Whether you’re considered an essential worker and are interacting with others every day or are spending the majority of time in self-isolation, it’s important that preserving your health is your top priority. So, how do you keep yourself and your family safe? There are certain measures you can take to help reduce your risk of falling ill, starting with these three tips:
Wear the Right Protective Gear
First things first, you need to protect yourself if you’re going to go outside. In many cities, it’s required to wear a face covering of some type whenever you leave the house; this includes going on walks, picking up food, and doing your shopping (and really anything in between). For the vast majority of workers, this is true, too.
What Type of Protective Gear Do I Need to Wear?
As we mentioned, face coverings are more or less required. While N95 are in very short supply and should be saved for medical professionals who are in direct, constant contact with coronavirus sufferers, there are other types of face mask you can use. The CDC has recommended that people wear cloth face coverings—there are many DIY tutorials and brands now selling these masks so they shouldn’t be too hard to get a hold of.
In addition to a face mask or covering, you should wear nitrile gloves when in public, to help avoid touching contaminated surfaces—this could be anything from packaging and other surfaces to fruit.
How Does Protective Gear Help?
Covering your mouth and nose area is important to help protect others from potential exposure to coronavirus. This is because the virus is spread through droplets, which can exit your body when you cough, sneeze, or speak. The face covering helps catch these droplets and reduce the risk of them contacting others.
One of the biggest risks of going out is touching something that’s contaminated and then touching your mucus membranes, which can then infect you with the virus. Gloves are worn to protect your hands from coming into contact with droplets, which can survive on some surfaces for a surprisingly long time. Just remember that you should not touch the front of your face covering once it’s on, this can cause contamination. Carefully remove and discard any protective gear when you are home. If you can’t wear gloves, you should be using a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content or higher.
To help you and your family stay as healthy as possible, you should also be cleaning and disinfecting your home. While it isn’t required, it’s highly recommended by the CDC because coronavirus can contaminate and live on different surfaces within your home.
What Areas Should I Focus on Cleaning?
While it’s a good idea to do regular cleanings of the whole house, your main focus should be frequently disinfecting high-touch surfaces such as:
- Doorknobs and locks
- Light switches
- Remote controls
Any common-area furniture should also be cleaned, such as your dining and coffee tables.
What Can I Use to Disinfect My Home?
The CDC recommends EPA-registered disinfectants or diluted bleach on hard surfaces, putting soft surfaces through the laundry, and cleaning electronics with wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol.
Focus on Your Wellness
While your personal health should always be top-of-mind, it’s especially important now. Not only do you owe it to yourself to take active measures to keep yourself at optimal health, but others who you share a space with or come into contact with.
How Can I Boost My Personal Health?
Here are a few ways to keep your body’s defenses in top working order:
- Take vitamins: While no supplement can help prevent or cure coronavirus, taking vitamin C and other supplements can help boost your immune system.
- Eat healthy: Eating leafy greens, nuts, and other foods high in vitamins and nutrients can make sure your body is getting the right nourishment it needs.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep is essential for allowing our body to repair, rejuvenate, and keep all systems functioning at their highest levels.
How Can I Make Sure My Nutrition & Habits Are on Track?
Fortunately, today it’s easier than ever to keep your healthy habits on track (or even form new ones), even when you can’t work with a nutritionist or trainer in-person. There are plenty of online solutions and wellness apps to help you optimize your nutrition and self-care.
While these tips are a great starting point, staying inside and avoiding contact with others are some of the best methods for reducing your exposure and risk.