There's an overload of information right now concerning COVID-19.
Why is there panic?
People are panicking primarily because there's still no cure for the virus and it is spreading. As per the coronavirus update as on 16th March 2020, the total number infected people are 110, while there have been 2 reported deaths. Source: http://www.mohfw.gov.in/
What's the good news?
The good news is that while COVID-19 has high infectivity, it has low mortality. Another good news is that you can reduce the pace of its spread if you get a few basic facts right.
A lot is in control, and we can do further damage control if we keep the following four things in mind.
- Wear Masks And Eyewear
Should non-infected people also wear the mask?
COVID-19 spreads via contact with your eyes, nose and mouth; hence it is advisable to wear masks even if you are not sick.
There could be a possibility that you are in a room of people who potentially have the virus. If they happen to sneeze near you and if the droplets accidentally land on your face you put yourself at risk. Hence it is advisable not just to wear a mask but also preferably cover one's eyes with eyewear.
What is the right way to wear a mask? Source: WHO
Before putting on a mask, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Cover your mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
- Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks. You should also wash the mask/cloth every day before re-using.
- Carry either an extra mask or an extra piece of cloth that you can use if your mask gets damp.
- Stay Away From Your Face
We are constantly touching surfaces; it is something that is unavoidable as we move through the day. But what we can avoid doing is touching our own face with our hands until their disinfected. Our face holds entry points for the virus, so keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth by all means until it is cleaned. This also includes cleaning your hands if you've touched objects, people, animals, etc.
Fact: It has been found that COVID-19 can stay on surfaces for several hours or even days after contact.
- Avoid Crowds
As of 16th March 2019 there are 153 517 cases and 5735 deaths confirmed globally because of COVID-19. As the virus has high infectivity, the more we meet people the more we increase the pace and chances or spread. So avoid crowds whenever possible.
Fact: The coronavirus symptoms start showing 2-14 days after exposure.
Hence it is advised to practice caution when engaging with people not just outside but also at home.
- Avoid Eating Out and Heat Food Before Eating
Avoid eating outside as it possible that your food might have come in contact with someone who might be infected. In case it is not possible to do so, sanitize your hands before eating and heat the food again before consuming it, this may help in killing the virus present in the food itself.
Tip: If at all you intend to order, order food that can be heated and avoid raw foods as much as possible.