Folks, it seems that the coronavirus has come to stay with us and for a little while longer since we are now hearing news from Europe that it’s probable we might face the third wave.
Indeed some countries like Germany and Italy have even imposed lockdowns in certain parts in order to break the chain of spread. The World they say is a small place so we shouldn’t think that Europe is some 6 to 7 hours away by air travel so its far away.
Anything can happen, so we have to always get prepared to deal with the pandemic as it lingers on. The protocols are still the same even though we are told the deadly virus keeps mutating to produce new and more lethal strains.
We therefore need to go back to basics if we truly want to arm ourselves well in the battle to defeat the deadly virus.
Here are a few things we need to revise ourselves with in the fight against the coronavirus.
1. How does the infection occur in humans?
Here are the main ways by which the novel coronavirus is transmitted.
a. By close and prolonged contact: If you’re closer than two metres to a person who has con-tracted the illness for more than 15 minutes.
b. By droplet infection: If one person sneezes or coughs, the virus can be transported directly to the mucous membranes in the nose, mouth or eyes of other people.
c. By hands: Infectious droplets from coughs or sneezes can be on the hands. They can reach the mouth, nose or eyes if you touch them.
Viruses can survive for a few hours in tiny droplets on surfaces such as handles, doorknobs, lift but-tons, etc.
It’s not yet clear whether it’s possible to contract the virus by touching these surfaces or objects and then touching one’s own mouth, nose or eyes.
2. How can you protect yourself and others?
1. Wash your hands thoroughly.
Handwashing is of crucial importance when it comes to hygiene. Washing and taking care of your hands regularly is a good way of protecting yourself.
2. When should I wash my hands?
As often as possible and in particular:
a. before preparing food
b. before a meal
c. before feeding children
e. After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
f. Every time you come home from work or town
g. After using public transport
h. After visiting someone who is ill or after close contact with materials, equipment or personal items used by people who are ill
i. Before putting in or removing contact lenses
j. After taking off a hygiene mask
k. After going to the toilet
l. After changing nappies or accompanying a child to the toilet
m. After handling household waste
n. Whenever your hands are dirty
3. How do I wash my hands properly?
It’s very important to use the right method when you wash your hands. Soap alone isn’t enough to render germs harmless. To do that you have to get the combination of soaping, rubbing, rinsing and drying right. Here’s how:
1. Wet your hands under running water.
2. Soap your hands – if possible with liquid soap.
3. Rub your hands together until you get a lather. Don’t forget to rub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, under your fingernails and your wrists.
4. Rinse your hands thoroughly with running water.
5. Dry your hands with a clean towel, if possible a disposable paper towel or a cloth roller towel.
4. What else do I have to remember?
1. Use liquid soap if possible: It is best not to wear any rings. If you are wearing a ring: take it off before washing your hands, clean it with soap and dry it well.
2. Take care of your skin: Damaged, chapped skin can be a hotbed of germs. Use cream to moisturise your skin.
3. Cut your fingernails short and regularly use a nailbrush to stop dirt from collecting under your nails.
4. Cough and sneeze into a paper tissue/handerchief or the crook of your arm.
5. Blowing your nose, sneezing, spitting and coughing can all spread viruses if you don’t follow the safety protocols.
5. How can I reduce or avoid the risk of spreading the virus?
1. Cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing, ideally with a paper tissue.
2. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm rather than into your hands. If you do use your hands, wash them thoroughly with water and soap immediately afterwards if possible.
3. Only use paper tissues (not cloth handkerchiefs) to blow your nose.
4. Spit into a tissue.
5. Wash your hands afterwards every time you cough, sneeze or spit into a tissue.
6. Use a paper tissue, and use it only once. Then dispose of it.
6. Stay at home if you have a high temperature and a cough.
1. Stay at home if you have symptoms of being ill (respiratory problems, a cough and high temperature).
2. Don’t go out in public.
3. Avoid contact with other people.
4. Contact a doctor or a health centre. Always phone them first before going to visit.
7. Keep your distance.
1. Keep your distance from other people. Infection with the new coronavirus can occur through close (less than 2 metres) and prolonged (over 15 minutes) contact with someone who is already infected. You can protect yourself and others by keeping your distance.
2. Avoid large gatherings that you aren’t obliged to attend.
3. Leave space between you and the person in front of you when standing in line (for example at the checkout, post office or canteen).
4. At meetings leave a seat free between you and the person next to you.
5. Keep your distance from people around you at especially high risk.
6. Keep visits to care homes and hospitals to a minimum.
8. Keep your distance on public transport
1. The public transport network is vital to the functioning of the economy, and is relied on by many people. The basic service will therefore be provided as normal. However, if a lot of people use public transport at the same time, they cannot keep their distance from each other and so risk becoming infected with the new coronavirus.
9. Avoid using public transport
1. If possible, go to work on foot or by bicycle.
2. Do not use public transport if you have symptoms such as a cough or temperature.
3. Avoid using public transport if you are over 65 years old.
4. For everyone else, the following applies:
a. Avoid using public transport if possible, particularly at peak times.
b. Only use public transport for essential journeys.
c. If you have to use public transport for some essential reason, observe the hygiene recommendations.
10. Avoid shaking hands.
1. Depending on what we have just touched, our hands may not always be clean. Infectious droplets from coughs or sneezes can be on the hands. They can reach the mouth, nose or eyes if you touch them. It’s therefore important to avoid shaking hands. We can protect ourselves from being infected:
2. Avoid kissing and shaking hands to greet people.
3. If possible keep some distance from the person you’re talking to.
4. It’s better not to touch the nose, mouth and eyes.
5. If possible avoid large gatherings of people, especially if you are one of the people at especially high risk. People at especially high risk are those over age 65, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, conditions and therapies that weaken the immune system, or cancer.
From all of the above, it is hoped that you would take a cue and adhere strictly to the laid down safety protocols as discussed. Stay safe and protect yourself!