The news about the coronavirus (COVID-19) has probably not escaped you, and it is normal for you to be worried. With the virus being confirmed in more and more places around the world, you may be wondering what will happen to your community. Even though a pandemic is frightening, keep in mind that you probably don’t have to worry if your area has no confirmed cases. However, health organizations and the World Health Organization (WHO) recommend that everyone take basic steps to prepare for the coronavirus to reduce the number of people who are sick.
1-Wash your hands with soap and water. It’s so simple, yet washing your hands is the best way to protect yourself against illness. Run your hands under warm running water, then apply a mild soap to your palm. Rub your hands for 20 seconds before rinsing off the soap under running hot water
- Alcohol-based disinfectants also help prevent the virus. Use them in combination with hand washing, but not as a substitute.
2-Practice social distancing by staying at home. The virus is more easily spread in groups of people, especially in crowds. Fortunately, you can help protect yourself and others just by staying home. Only go out when necessary, such as when you need to run errands. Otherwise, enjoy the time you spend at home
- If you are at risk and a family member is working outside the home, you should try to limit your contact with that person.
- If you decide to meet, it is recommended that you limit meetings to 10 people or less. Remember that even young or healthy people can contract the virus and pass it on to others. In other areas, check with local or health authorities what types of gatherings are allowed.
- There are lots of ways to have fun at home! You can try the games, do something, read a book, play in the garden, or watch a movie.
3-Stay at least 2 m from other people when you are outside. You may need to go out in public to do your shopping. Keep a space between yourself and the others, in case any of you are sick. It is possible to transmit COVID-19 before symptoms manifest, so prefer the safety of staying away
4-Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth. Usually, the coronavirus enters your body when you inhale droplets from an infected person’s sneeze or cough, or when you touch your face with droplets on your hands. Do not touch your face unless you have washed your hands. Otherwise, you risk accidentally introducing germs into your body.
- Use tissues if possible to wipe your nose or to cover your mouth when you cough. Your hands may be dirty.
5-Avoid shaking hands with other people. Unfortunately, people infected with coronavirus can spread the disease even if they don’t have any symptoms. To prevent all risks, do not shake hands with anyone until the coronavirus threat has passed. Instead, politely decline a handshake and explain that you are trying to prevent the coronavirus.
- You can say, “I am delighted to meet you too. Normally, I would have shook your hand, but health agencies recommend avoiding handshakes until the threat of the coronavirus has passed. “
6-Stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing. Even if they probably don’t have coronavirus, it’s best not to take any chances if you notice someone showing symptoms of a respiratory infection. Calmly and respectfully move away from anyone who appears to be coughing and sneezing
- If you argue with the person, be nice and apologize. For example, you can tell her, “I just found out that you are coughing. Hope you feel better soon, but I’m going to step away a bit so I don’t accidentally inhale your germs. “
7-Disinfect surfaces before touching them. Health organizations recommend keeping your home, workplace, and public places as clean as possible. Spray hard surfaces with disinfectant or wipe them with a disinfectant wipe. If possible, spray disinfectant spray on soft surfaces
- For example, you can spray Lysol on countertops, railings and doorknobs. You can also use whitening wipes to clean these hard surfaces.
- Lysol can also be used on soft surfaces.
- Do not use vinegar or other “natural” cleansers. There is no clear evidence that vinegar is effective against coronaviruses. “Natural” cleansers can contain different ingredients and are not designed to be effective against viruses.
8-Only wear a face mask if your doctor recommends it. Although some people wear a face mask to prevent coronavirus, health organizations say it is not necessary. Don’t feel pressured to wear a face mask unless your doctor recommends it or if you become ill. If infected, the mask will retain your cough and sneeze droplets so they cannot infect others.
- You don’t need to buy “just in case” surgical masks. In reality, this can cause stocks to run out, preventing those who really need it from getting it.
Tip: Surgical masks you can buy in stores do not offer additional protection against COVID-19. Only properly fitting N95 masks offer protection against the virus and there are a limited number of them. It is essential that N95 masks are reserved for healthcare professionals who treat patients with coronavirus.
Prepare your home for an emergency
1-Stock up for 2-4 weeks. If you get sick or your community has a coronavirus outbreak, you will need to stay home. You will not be able to go to the grocery store or order food. Prepare now by purchasing additional non-perishable items and storing them in your pantry. Also fill your freezer with perishable food that you can defrost as needed.
- Buy additional canned food, such as tuna and packaged products that have a long shelf life.
- Stock up on frozen foods, but also meat, bread, and other perishables that can be thawed.
- If you drink milk, buy powdered milk to keep in the pantry, as you may not be able to get to the store for a while.
- The pandemic should not prevent you from preparing healthy meals. Fresh produce can freeze and be used later, you can also use canned foods or frozen fruits with as few additives as possible. Also, consider stocking your pantry with grains, seeds, and healthy foods.
Did you know ? If there is a coronavirus outbreak in your community, health organizations recommend staying at home and avoiding contact with other people. This is called social distancing, which helps prevent the spread of the disease.
2-Buy basic necessities. This can be toilet paper, soap and detergent. You may need to stay home for several weeks if someone in your household is sick or if your community is affected by an epidemic. In this case, buy household items that you will use regularly so that you don’t run out. If possible, buy supplies for a month to be prepared for any eventuality. Here are some items you can buy
- enough tissues to cover your cough and sneeze, and to blow your nose.
- dishwashing liquid.
- hand soap.
- paper towels.
- toilet paper.
- laundry detergent.
- cleaning products.
- sanitary napkins or tampons.
- provisions for pets.
3-Buy over-the-counter treatments for respiratory infection. Although there is no cure for the virus itself, you can treat the typical symptoms of a respiratory infection. Buy a packet of decongestants, acetaminophen, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or naproxen in case you are sick. You can also buy cough drops or cough medicine to help control your cough.
- If you live with more than one person, you can purchase additional packs of medicine in case more than one becomes ill. Ask your doctor how many packs you are supposed to buy.
4-Plan a reserve of at least 30 days of medication. If you take medication every day, ask your doctor and pharmacy to let you keep extra medication at home until the coronavirus threat has passed. You may not be able to restock your medicine if your community has an epidemic or if you become ill. To overcome any eventuality, try to keep a reserve for at least 30 days
- You may need to come to the pharmacy weekly or every 2 weeks to get a partial refill for your prescription. So you will have a 30 day reserve at all times.
- Talk to your doctor and pharmacist to find out what options they recommend based on your needs.
Plan for school and workplace closures
1-Plan for childcare. If the coronavirus spreads in your community, it is likely that schools and daycares will close their doors or start sending students home. It can get very trying if you are a working parent as you will need to find child care. Find out about all the possible and conceivable options. Try to make arrangements in advance to be well prepared
- For example, you can ask a parent if they can look after your children if schools and daycares are closed. You can also ask your boss to let you work from home or take time off work if this happens.
- Your children are probably watching television more often and are certainly spending more time at their computers. You can create new habits and help them select interesting programs and movies!
2-Learn about the possibilities of working from home. Even if you don’t have to worry, chances are you won’t be able to go to work if a coronavirus outbreak breaks out in your community. Businesses and other organizations will certainly close their doors to prevent the spread of the virus. To help you prepare, ask your boss if you can work remotely during an outbreak. Discuss the tasks you will be required to complete, how to be accountable and the hours of work you will be able to complete
- You can tell him, “I saw that health agencies might recommend that workers stay home if there is a coronavirus outbreak in the area. If this happens, I hope I can work remotely. Can we talk about it? “
- Working from home will not be an option for everyone. However, it is good to be prepared for this option if you can do some or all of your work tasks at home.
3-Find out about income loss assistance. You are certainly worried about how you will support your family if you cannot work from home. Fortunately, there are organizations that can help. Local food banks can provide you with groceries, while nonprofits like the Red Cross or The Salvation Army can help you with other financial needs. Make a list of where you can get help in your community
- Local religious organizations can also offer help to people in need.
- Try not to panic. Everyone is having this experience together and the community will likely come together to help those in need.
Informing yourself while remaining calm
1-Learn about the evolution of the coronavirus once or twice a day. Health organizations and the WHO publish updates every day and it’s important to stay informed so you can protect yourself. However, don’t let coronavirus fears take hold of you. Read the news once or twice a day rather than constantly looking for updates
- Remember, you probably don’t have to worry about the virus, so try to stay calm.
Tip: Since people are afraid, misinformation is spreading all over the internet. To avoid unnecessary panic, obtain information from reliable sources. Also, check everything you read by checking the websites of local health organizations or the WHO.
2-Create a family plan in the event of a coronavirus outbreak. You are probably worried that your family will get sick. Your children may also have questions about the virus. To prepare everyone and keep the situation under control, hold a family reunion to discuss your plans in case the virus spreads. Here are some points you can address
- tell each family member that there will be enough food and provisions;
- tell your children that they will be well looked after;
- discuss what you can do to pass the time at home in the event of an outbreak;
- give each family member a list of emergency contacts;
- choose a containment room in your home in case someone gets sick.
3-Strengthen your immune system. The coronavirus is not treated with drugs, so a strong immune system is your best defense. Fortunately, you can strengthen your immune system by adopting a healthy lifestyle. Consult your doctor to find out what he recommends for you based on your particular needs. You can also try to
- eat fresh fruits and vegetables with every meal;
exercise for 30 minutes 5 days a week;
- take a multivitamin if your doctor tells you to.
- sleep 7 to 9 hours each night;
- relieve your stress;
- no smoking ;
- get the flu shot if you haven’t already.
4-Contact your doctor if you think you have any symptoms. Even if you probably haven’t contracted coronavirus, it’s important to take your symptoms seriously. If you experience symptoms like fever, cough, and breathing problems, contact your doctor to find out if there is a risk that you have coronavirus. In the meantime, stay home to limit the spread of your germs. Your doctor may give you a test for coronavirus to confirm a possible diagnosis
- Do not go to the hospital without first letting staff know that you think you have COVID-19. They will likely isolate you from other patients in a separate room. They may also recommend that you stay at home or in your vehicle.
- If you have COVID-19, you may be allowed to take care of yourself at home. If your doctor thinks you are at risk of complications, he or she will probably want to supervise your care.
5-Consult the warnings before setting off on a trip. From March 2020, experts are asking people to avoid unnecessary travel to help limit the spread of the virus. Additionally, health organizations recommend avoiding non-essential travel to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, and most European countries. However, these are not the only countries where the virus is transmitted in a sustainable way, so if you are traveling, refer to the instructions for travelers from health organizations or the competent authorities of the countries where you are located and assess the risks.
- It is essential that people at high risk avoid traveling. The elderly, people with health problems or immunodeficiency should avoid non-essential travel to reduce the risk of infection.
- If you are concerned, you may be able to cancel your trip and get some or all of your money refunded. Check with the company where you booked your trip to see if you have other options.
- Try not to panic. Dealing with a pandemic is scary, but there’s probably no need to worry.
- Remember to treat everyone with kindness. Don’t assume someone has COVID-19 because they are Asian. Keep in mind that the virus has spread to at least 67 countries (as of March 2020) and therefore affects a diverse population. Also, avoid believing that anyone who coughs has coronavirus.