The coronavirus pandemic has shaken the world for many months and millions of people have died from this deadly virus. During its peak, several countries imposed a lockdown to keep everyone at home and safe, hopefully away from the virus. Now that things are slowly going back to normal, reports say that there may be a second wave! Here are some tips on how to stay safe as you go about your daily routine.
Maintain at least a 1-metre distance between yourself and others to reduce your risk of infection when they cough, sneeze or speak. Maintain an even greater distance between yourself and others when indoors. The further away, the better.
Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off. Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth, and chin.
Avoid the 3Cs: spaces that are closed, crowded or involve close contact. The risks of getting COVID-19 are higher in crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected people spend long periods of time together in close proximity. The virus appears to spreads by respiratory droplets or aerosols more efficiently here, so taking precautions is even more important.
Meet people outside. Outdoor gatherings are safer than indoor ones, particularly if indoor spaces are small and without outdoor air coming in. Avoid crowded or indoor settings but if you can’t, then open a window to increase the amount of ‘natural ventilation’ when indoors.
Don’t forget the basics of good hygiene
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. This eliminates germs including viruses that may be on your hands.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and infect you.
Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately into a closed bin and wash your hands. By following good ‘respiratory hygiene’, you protect the people around you from viruses, which cause colds, flu and COVID-19.
Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently especially those which are regularly touched, such asdoor handles, faucets and phone screens.
What to do if you feel unwell
Know the full range of symptoms of COVID-19. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Other symptoms that are less common and may affect some patients include loss of taste or smell, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, red eyes, diarrhoea, or a skin rash.
Stay home and self-isolate even if you have minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover. Call your health care provider or hotline for advice. Have someone bring you supplies. If you need to leave your house or have someone near you, wear a medical mask to avoid infecting others.
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention immediately. Call by telephone first, if you can and follow the directions of your local health authority.
Find more tips in the infographic below;