Tips You Can Use to Keep Yourself Safe
As COVID-19 continues to spread across the globe, it is more important than ever to practice good hygiene. Below, we will go over some tips you can use to keep yourself safe.
The new Coronavirus is a very highly contagious respiratory illness that is currently spreading at a rapid rate across the world. Many scientists have estimated that it is nearly two times as infectious as the seasonal flu. This alone has caused significant panic to set in and it has even led to panic-buying with toilet paper practically flying off the shelves at retailers across Canada. The viruses’ symptoms aren’t always present or noticeable. In fact, symptoms can be something as simple as a mild cough. However, for those that are older or with pre-existing health conditions, COVID-19 has proven to be very dangerous and it can even lead to death.
How Is It Spreading?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has come to the conclusion that the virus is capable of spreading in a couple of ways. For one, it can spread through infectious droplets from an infected person. Whenever someone that is previously infected with the virus sneezes, coughs or even simply exhales, droplets of the infected fluid can land on any surface. This includes common surfaces that you routinely touch including but not limited to tables, desks, keyboards, telephones, and doorknobs. Because these infectious droplets can land and survive on these surfaces, if you touch them and then touch your mucus membranes including your eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus will likely transmit to you.
To avoid catching this new and deadly strain, you will want to practice healthy hygiene habits. If you haven’t been doing so, now is the time to implement them. This includes:
Washing your hands properly
You need to wash your hands with soap and hot water regularly. This can help you get rid of the infectious droplets. However, you need to wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds for it to be effective. Likewise, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are unable to wash your hands with water and soap.
Cover your coughs
This can help to keep you from spreading germs and viral droplets. A good way to do this is by using your elbow, a tissue, or even your shirt.
Stay at home if you are unwell
This is especially true if you have a fever. If you aren’t convinced your work can continue without you, try to discuss a work-at-home situation with your employer.
Some extra steps you can take to help contain this outbreak
It is a good idea to avoid partaking in daily habits you might have done in the past that can speed up the transfer of the virus. For instance, hugging, and even a general handshake. All of these things should be stopped until the virus outbreak is contained.
Don’t touch your face. If you are someone that touches your face a lot unconsciously as many do, you are going to be at an increased risk of transferring the virus to yourself through contact. Not convinced yet? Consider that Person A has COVID-19 or a cold that you aren’t looking to get, and they even wash their hands prior to leaving the bathroom. Assume they cough and cover their cough with their hands as they reach for the door. This causes them to transfer the droplets to the doorknob. After you wash your hands in the bathroom, you leave behind them touching the doorknob they used to open the door. By touching your face thereafter, you will be spreading the viral droplets directly to your face.
Likewise, if you are handling any communal cups or cutlery at work, you want to give them a very thorough cleaning prior to using them. Similarly, you should be thoroughly washing your hands after using any shared space or after attending meetings. You want to defend your stationary as well as possible from germs and virus droplets.
How Can Employers Help?
If you are an employer and you are looking to help or you are looking for a good and thorough list you can give to your employer, there are very simple and easy to follow steps detailed by WHO.
Cleaning surfaces and objects routinely. Everything in the office that is routinely used such as keyboards, telephones, desks, and tables should be wiped down with disinfectant as regularly as possible. You may also want to contact your office cleaning staff and have them come in more frequently to assist in stopping the spread.
Provide hand sanitizer dispensers in regularly used places and look to your Health Department website in order to acquire proper handwashing procedure posters. You also want to be certain your staff has a good place to wash their hands.
Similarly, you can try to acquire general healthy workplace hygiene practice posters which can help remind your employees. You will also want to send out timely e-mails reminding people to wash their hands regularly and to take a sick day if they aren’t feeling well.
Give out face masks and paper tissues if people develop sneezing or coughing at the workplace. You also want bins that have closed tops for disposal.