As everyone gets hyped for the upcoming March break and prepares to travel all over the world, you must ask yourself, is it really worth the risk of contracting the Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Here are ten best practices to maximize the fun you can have while minimizing the chance of infection. At the end of this list, you will find some reliable sources for information so that you can cut through some of the hysteria that surrounds COVID-19.
Stay home if you’re ill
- While it may be boring for you, it will help to manage a further spread of sickness and will help keep everything under control.
Cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow, tissue or sleeve. NEVER YOUR HAND
- Doing this will help minimize the spread of aerosolized germs and prevent the spreading of whatever illness you may have. Never cough or sneeze into your hand; when you touch someone or something else, you are simply passing on those germs.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
- There is no difference between washing your hands with cold and warm water. There IS a difference in how long and how effectively you wash them. Wash your hands for 20 seconds after you go to the bathroom or come home from a busy public place. Avoid over washing though as it can cause your skin to dry out and split causing bleeding. This just lets the germs in, which you were trying to avoid in the first place.
Avoid touching your face
- It will help prevent you from putting germs in your mouth and other orifices while also stopping you from spreading the germs you already have to other people.
Get your flu shot
- As COVID-19 is similar to influenza, this can help minimize your chance of contracting it and help to minimize the chance of you getting a respiratory infection that would further compromise your immune system.
Use common sense
- Be smart about the choices you make. Don’t visit your grandparents when you are sick as elderly people are more prone to getting infected.
Avoid places of high animal concentration (farms and markets)
- This will help to minimize your chance of contraction through animals. You will also be able to avoid the strain that can infect your household pets.
Check travel advisories for where you are headed
- You should pay attention to tabs on the travel advisory pages labeled “Risk Level(s),” “Safety and Security,” and “Entry/Exit Requirements.” You should also review the information provided by the government for your destination.
Upon returning, go to a hospital to get tested for COVID-19
- Once you have returned, please get yourself checked once you return to avoid spreading any infection, especially if you are feeling unwell. If you are feeling sick or test positive for the virus, health officials will likely direct you into self-isolation so that you don’t spread it further.
Have a staycation
- If you simply want to minimize your risk as much as possible, just stay home and enjoy some time with your family. Unplug your technologies, turn off the Wifi, play some old fashioned board games, and enjoy some good food.
If you would like more information on COVID-19, here are some links to helpful places with lots of facts, statistics and tips about this virus:
- Region of Waterloo
- Government of Ontario
- University of Waterloo
- CBC – Waterloo’s First Case
- World Health Organization
- OSU – Veterinary Medical Center
Featured image by Kaylee A.