’re not at home and whenever you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20.

A hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol with at least 60% alcohol should do it if soap and water are not readily available.

  • Avoid close contact

Practice social distancing – 6 feet or 2 meters between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick: the elderly, those with existing medical conditions, and those with weak immune systems.

  • Regularly clean and disinfect at home

Frequently touched surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks should be cleaned and disinfected daily. You can use disinfectants commercially available, or you can make your own disinfectant solution by mixing detergent and soap proportionally.

  • Disinfect when you’re out the house

You may have to leave your house to buy food or medicinal supplies, or when you have urgent transactions that you cannot do remotely from home. For instance, you might withdraw money from ATM, or hang on to the railing of public staircases and buses or LRTs. The virus can stay on metal surfaces for up to 4 hours, so make sure to bring sanitizer or alcohol when you’re outdoors so you can disinfect your hands once you’ve ceased contact with these surfaces.

How to protect your family and others

Our parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other members of the family who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 disease. This means we have to practice more stringent measures in protecting them from exposure to the virus. What does this entail?

  • Practice the habit of covering coughs and sneezes

When you cough or sneeze, dab or use the inside of your elbow to cover your mouth if handkerchiefs and tissue paper are not available. Throw used tissues in the trash.

  • Regularly disinfect your hands and surface areas of common things in the house

  • Wear a facemask ONLY if you are sick

You should wear a facemask when you are around other people like sharing a room or vehicle, or when you enter a healthcare provider’s office. But only do this when you are actually sick. It is important to do so because facemasks are in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers and those with an urgent and prioritized need for them. Do not deprive them of the chance to get themselves protected and others from them.

  • Isolate people suspected of having COVID-19

Immediately put people suspected of having COVID-19 or infectious people to isolation rooms and close the doors. Especially in worksites like air-conditioned offices, move potentially infectious people to a location away from workers, customers, and other visitors.

  • Advise sick people to wear face masks

Take steps to limit the spread of the person’s infectious respiratory secretions, including by providing them a facemask and asking them to wear it, but only if they can tolerate doing so. Others have difficulty breathing through face masks, so different measures must be applied to them.

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