The recent outbreak of coronavirus in China and, subsequently, a few neighboring countries has been a major point of attention in the media and public. Many people are scared that the world could be facing a major epidemic and medical crisis that could wipe out thousands or millions of people. As of now, it is unclear how serious the threat of coronavirus is, but what we do know is that the virus is highly contagious and relatively fatal. At the time of this writing, close to 200 people from China have died due to coronavirus, and the disease will continue to spread until reliable vaccines and medications are produced. Despite this, awareness needs to be raised on how each person can reduce the chances of getting or spreading coronavirus; hence, this article will discuss ways that you can protect yourselves and others from the deadly disease.
Washing hands and touching things
One of the major reasons why the disease is incredibly contagious is that it can spread through hand contact with people or objects that have traces of the virus. Consequently, you should avoid shaking hands or touching the skin of random people, and if you do have to touch or shake hands with a stranger, do so while wearing hand gloves. Touching public objects like a train seat or public bathroom door should be done with gloves too. Moreover, wash your hands properly with soap before eating or touching areas that can let the virus into your bodies such as eyes, mouth, face, or nose. It is best that you prevent directly touching body areas like the eyes, nose, mouth, or anus. Carrying and using an alcohol hand sanitizer would be a good option too.
Since coronavirus can be spread through germs in the air by sneezing or coughing, a face mask should be worn to block out infected air particles. Experts say that surgical masks can be used, but they may not be as effective as the N95 masks. If you can't get hold of a mask, cover your face and mouth with a bandana or a type of cloth that allows you to breathe.
Protection for eyes against infected air particles is also needed, so goggles or glasses should be worn to avoid letting viruses into your eyes.
Avoid eating or being around certain animal meats
The exact origin of the newest coronavirus is thought to be bats, but other animals, including camels, cats, pigs, rabbits, ferrets, and chicken may also be a source of the virus. Therefore, you should avoid eating any of the meat from these animals and avoid being around such animals too. Try staying away from animal markets altogether as animal markets seem to have spread the coronavirus from animals to humans.
Try to stay away from dense areas
Coronavirus can infect people within three feet of the virus, so you should try to stay clear of dense areas that may force you to be close to potentially infected people. Furthermore, if you have plans to travel to East or Southeast Asia, postpone them for now as East Asia is where most coronavirus cases exist.
Carry tissues or handkerchiefs
To avoid further spreading coronavirus (in case you have it), carry tissues or handkerchiefs with you so that you can cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
Regularly clean surfaces
Clean common surfaces that you touch, like tabletops and doorknobs, at home with a disinfectant
All in all, coronavirus is not a major global concern yet, but precautions should be taken to ensure that you do not catch or spread the disease. General advice from health experts is to wash your hands with soap or sanitizer regularly, avoid directly touching public objects, wearing face masks and goggles in public, and avoid eating meats or being around certain animals. Stay away from populated areas, regularly clean surfaces at home, and be sure to cover the mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing.