COVID-19 is a serious situation and each one of us can do our bit to avoid it and keep ourselves and our loved ones safe during this. Here are some concerns that might arise in your mind and a few tips to deal with them.
How do I avoid bringing germs into my home?
- Shoes bring many germs into our homes. If you’ve been in an area with sick people, leave your shoes outside, or clean them with a disinfectant wipe before bringing them into the house. Don’t wear shoes inside your house or allow others to do so.
- Wash your hands right away when you get home. Dedicate a space for backpacks, coats, and purses and don’t put those items near where you eat.
- Clean your cell phone and devices regularly. Avoid holding your cellphone close to your face; use speakerphone or earbuds for phone conversations.
- Every member of the home should practice good hand and oral hygiene. Cover coughs and sneezes. Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands.
- Have dedicated spaces for eating and regularly clean them. Wash anything used to prep or serve food in hot water.
- Clean high-touch surfaces daily with disinfecting wipes or sprays, and don’t forget doorknobs and devices.
- Opening a window or running the furnace fan can help keep the air healthier.
- Don’t share hand or body towels with other family members. Change towels and bedding regularly, and wash towels, bedding, and underwear in hot water.
Early information out of China, where COVID-19 first started, shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:
- Older adults
- People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
- Heart disease
- Lung disease
Individuals at a higher risk of developing complications from COVID-19 should:
- Stock up on supplies (food, water, medications, tissues)
- Take everyday preventive actions like washing your hands for 20 seconds
- Avoid people who are sick
- Avoid cruise and air travel
- Stay home as much as possible and avoid crowds
- Stay in touch with friends and family by phone or email
Many patients with COVID-19 can recuperate at home. If you or a loved one is sick, there are some steps that can help reduce the spread of illness to other family members:
- If possible, the sick person should not share a bed or bedroom with anyone else. They should have their own pillow and bedding.
- Give the sick person his or her own dedicated soap and towel (or sanitizer) for hand hygiene.
- Wash any plates, utensils, towels or washcloths used by the sick person in hot water.
- Oral hygiene is especially important when you’re ill. Brush teeth frequently and use mouthwash. Once you’re feeling better, dispose of your toothbrush or boil it in hot water for 3 minutes.
- If possible, dedicate a room to the sick person. Bring food and drink to them instead of having them move through the home.
- Place used tissues in trashcans with plastic liners or a plastic bag.
- Wash your hands after touching something used by the sick person.
- If ill, stay home unless you need to seek medical care. Unless it’s an emergency, call before coming in, or consider a virtual visit.