Its been almost one year now since the COVID-19 pandemic decended upon us, and it is now difficult to even remember what pre-COVID-19 living was like.
As treatment options have been increasing, some people have also become less concerned about taking safety precautions. As much as everyone would like to wake up and have the pandemic behind us, let’s not forget that the deadly and lethal coronavirus still lurks out there, no wonder the still increasing COVID-19 cases which is almost overwhelming our healthcare system.
Here are some recommendations to continue to keep yourself and your families safe against COVID-19. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, and don’t miss these sure signs You might have already had the Coronavirus infection.
1. Always Wear Your Face Masks.
Face masks have been shown to be immensely important in reducing the cases of COVID-19. As we know it’s a respiratory virus, the best way to stop the transmission is by blocking the respiratory particles from person to person. The reality is that a mask that blocks respiratory particles from being transmitted from one person to another has been shown to reduce the number of COVID-19 infections.
2. You Must Cover Your Cough or Sneeze.
Covering your cough or sneeze is not novel to COVID-19. It is helpful guidance that reduces the transmission of COVID-19 as well as the flu and other viruses such as the common cold. Although it has been the socially acceptable way to cough or sneeze for years, the COVID-19 outbreak has allowed for even more scientific understanding of this recommendation.
Researchers at MIT have evaluated how far particles travel when an individual coughs, and the results are significant. They found that particles can travel hundreds of times further from sneezing and coughing in comparison to talking, sometimes upwards of 27 feet. Although a great recommendation for the prevention of COVID-19, it is also critically important for many other viruses as well.
3. You Must Stay Home if Symptomatic.
The incessant reality of the COVID-19 pandemic has lead to some people being less fastidious with social distancing and group activities. People are explaining away their symptoms as possible allergies, or even stating that they have had COVID-19 prior and therefore cannot be infected again. When these individuals do not self quarantine, they can continue the spread of the virus throughout the community. In association with the incorrect wearing of face masks, not isolating when symptomatic has attributed to some of the continued transmission of COVID-19.
4. You Must Wash Your Hands Frequently.
Although washing hands with soap and running water has been known to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses for many years, it continues to be a necessary recommendation through the COVID-19 pandemic safety protocols. Initially it was thought that COVID-19 may live on surfaces for many days, however the current understanding is not as extreme. It is believed that larger particles of COVID-19 may continue to live on surfaces for hours or days. If a person has touched a surface with one of these large particles, and then touches their nose, or eyes, it is possible to transmit the deadly and lethal virus. Hand hygiene is an important step to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, but is also an important step to reduce the transmission of most pathogens. As an alternative, using alcohol based hand sanitizers can also be equally effective against the spread of COVID-19.
5. You Must Stay Healthy.
Many patients canceled appointments with their primary health care physicians last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Initially, it was with the hope to reschedule for just a few weeks later, but the pandemic continued for longer than everyone initially thought. Therefore many patients have not seen their doctors for almost one year now. This results in many patients possibly having medical problems that are currently undiagnosed.
With systemic medical problems possibly unknown, some patients may become more at risk for contracting COVID-19. So while you stay home and protect yourself against the virus, do whatever it takes to remain healthy like exercising and eating well to boost your immune system against some of the common diseases which take us to hospital frequently.
6. You Must Get Vaccinated.
Immunizations have just recently become part of the prevention plan. The two vaccines which the FDA has recently approved for mass vaccinations come next month, is expected to give us roughly 95% reduction in mortality. This is better than any other prevention plan that has been put in place so far.
There are also many other positive aspects to the vaccine that go beyond the reduction in mortality for the person who has been vaccinated. It has also been discovered that those individuals who are vaccinated also have a much lower likelihood of passing COVID-19 from person to person. With the prospect of herd immunity being much safer by vaccination against COVID-19 than infection by COVID-19, vaccines are the best option we have as a society to get back to normal life.
7. Prevention Is Always Better Than Cure.
Prevention continues to be the best defense against COVID-19. Many of the recommendations such as mask wearing and hand washing have not changed throughout the pandemic. Protecting yourself and your family against contracting the deadly virus continues to be a part of our every day life. Vaccines are the newest part of the prevention plan against COVID-19 and represent the hope for the return to normal life.
So follow the fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask that fits snugly and is double layered, don’t travel if not absolutely necessary, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not close to (especially in drinking bars, chop bars and restaurants), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you.
Finally, be very vigilant and protect your life and the lives of others against the lethal and deadly COVID-19.