COVID-19 one of the most contagious viruses experienced within the past one hundred years. With over 430K people dead worldwide from this virus, it appears that many of us still seem to be in denial.
Although our leading infectious disease experts tell us that there are certain precautions that must be taken to prevent the spread of this virus, there seems to be some hesitation on the part of some. While there are places where some of the basic supplies are missing, in other places with abundance of supplies, some people seem to hesitate or just won’t follow instructions.
Precautions to Slow Down the Spread of COVID-19
Although this is common knowledge, let us consider these precautions. Let us really stop and think seriously about the implications of this virus not only for our immediate families, but for our neighbours, our country, and the world at large. It means that in a few short days, if trends continue, there will be half a million fewer people in the world, wiped out by this virus within a few months.
Following are some precautions we need to take immediately.
Handwashing is primary. This is very important, because it prevents us from touching surfaces on which the coronavirus may be and then touching our faces. Our eyes, nose and mouth are the major transmitting areas, and habitually we touch our faces so often, that without handwashing, infection is certain. We are told that it is best to keep our hands clean and free of any substances that may infect us.
There are times when we may not be able to wash our hands right at the moment; it is at times like these when we use hand sanitizer. While this would serve in emergency situations, handwashing with soap and water is the best option for preventing the spread of the virus.
Therefore, the message is: WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY
Wearing a Mask – Why is it so Hard?
Next, wearing a mask is highly recommended and mandatory in some jurisdictions. With the seriousness of this virus, I think everyone should see the wearing of a mask as a no-brainer. Regardless of whether or not it is mandatory in our area, commonsense tells us that if we are able to prevent the spread of the virus, we will be contributing to a slowing of the disease. We may not have the virus, but we may. Rather than be in doubt, let us heed the warning and stay safe.
It is true that some people may have a medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. This is understandable. But trying to use the excuse of having a medical condition to not wear a mask doesn’t seem to make much sense. Another excuse may be that we don’t look attractive in a mask, or that a mask make us look weak. All of these excuses appear puerile, considering the fact that just one person could be responsible for thousands of infections.
Therefore, the message is: WEAR A MASK
Social or Physical Distancing
Maintaining a distance of two metres or six feet, which is really a minimum when in public, is also important to prevent the spread of the virus. According to infectious disease experts, if perchance people are infected, their mere speaking has the potential of emitting the virus into the air, to be breathed in by others. It is even worse if they cough or sneeze, since the particles that are given off have the potential to spread and stay in the air over large distances and for considerable periods of time. Simulation demonstrate the effects of speaking, coughing and sneezing on the spread of the virus others in the single area.
Therefore, the message is: MAINTAIN PHYSICAL DISTANCE WHEN IN PUBLIC.
Stay in Isolation
If we have been infected, or suspect that we are, then we need to self-isolate. This means taking all precautions that we do not infect our family members and others in the public. If after taking the test and we are waiting for results, we are encouraged to self-isolate until we are sure we have not been infected and cannot transmit the virus.
Avoid Stationary Indoor Crowds
In some jurisdictions, people are told to stay away from large crowds, and are restricted from assembling with others outside of their immediate household. This also means that family members in other households are not allowed to visit.
With the reopening of our economies, people are finding that they have to mix with others, and the recommendation by many health experts is that people continue to wear their masks.
While it is expected that as human contact increases there will be increased cases of infection, we are told that if we continue to take the above precautions, we can still slow down the spread of the virus.
We also learn that while crowded situations are not recommended, if one is in a crowd outdoors and if the crowd is moving, there is less risk of infection than if one is in a crowded situation indoors, where one is stationary for hours. In other words, if you are outdoors and moving, you have less of a chance of infection than if you are sitting indoors in a crowded setting for hours. Yet, all of these crowded situations increase the chances of infection and should be limited.
We Can’t be Naïve, Arrogant or Selfish
We can’t afford to be naïve, or to be arrogant in thinking that it cannot happen to us, that we cannot spread the virus, or that we cannot die. We shouldn’t be selfish either in thinking that we are not old, we are not unhealthy in any way, that we are safe, and need not worry. The truth is, no one is safe.
Use Our Commonsense
Let commonsense rule. COVID-19 is a new virus and we don’t know everything about it. But from what we have observed so far, it is a virus that spreads more easily than other viruses we have experienced and that it is deadly. While some of our early experience with this virus showed that it was the older people and those with compromised immune systems and other health impairments that were falling prey and dying, we have heard more recent reports of children and younger people being infected and some even dying. Commonsense tells us that this is not a virus to take lightly at all.
Follow the Instructions
Please, let us follow the instructions given by our global infectious disease experts and observe the precautions. Even if those in your jurisdictions do not make these precautions mandatory, let commonsense be your guide. Wash your hands frequently; wear a mask; self-isolate when required; and maintain social distancing.
After all, what do you have to lose? Your life, family members and friends.
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