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Instead of panicking like the rest of the United States, take the time to understand how you can prevent the coronavirus. There are a few small things you can do that will have a major effect and minimize your chances of getting the virus.
This just means you should avoid people who are infected. If you live in an area that’s experiencing an outbreak, consider wearing a facemask in public. Choose a mask that fits tightly to your face and offers a minimum of N95 protection. These masks will help protect you 80% of the time, which is certainly better than nothing.
Do your shopping online if you can. Fresh vegetables and fruits will be difficult to get delivered, but some larger cities do offer this. Shopping online is one way to reduce your contact with others during the outbreak. Although it’s peaked and almost over in China, the U.S. may not have reached peak infections just yet. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Cover your coughs and sneezes too by burying them in the elbow. If you have a tissue available, use that and toss it in the trash immediately. If you sneeze into your elbow, make sure to completely cover the mouth and nose to prevent as many droplets as possible from getting in the air. At the end of the day, wash your clothes in warm soapy water to eliminate the viruses. They likely won’t be active still, although they can be. Viruses can live 8-12 hours on porous surfaces such as clothing.
Wash Your Hands
Improving your handwashing will help dramatically reduce your chances of getting sick from colds, the flu, and the coronavirus. Wash your hands with warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Wash up toward your wrists and get between your fingers. Teach your children to wash their hands well too. Make sure you wash your hands before you eat, touch your face, eyes, nose, or mouth, and obviously after you use the bathroom. This really does work to keep you healthy and it’s pretty simple to start doing if you don’t already.
Make sure you take the time to disinfect surfaces such as doorknobs and remote controls. Do this several times a week, if not daily. Viruses can live in the air for up to 3 hours (after a cough or sneeze from an infected person) and for 2 to 3 days on stainless steel and plastic surfaces, according to a preprint posted Tuesday on medRxiv. Past studies have shown common household disinfectants, including soap or a diluted bleach solution, can deactivate coronaviruses on indoor surfaces. Coronaviruses are enveloped viruses with a protective fat layer. Disinfectants will tear apart that fat layer which makes coronaviruses “fairly wimpy” compared to noroviruses and other common viruses that have a more robust protein shell.
Just doing these three things will massively reduce your chances of getting sick in general, let alone cathing the coronavirus. General improvement in handwashing, cough and sneeze hygiene, and home disinfecting can go a long way as far as prevention is concerned.
But if you or a family member does get sick, be responsible and don’t spread it to others. Learn how to self-quarantine and stop the spread of the virus.