The newly discovered SARS-CoV-2 virus, also known as the novel coronavirus, is the most recent member of the coronavirus family. Coronaviruses are generally known for causing various respiratory infections such as common cold to more severe respiratory diseases like MERS and SARS in humans.
The novel coronavirus causes COVID-19 disease, with a fatality rate of 3.4 percent. The fatality rate may not seem as high as other deadly viral diseases, but its aggressively contagious nature makes it more dangerous.
This new strain of coronavirus was discovered in December 2019 when the outbreak started in Wuhan, China. It was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization within a month. This disease has spread rapidly in many countries around the world, infecting and killing thousands of people.
In this article, we will provide a lot of useful information related to protecting yourself from Coronavirus. If you are new to this field, we suggest you read the whole article from the beginning to the end but if you already have some knowledge, feel free to use the navigation menu below.
How Coronavirus Spreads
The COVID-19 virus can spread person-to-person who are in close contact within the range of 3 feet. Tiny droplets are scattered when an individual with COVID-19 sneezes or coughs, which land on surfaces around the infected person. Healthy people then catch the disease by touching these surfaces, later touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. People can also get COVID-19 if they inhale these droplets directly from an individual with COVID-19 who exhales or coughs out droplets.
The latest studies by experts have revealed that the COVID-19 virus can linger in the air for 3 hours. It can survive 24 hours on a porous surface like cardboard and 72 hours on non-porous surfaces such as plastic or stainless steel. However, the novel coronavirus can last only 4 hours on a copper surface.
Ways to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
As there is no vaccine for COVID-19 at present, preventing the disease from spreading is the least that any individual can do to slow down or avoid an outbreak in their community. There are certain things that you can do to protect yourself from catching the disease.
1. Keep Your Hands Clean
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, especially when you are outdoors.
- Avoid direct contact with high-touch surfaces such as elevator buttons, doorknobs, grab-handles, handrails, etc. Use a tissue paper or the sleeve of your shirt to cover your finger or hand if you must hold or touch something.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after visiting a public space or opting for public transport.
- Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content, if water and soap are not available. Rub the sanitizer rigorously to disinfect your hands entirely until they feel dry.
2. Avoid Close Contact
- Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from people if there is a COVID-19 outbreak in your community. Diabetic elderly citizens with hypertension, pregnant women, HIV patients, and people with respiratory conditions must be extremely cautious as they are at higher risk of getting severely ill.
- Don’t make any close contact with a sick person, or a close one who has symptoms such as fever, headache, sore throat, and difficulty in breathing.
- Avoid mass gathering and crowded areas, especially places with poor ventilation.
3. Use Protective Gears
- If the novel coronavirus is spreading in your community, use a mask to cover your nose and mouth when going out.
- Wearing a surgical mask and disposable gloves is a must if you are healthy and caring for a person with COVID-19 symptoms.
- Wash your hands or rub sanitizer before putting on a mask.
- There must not be any gap between your face and the mask.
- Replace your mask immediately when it’s damp.
- Don’t touch the front of the mask.
- While removing the mask, hold it only by its straps and discard the mask immediately in a closed trash bin.
- Don’t reuse single-use masks.
- Wear protective goggles to cover your eyes while attending to a sick person.
4. Maintain Proper Respiratory Hygiene
- Make sure you and the people close to you follow proper respiratory hygiene. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your bent elbow while coughing or sneezing. Discard the tissue immediately after use.
- Always wash your hands with soap and water after sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
5. Avoid Traveling
- Avoid traveling to areas with a coronavirus outbreak.
- If COVID-19 is spreading in your area, stay at home. Go out only if it’s highly necessary.
- Consider working from home.
- If you have recently been to a place where the novel coronavirus is spreading, keep a check on your health, and put yourself into self-isolation for 14 days. Follow the guidelines issued by your government. If you observe symptoms of COVID-19, contact your healthcare authorities as soon as possible.
In this grave crisis, every individual should be responsible and brave. Although you can’t do much, these little preventive measures can help slow down the coronavirus outbreak to a vast extent. Stay safe and be prepared for every situation. Also, keep yourself updated with the latest information on COVID-19.