Compared to the outbreaks of diseases like SARS and MERS in recent years, COVID-19 is comparatively less dangerous in terms of mortality rates. It has a mortality rate of just 3.4% worldwide but has received much more attention than other outbreaks due to widespread news and social media coverage.
Where did the Coronavirus Outbreak Start?
The official name of the coronavirus is SARS-CoV-2. The disease caused by this virus is called COVID-19. The virus originated in the wet markets of Wuhan, China and made its way to at least 77 other countries. The most number of cases have been registered in China. So far, 29 COVID-19 cases have been registered in India.
Most patients have shown mild symptoms like fever, cough, and difficulty in breathing, and 3,221 deaths have been recorded worldwide, at the time of writing. COVID-19 is contagious and spreads from person to person. There is no cure for the disease yet, and prevention is our best option.
This article covers the basic protective measures you and your loved ones must take to avoid getting infected by COVID-19. Take care of your health and safeguard others by taking the following steps.
12 Best Ways to Protect Yourself from COVID-19 Coronavirus Infection
1. Maintain Your Distance
It is difficult to identify who is infected and who isn’t, so avoid close contact with people around you. If someone around you is coughing or sneezing, try to maintain a distance of 1 meter and cover your mouth and eyes.
Since the disease spreads from person to person through the liquid droplets that are sprayed when someone sneezes or coughs, doing this can prevent the virus from entering your body.
2. Seek Medical Care Early
If you or someone you know is showing symptoms like cough, fever, or difficulty breathing, visit a doctor as soon as possible.
If you are a senior with a history of pneumonia or have symptoms of pneumonia, you need to be on the watch and report to your doctor for necessary tests. By doing so, you will protect yourself and also help prevent the spread of the virus.
3. Stay Informed and Updated
Keep a check on Coronavirus updates in your locality. Avoid parts of the city that have confirmed cases of the disease. Gather information through reliable sources like the World Health Organization (and not WhatsApp videos) about current prevention methods that have been put in place and follow them. National and local authorities have the most up-to-date information on the situation in your locality.
4. Practice Food Safety
Have separate cutting boards for meat and vegetables and clean them regularly with soap.
Wash your hands after handling raw food and before consuming cooked food. Do not eat food from restaurants or stalls that don't have basic hygiene facilities like hand wash or sanitizer. Only consume meat products that have been thoroughly cooked because the heat kills the germs that may be present.
5. Travel with Caution
Avoid public transport that is crowded and carry tissues to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Put used tissues only inside dustbins, don’t throw them outside.
Avoid travelling altogether if you're showing symptoms like cough, fever, or cold. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth and nose while you are outside. Wear face masks in crowded regions, don't touch your mask with your hands once you've put it on.
6. Get Your Questions Answered
It is understandable if you feel anxious about the outbreak.
Get facts from credible sources and take reasonable precautions by accurately determining the risk. The World Health Organization (WHO), your healthcare provider, and your national public health authority are ideal sources of accurate information on COVID-19.
7. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY
There is no cure for COVID-19 yet. But the best way to counter the disease for now is to wash your hands with soap regularly.
Wash hands before eating, after sneezing, or coughing, and after coming in contact with someone who shows symptoms. Washing your hands properly can help you stay disease-free.
8. Carry A Sanitizer
Alcoholic hand rubs or sanitizers are the most convenient hygiene measure you can take. It is an effective and practical way to keep your hands clean in public places without getting your hands wet. Buy sanitizers that contain 60 to 95% alcohol.
9. Use A Facemask
If you live in a region that has reported cases of COVID-19, consider wearing a Facemask before heading out. A face mask gives you basic protection against airborne germs and infections. Especially in crowded places and public transport, a Facemask is a necessary step whether you are showing symptoms or not.
Wash your bedsheets and towels. Wipe down counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables every 2 days.
Keeping your house tidy gives you a safe space from infections.
11. Avoid Pets and Animals
If you have symptoms including coughing, sneezing and fever, avoid contact with pets and other animals. Although there have not been reports of pets or other animals becoming sick with COVID-19, it is important to take precautions.
12. Don't Share Common Household Items
Avoid sharing dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with family members. If a patient uses these items, wash them thoroughly.
By including these simple precautions against COVID-19 in your daily routine, you can reduce the chances of getting infected.
If you are living in India, things may not turn out to be so bleak, though. Some experts surmise that India’s hot and humid weather can be a defence against COVID-19, and it’s heartening to see states like Kerala (that contained the deadly Nipah virus) leaving no stone unturned in its battle against the coronavirus.
There is always the threat of silent transmission of illnesses, and no estimate is present as to when a COVID-19 cure will be found. However, by staying hygienic and following simple steps like washing your hands, you would be doing your best to keep yourself and your family safe.