With the recent outbreaks hitting the headlines, you might be afraid of contracting coronavirus. Coronaviruses are a family of potentially fatal viruses that cause conditions like the common cold, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, and other respiratory ailments, including new strains of the virus. Although coronaviruses can be serious, taking preventative measures can help protect your health in public, at home, and when caring for someone who is sick. The virus currently concerned (in 2020) is called SARS-CoV-2, or more colloquially COVID-19. If you think you are carrying the virus, contact your doctor immediately.
I – Se protéger contre le coronavirus
1- Stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing.
Because the coronavirus is a respiratory infection, coughing and sneezing are common symptoms. In addition, coughing and sneezing both spread the virus into the air, which can increase your chances of infection. Stay away from people who seem to be showing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection.
- If appropriate, have the person stay away from you. For example, you can tell her, “I noticed you are coughing. Hope you will be better soon, but I would like you to keep your distance so that I don’t get sick. “
- If you know someone has come into contact with infected people, stay away from that person as well.
2- Wash your hands with soap and water.
The best way to prevent the coronavirus is to wash your hands as often as possible. Wet your hands with warm water, then apply a mild soap. Lather the soap for 20 to 30 seconds, then rinse your hands with warm tap water.
- The World Health Organization advocates not just rubbing your hands, but crossing your fingers and moving them in different ways to make sure all the skin is cleansed well, including the wrists. To turn off the faucet, use paper so as not to touch it with your hands.
- Always wash your hands before eating or drinking anything. It is also best to wash your hands whenever you are in public or after being around someone you think may be sick.
- If you cannot wash your hands, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. It is useless to use a product containing more than 95% alcohol, it will be less effective.
3- Do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth.
You can come into contact with the coronavirus by touching a surface, such as a doorknob or a counter. In this case, the germs can linger on your hands, so that you can easily get infected if you touch your face with dirty hands. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth in case the virus is on your skin.
- If you must touch your face, wash your hands first to avoid getting infected.
4- Don’t shake hands with others.
Unfortunately, people with the virus can infect others, even if they don’t show any symptoms. To protect yourself, limit your contact with others and politely say that you will gladly share a warm handshake once the virus is controlled.
- You can just say “I’m happy to meet you, normally I would shake your hand, but it is currently recommended not to do so in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. »
5- Disinfect the surfaces you touch daily.
Unfortunately, coronaviruses can linger on surfaces such as doorknobs, counters, and faucets. Use a disinfectant spray or anti-discoloration wipes to clean these surfaces daily. Keep the surface wet for about 10 minutes to effectively kill the virus. This will reduce the chances of the virus lingering on surfaces and causing infection.
- In your home, disinfect the handle of your front door, kitchen and bathroom counters and faucets.
- At work, clean surfaces that people tend to touch, such as doorknobs, banisters, tables and counters.
- You can also prepare your own disinfectant by mixing 250 ml of bleach with 4 liters of water.
6- Don’t worry too much if you’re not really in danger.
Coronavirus myths have spread across social media, sometimes sparking unnecessary fears. It may be helpful to check your sources of information before making any decisions.
- For example, it is not necessary to tell yourself that contact with a Chinese person will make you sick. The Chinese and other peoples of East Asia have been victims of unfounded discrimination. Besides, most of them are healthy and are not more contagious than another person.
- You cannot get infected with the virus from reading a letter from China.
- There is no food that will prevent you from being contaminated.
II – Flatten the curve
1 – Stay at home as much as possible.
You have certainly heard of social distancing or physical distancing, it helps to avoid spreading the virus. To respect social distancing, leave your home only for obligations, shopping or going to work. If you can, work or study at home. Do not go out to bars, restaurants, or for leisure activities like going to the movies.
- With social distancing, you reduce the chances of contracting the virus. If everyone does it, it will spread much harder.
- If you are a person who can have complications, it is very important to stay in your home as much as possible. You are at risk if you are 65 or older, have a compromised immune system, or have health problems like heart disease or asthma.
- Follow instructions from government and health agencies to protect yourself and others.
2 – Do not hold meetings of more than 10 people.
You may want to see your friends and family, but be aware that by doing this you risk transmitting the virus. People who are not at significant risk can still get sick and pass the virus on to others. Laws regarding meeting people are different in different regions and countries, so it is important to follow the guidelines of your national government and local authorities to avoid spreading the virus and physically distance yourself from others.
- This includes meetings you have at home or away from home. Do not get together with your friends or family in public places. It is best to talk to you on social media.
3 – Stay 2 m from others when you go out.
Sometimes you need to go out for shopping, fresh air, or exercise. You can do this and run or walk for your health, but stay away from others, the recommended minimum distance is usually between 1.5 and 2m.
- If someone gets too close to you, walk away and gently remind the person that it is recommended to leave 2m between you. You can say, “I don’t mean to be rude, but I would like to respect the physical distancing recommended by health organizations.” I just want to make sure that we both stay healthy. “
4 – Wear a mask in public.
Health organizations in some countries recommend that you wear a mask in public places, such as when you go shopping in stores or when you are on public transport. Covering your face doesn’t negate social distancing, however.
- Do not use disposable masks intended for healthcare workers or the sick.
- The purpose of masks is to prevent transmission of the virus from asymptomatic people.
- You can sew a fabric protective mask yourself.
- Consult the information of the health organizations of the country in which you reside to find out what they recommend.
5 – Inform yourself on official sites.
The World Health Organization and national agencies provide updated information which you can consult on their websites. Follow their updates on preventing the spread of the coronavirus to protect yourself and others.
- If you can, donate to the health organizations managing the coronavirus crisis.
III – Caring for a sick person
1- Wear disposable protective gear. Put on disposable gloves,
a face mask and a disposable gown before caring for the sick person. When you leave his room, remove your protective gear and throw it in a plastic garbage bag. Avoid reusing it, as you may accidentally come into contact with the virus.
- The coronavirus is spread through the air and can linger on your clothes. You need to protect yourself as best you can.
2 – Do not share household items with the infected person.
The coronavirus can linger on objects like cups, plates, utensils and napkins. When a person becomes ill, you should use separate items for each member of the household. Otherwise, you risk spreading the infection.
- Do not take any risk, wash the items before using them or take a different one.
3 – Wash all your laundry in hot water to disinfect it.
Clothing, bedding, and towels can all harbor coronaviruses, which is why it’s important to wash them properly. Set your washing machine to the hottest temperature and measure out the correct amount of detergent for the size of the load. Then wash your laundry on the normal program or the intensive program depending on your model.
- If it’s safe for your fabrics, add a full capful of bleach or color-preserving bleach solution to disinfect the laundry.
4 – Open a window to ventilate the room if the weather permits.
Because coronavirus is transmitted through the air, you are at greater risk of infection when you share a space with a sick person. Ventilating the room will help you to move air out, which can minimize your chances of catching the virus. If you can, open a window or turn on an air conditioner.
- Do not open a window if it is raining or if the temperature is too cold or too hot.
IV – Avoid transmission from animals
1 – Cook meat and eggs well.
Coronaviruses can be passed from animals to humans, so you need to cook animal products well to kill germs. Follow the directions for the type of meat or egg you are cooking and check the internal temperature of your food with a food thermometer before you eat it. Heat your food to the following temperatures:
- chicken and turkey must be at 74 ° C;
- cook pork or beef at 63 ° C;
- heat the minced meat to 71 ° C;
- the eggs should reach 71 ° C.
2 – Limit contact with live animals.
While it is not established whether animals can transmit COVID-19 to humans, do not take the risk of handling a potentially sick animal. Avoid touching live animals unless you work with animals or care for pets. If you must handle an animal other than your pet, touch it as little as possible.
3 – Wash your hands after handling live animals.
You certainly don’t want animal germs to linger on your skin. Wet your hands and apply a mild soap. Lather the soap on your hands for 30 seconds, then rinse them with warm water. Pat yourself dry with a clean, dry towel.
- If you handle more than one animal, wash your hands after touching one and before moving on to another in case one is sick. This way, you don’t risk accidentally infecting other animals.
V – Treat a possible infection
1 – Contact your doctor if you think you have coronavirus.
If you have symptoms of a respiratory infection and have traveled to China, South Korea, Italy, Iran, or Japan, there is a risk that you may have coronavirus. Call your doctor to tell them about your symptoms and ask if you need to be checked. Your doctor may ask you to come for a lab test, but he or she may also recommend that you stay home to avoid spreading the infection.
- Les symptômes les plus courants sont la fièvre, la toux et la respiration courte. Certains patients(es) ont reporté d’autres symptômes.
2 – Stay at home.
Besides going to a doctor, you should not leave your home if you are ill. You may be contagious and you certainly don’t want to pass the virus on to someone else. Focus on rest and give your body time to recover.
- If you go to the doctor, wear a disposable face mask if you have one. This will prevent the spread of germs.
3 – Contact your doctor in case of symptoms.
Don’t worry, but COVID-19 can cause severe complications, so it’s important to get treated as soon as possible if you have acute symptoms. Call 911 or seek medical help if:
- your breathing is short or you have difficulty breathing;
- you have persistent pain or feel pressure in your chest;
- you have difficulty being awake or confused;
- your lips or face are bluish.
4 – Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
If you have coronavirus infection, there is a good chance that you will cough and sneeze a lot. Protect others from your germs by covering your mouth with a tissue or your sleeve. This will prevent the spread of your germs in the air.
- Try to have a box of tissues near you at all times. However, if you don’t have a tissue, you can also sneeze into the crook of your elbow.