If you’re anything like me, you’ve been obsessively following local and national news updates about the coronavirus for months. Although it’s spread to every continent and almost every country, causing almost 27 million people to become ill and 875,000 deaths — I completely shut out worldwide news coverage around May, when the outlook in most of those counties starting improving, but don’t get me started.
As schools across the country resume in-person learning and Labor Day marks the end of summer holidays — it’s the perfect time to brush up on proactive ways to prevent your family from getting the coronavirus.
The coronavirus is a respiratory illness like the flu. The virus is spread when contaminated droplets from coughs, sneezes, or talking enter mucus tracts like your eyes, nose, and mouth. There is also evidence to support that infection by airborne transmission is possible, and that coronavirus lives on surfaces like stainless steel or plastic for up to three days.
The general consensus is that most people who contract the virus, have mild symptoms, and make a full recovery, life-threatening complications are possible — especially for people with underlying medical conditions or compromised immune systems. There’s been a lot of conflicting opinions from experts about whether children have a lower chance of contracting the virus or if they’re just less likely to have severe symptoms — but with many Americans starting to return to work and venture further from home, it’s more important than ever to practice safety precautions for the safety of our families and others.
Here are 6 ways to minimize your family’s chances of getting the coronavirus, this fall.
Sterilize your house.
Remember the study, I mentioned earlier, that said the coronavirus can live for three days on hard surfaces like stainless steel and plastic? That should be enough to inspire you to do a deep cleaning of your house. Make sure to give special attention to high-traffic areas like your kitchen table and countertops, and wipe them down with bleach or other disenfectants regularly — especially after place packages or grocery bags on them.
Teach your kids the importance of hygiene.
Let’s not over-complicate something simple. Of course, it’s important to teach your brush their teeth and take a bath, but for the sake of the KISS method (keep it simple, silly) the three things you need to go tell your kids right now is:
- Wash your hands often.
2. Don’t touch your face.
3. Don’t put your hands or other things in your mouth.
4. Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow or tissue — never your bare hand, because ewwwww.
Got it? Good!
Practice good hygiene.
Again, let’s keep it simple.
- Wash your hands often, and carry sanitizers for running errands.
2. Don’t touch your face.
3. Don’t put your hands in your mouth.
4. Cover your damn mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
If possible, stay home.
If you’re working from home or homeschooling, and you don’t need to venture out, don’t. Trips to the grocery store and other essential errands are reasonable, but labor day barbeques and bar-hopping can wait.
At the very least practice social distancing.
Maybe an extended quarantine or shelter in place isn’t in the cards for your family like many other essential workers*, or maybe you’ve cut back on your errands and it’s grocery day. Whenever, you venture out in public, please practice social distancing standards. Stay at least six feet away from others, run errands during off-peak hours, and avoid places where large crowds are likely.
*Doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery & pharmacy employees, warehouse/manufacturing/delivery workers, etc — we solute and appreciate you!
Wear a mask.
Don’t be an idiot. Wear a damn mask. I’ve heard all the arguments against it, but I have yet to hear a good one. The CDC says masks are helpful in preventing the spread of the virus, so just fucking wear one.
For the latest COVID-19 updates, check the CDC website.