How to Protect Yourself Against COVID-19 —Facts vs. Fiction

By: Malika Angaian  (Correspondent)

COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has conquered every corner of the world, and there seems to be no stopping the spread. However, there are definitely some ways to protect yourself against the sickness. Many false recommendations have been circling around, and this fake news is dangerous not only to the consumer but also to the first responders, doctors, and nurses who are unable to access the materials they need. So let’s get the facts straight.

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus that generally takes form as little droplets that are created and then spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets are too heavy to stay in the air and therefore quickly drop to the floor. If you are within 1 meter of an infected person, then you can be infected simply by breathing in the air, or by touching an already contaminated surface prior to touching your face. “If those virus-containing particles land in your eyes, nose or mouth or if it gets on your hands and you rub any of those places on your face, you could possibly acquire the infection,” said Jessica Migala, a health writer in Chicago, Illinois.

Originally, the Center for Disease Control said that unless you are already infected with the virus, a medical mask will not prevent you from getting the virus. “A healthy individual in a normal situation does not need to wear a mask, as per CDC recommendations” said Dr. William C. Shiel, a medical reviewer who is co-editor in chief of three editions of the Webster’s New World Medical Dictionary. This misconception has since been addressed with an altered statement recommending that the general public wear masks to protect themselves and others from risk of infection.

Additionally, social distancing has proven to be the most effective way to slow the spread of the virus. “Social distancing means staying home as much as possible and avoiding crowded, public places where close contact with others is likely,” explains Corin Cross, an spokesperson for th eAmerican Academy of Pediatrics. Many people have put themselves in “self quarantine” and no longer leave their houses on a daily basis. Keeping a distance of at least six feet from any other person throughout this time is a safe — and crucial — way to limit contact with others. In the fight to stop the spread of corona, social distancing is not just important, it is necessary.

When it is required to leave the house, for groceries perhaps, it is vital that you properly protect yourself from possible getting infected. A cloth covering is recommended to wear over the face along with gloves around the hands and clothes that cover your entire body.

Once you have purchased the items, it doesn’t hurt to wipe down the packaging. Although the FDA says there is no current evidence that the virus can be transmitted from food packaging, it’s always good to be safe. If you have decided to have the groceries be delivered to you, there are still precautions that should be taken in order to lessen the risk. ¨Avoid a direct hand-off,¨ said Tobie Stranger in an article for relating back to social distancing. If you decide to leave a tip, it is better for it to be done electronically as to keep the contact between yourself and others limited.

So while it may all seem overwhelming, these are some small, doable steps that you can take to ensuring your safety and the safety of those around you.

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