COVID-19 is one of the most contagious, and deadly diseases to surface in a hundred years. As it spreads like wildfire, with no proven treatment or vaccine developed- it is seemingly impossible to stop. With the whole world paused, struggling to cope with this pandemic, the best way to react is learning how to stay safe.
So, how do we avoid contracting the disease?
Rule #1 – Don't go out!
The first, and most important rule is to not step outside of your home unless it is absolutely necessary. If you must, follow the correct protocol described by the World Health Organisation.
It has been recommended that only one person, between the age of 10 to 40, wearing preventive gear, should step outside. Wearing N95 or 3-ply surgical masks and disposable gloves should be a priority. The virus can live upto 72 hours on a surface, so it’s vital to avoid coming in contact with random items and surfaces. The same goes for your mask! It’s protecting you, so touching the front of it is counterproductive.
The social distancing protocol must be strictly adhered to- by maintaining a minimum distance of 6 feet with others at all times outside your home. Taking these small steps and precautions can break the chain of infection.
Avoid using your phone or wearing accessories in public areas to minimise chances of contamination. If you can, go digital. Use online payment methods to make purchases. If cash is your only option, giving the exact amount to the cashier can go a long way! If you do take money from the cashier, sanitise it as soon as you’re home.
Rule #2 - Wash, wash, and wash!
Now, you're back home with all your supplies. What should you do next?
First things first, remove your mask and gloves- and wash your hands. Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds is one of the best ways to prevent the Coronavirus.
The next thing to do is to clean your supplies as well as the surfaces you touched. Now, another member of the family should continue with the procedure of cleaning as you must, without touching anything unnecessarily, move to have a bath. The clothes your wore outside should be kept separately in a bucket with detergent to disinfect before washing.
Did you know that cleaning is different from disinfecting?
Cleaning is removing contaminants from a surface and to disinfect is to kill the pathogens. To prevent Coronavirus, you must first clean and then disinfect all frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, table surfaces, faucets, light switches, and remotes. Wear disposable gloves while doing this!
To clean, use a solution of water and detergent. Dip washable items into the mixture of water and soap for at least 30 seconds. Use more soap to clean them and then wash with plain water. Ensure cleaning fruits and vegetables once again before consumption. For items that cannot be dipped into water, use surface protectant or 70% alcohol to sanitise them and leave them to decontaminate for a few days.
Avoid buying vegetables like Cauliflower, Cabbage, Spinach, and throw away items like wraps, bags, and paper since they cannot be disinfected properly.
To disinfect the surfaces, use a surface disinfectant like Pee safe's Raho Safe Multipurpose Surface Protectant
which gives protection from pathogens for up to one week! Make sure to leave the disinfectant on the surface for at least a minute for it to work effectively.
Quick Tip: You can also use diluted bleach (at least 1000ppm Sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect hard surfaces. Just mix one-part bleach with 10 parts water and spray it on the surface, leave it there for one minute to decontaminate, then wipe off. These solutions provide protection for up to 24 hours.
For electronic items follow the manufacturer's guidelines. If no instructions are available, use 70% alcohol wipes or sprays. Dry the surface to avoid damage to the item.
For items like books, it is advised to leave them in sunlight for at least 4-5 days.
Try to keep a separate pair of shoes for going out, and a separate pair of slippers for your home.
Rule #3 – Don't panic
Breathe. Stay calm. Staying calm will help you think rationally and follow these tips to keep you and your surroundings safe from COVID-19 during this time.
Remember, this too shall pass.