Coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has quickly rocketed into a global pandemic, as defined by the Director-General of WHO on 11 March 2020. It has spread far and wide, arising from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), infecting 18,051,575 people all over the world to date. Originating in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the virus caused an outbreak in China, then Asia, rapidly spreading. Symptoms of this virus include dry cough, fever, difficulty in breathing, loss of sense of smell and taste, runny nose, sore throat, congestion, or diarrhea. A total of 689,481 deaths have been recorded from all over the world. At least one in six people get severely ill due to Covid-19 and can experience pneumonia and other major complications. It is known that a few sections of the community are especially at risk for contracting this disease with severe complications, such as elders, children, people with an already pre-existing medical condition such as hypertension, diabetes, asthma.

With a lot of countries still facing lockdown and others slowly recuperating from the devastating consequences of the virus, most people are worried about their health. Here are a few ways to keep you and your family safe from contracting coronavirus:

Wash your hands frequently

Coronavirus is known to enter the body through the nasal passage or the mouth. It can spread from person to person, so if you touch any surface that has been touched by an infected person, you can catch the virus by touching the surface and then your nose or mouth. Doctors highly recommend washing your hands regularly, especially after returning home after any activity such as getting groceries, going to school, work, etc. Keeping safe hand hygiene is extremely important after meeting someone, before eating food, etc. it has been proven that washing your hands with running water and soap for at least 20 seconds is effective in killing the virus.

Always carry a sanitizer

There are a lot of times where you do not have running water and soap available to wash your hands. This is why sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol are recommended by the WHO and CDC. Alcohol-based sanitizers are effective in fighting against the virus and should be carried every time you step out of the house. It is recommended to use a sanitizer after shaking hands with someone, after touching anything in a public place, even groceries.

Wear a mask

Masks work both ways, it can help protect a healthy person as well as contain the virus spread by an infected person. The virus is known for its two-week incubation period, which means that even if you are infected, the symptoms might not show up for two weeks but the virus can still spread during this period. To fight this spread, Paragon Tools sells N95 Masks that claim to be much more effective against COVID-19 than cloth-based masks, offering a dual-layer of protection. So, wearing a mask is not only for your own safety but for everyone else’s as well.

Maintain Social Distancing

Covid-19 is known to spread from small droplets from the mouth or the nose of an infected person. Even talking to someone face-to-face without any physical distancing increases the risk of you catching the virus. A minimum of a 6 feet distance is recommended, even while wearing a mask. A lot of recent studies point out that the virus can spread from a person even before they know that they are sick. So even when a person isn’t sneezing or coughing, it is possible to catch the virus if we do not maintain social distancing.

Disinfect surfaces

Coronavirus can spread from droplets of an infected person and can land on surfaces such as countertops, furniture, phones, groceries, clothes, shoes, etc. It is important to clean and disinfect your groceries and even your house if someone has recently visited you. Most restaurants and shops already follow a strict and thorough protocol for disinfecting their areas in order to minimize spread of the virus. It is proven to live on surfaces as long as 7 days.

Stay home if you feel sick

Although this is the season for the common cold and flu, you never know if you have contracted the virus till a proper test is conducted. If you do feel sick or feel as if some symptoms are coming on, stay at home and quarantine yourself till you get a test done. A lot of people are asymptomatic as well or only have one or two symptoms. But they can spread the virus to other people who are at a higher risk of getting serious complications from this virus.

Avoid drinking or eating in public places

Since the virus has the ability to stay on surfaces for a long time, it can be transmitted through utensils, dishes and cups as well. Heat is effective in killing the virus, so only foods that are cooked on high eat or can be reheated are recommended. You increase the risk of catching the virus three-fold if you choose to dine out in restaurants, eateries, bars, or coffee shops.

Avoid touching your face

This goes without saying, avoid touching your mouth and your face. The virus can be on your hands if you have touched any surface in a public area such as a doorknob, an atm machine, any item in a grocery store and even a wall or a countertop. It is recommended to not touch your face, and if you really need to, wash and sanitize your hands before it.

Only step out for essential items and help at-risk groups

Try working from home if it is an option for you, and only step out for getting essential household supplies. There are a lot of people with an increased risk of possibly dying from the disease, such as elderly people and people with pre-existing medical conditions. Help them out by getting them groceries, important household materials, getting some homemade food for them, etc.

This global pandemic has taken a toll on the mental and physical health of people all over the world. Following these rules strictly and efficiently can help protect you and your family from coronavirus.