Coronavirus: The Ultimate Guide on How to Protect Yourself

The instant transformation of Coronavirus from an epidemic to a pandemic is leaving thousands of people either dead or infected across the world. New developments around the virus indicate countries revising travel advisories, making it hard to gain entry, which will lead to reduced spread of the virus.

The virus focal point keeps changing, now that Wuhan in China is no longer the epicentre. Italy has overtaken it with an increasing number of deaths with no sign of slowing down yet. Coronavirus is a global problem. Therefore, we hope you find better ways of protecting yourself and household. This guide will help you understand more about Coronavirus and how to stay safe.

What is Coronavirus?

The virus was discovered in December 2019 in Wuhan. Initially, doctors thought it to be the usual cold with pneumonia-like symptoms. When WHO received its genetic sequence, its official name, became COVID-19 (Coronavirus Discovered in 2019).

At first, the virus was an epidemic before it quickly turned into a pandemic affecting many countries in the world. COVID-19 joins other similar viruses that affect both humans and animals. The currently spreading strain belongs to the same family as the Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Coronavirus Symptoms

The COVID-19 symptoms show up as mild or severe. You may experience fever, tiredness, breathing problems, and persistent coughs. Some people may not show the signs.

It is advisable to be on constant alert when interacting with a potential victim. Maintain a considerable distance between you and the next person. If you suspect any symptoms, stay vigilant for at least 7-days. If your situation worsens, seek medical advice.

Use your country’s coronavirus hotline to get immediate attention. Testing takes place in designated facilities throughout the country.

How Does COVID-19 Spread?

The information available right now indicates that it passes from one person to another in close proximity. Droplets of mucus or saliva coming from coughing and sneezing can also transmit the virus.

Researchers and scientists are working hard to find an antidote to control its spread. Treatments right now is a matter of managing your symptoms. The best approach to protecting yourself is to know how Coronavirus spreads so you can avoid such circumstances.

What is the Possibility of You Contracting the Coronavirus?

We are all vulnerable to the COVID-19. In a population, some people are at risk of developing severe complications leading to hospitalization. There is also a possibility of you being asymptomatic or developing severe pain from the virus. Regardless of your condition, take individual responsibility of ensuring the virus is not moving to another host.

Take the Following Steps to Protect Yourself

Now that you know that Coronavirus can affect anyone, including you, it is time to tale action. Always remember that personal hygiene and social distancing are your best friends at the moment. Follow the directions below, and you will be safe:

Clean Your Hands

After visiting a public space, use soap and water to clean your hands. Rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. Make it a habit of washing your hands after sneezing, coughing and blowing your nose. An alternative is to use hand sanitizers with an alcoholic content of around 60%. After applying the sanitizer, rub it in between hands until it dries up.

Remember not to touch your face or mouth without washing hands.

Avoid Close Proximity

If the person next to you has symptoms of a person with infection, avoid close contact. Practice some safe distance between you and other people, especially when COVID-19 is prevalent in your community. Maintain social distancing if you consider yourself a high-risk patient.

Protect Others

After contracting the Coronavirus, stay at home. Call the hotline for assistance on how to get to the nearest testing facility. Let your doctor be aware of the current situation and if possible, avoid using taxis or public transport.

If you keep pets in the house, limit your contact to avoid a possible transmission. However, we are waiting to see if there is evidence to prove pets can get because of Coronavirus. You can also appoint someone to take care of them. Keep your hands clean after you interact with them.

Another way of protecting yourself is to work from home and avoid social avenues.

Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes

After an episode of a cough or a sneeze, use a tissue paper that you can discard immediately. Use the inner side of your elbow or cup your sneezes and coughs with your palms. Once the episode is over, sanitize or wash your hands.

Wear a Facemask

Putting on a facemask does not mean you have COVID-19. Apart from protecting yourself, you offer protection to those around you. When visiting a hospital, have the mask to keep you off possible infections.

Also, the person taking care of you must have a mask at all times.

Disinfect Your Surrounding

Your surrounding includes all areas you constantly use. Clean the tables, doorknobs, countertops, light switches, handles, phones, keyboards, sinks and faucets. To clean a dirty surface, you can mix homemade bleach in one of the following ways.

  • Use 5 tablespoons or one-third cup of bleach
    OR
  • 4 tablespoons for every quant of water

NOTE: You living space should have proper ventilation to allow air to come and go. Use products within their date of use period. Do not mix the household bleach with ammonia or any cleanser. Check on the dilution instructions to have an effective disinfectant.

If you are using an alcohol-based disinfectant, ensure its content is at least 70%

A Checklist to Protect Your Family against Coronavirus

Design a collective action when it comes to decision making in the family during a coronavirus pandemic. The plan should safeguard the wellbeing of everyone who stays with you.

Follow the latest information about Coronavirus your country and globe. For your family, you can

  • Set up a course of action when one member becomes sick

  • Take care of the vulnerable such as the older adults or anyone with a chronic.

  • Know whom to call when you need support, resources or healthcare services.

  • Have an emergency list such as friends, healthcare hotlines, taxi drivers, and know where to find community resources.

  • Choose one room that you can use as an isolation room if one family member becomes sick.

  • Have enough supplies for when authorities enforce a strict ban

  • If you are in charge of the household, take time to listen and handle the emotional needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With all these preparedness, don’t forget to notify your colleagues at work about possible changes in schedules.

How to Protect Your Children

Discourage your children from venturing beyond restricted limits and visiting public places. Get in touch with the school and notify them of any changes within your community. Children are good at reading non-verbal cues, maintain calmness and be reassuring on any subject touching on the pandemic.

Explain to them why being at home is suitable for everyone as it reduces points of contact and limits the spread of the virus to other people. Give them time to digest and talk about their perceptions regarding what they see or hear. Give them the right information to help them reframe their perspective on what is happening.

Kids may find it difficult to relate to the current events and the growing anxiety outside their homes. Reduce the ever-increasing tension by refusing to blame them. Do not show any sign of negativity or stereotyping by listening to what other adults communicate around your children about the outbreak.

Kids are a peculiar lot. If space and time allow, let them enjoy daily routines without contravening government restrictions. Encourage schoolwork and extracurricular activities.

By sharing the right information, you are limiting their imaginations. Be honest with your children during a pandemic. Assure them of their safety against the virus after explaining how it spreads in the community. Use simple illustrations to describe the symptoms of COVID-19. Show them through actions how to keep the virus at bay by choosing a healthy lifestyle as part of their daily lives.

Your protection against Coronavirus becomes more realistic when your children know what to do to control transmission. Kids also need to take part in all efforts to tame the virus. It gives them a sense of control. Their anxiety levels reduce when they understand why everyone is indoors. Enjoy eating fruits and a balanced meal to strengthen the immune system.

How to Protect Yourself As a pregnant or Breastfeeding Mum

Everything about Coronavirus is still new; consequently, there is no information to show any consequences on an unborn child. There are no known side effects to a pregnant woman either. These two women may list as high-risk patients due to the changes taking place in a woman’s body.

Respiratory illnesses such as influenza fall in the same category as COVID-19. Pregnant women are more prone to these illnesses, and they should avoid contact with infected persons.

A research investigating breastfeeding mums on the possible effects of COVID-19 is underway. The only way of transmitting Coronavirus is through droplets coming from coughing and sneezing.

Like any other individual, a breastfeeding mum who tests positive for COVID-19 infection should avoid passing the virus to the child. Washing hands before breastfeeding or expressing milk are important. Assigning someone to handle the infant may be necessary to minimize chances of transmission.

Your Animals and Coronavirus

The early versions of Coronavirus affect both animal’s and the human cells. This means that transmission can take place between the two. COVID-19 does not show such traits, so that makes it difficult to find a link between human and animal transmission. The Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) are two strains that use animals as vectors before inhabiting a human host.

COVID-19 does not have a direct link as a source.

As long as you maintain hygiene when handling the animals, then you have enough protection. Visit the veterinary appointments to make sure that they are safe as well. Testing positive for a coronavirus infection means limiting contact with the pets. You can call for help from anyone who can help in looking after the animals.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the novel Coronavirus?
    The name is an abbreviation of COVID-19. CO -corona, VI- virus and D- disease. 19 is the year of discovery. Its original name was 2019 novel coronavirus.

  2. Why would someone blame individuals because of COVID-19?
    Stigmatization is discriminating a people or nation where the disease comes from. A person who does that shows a lack of knowledge about Coronavirus. Therefore, blaming someone gives them a sense of relief. However, this is wrong, and this is the time to practise compassion.

  3. What is the source of Coronavirus?
    Coronavirus is part of the many coronaviruses under study to find out the exact course. There are thoughts that it came from Bats, but all that is still under study.

  4. Will the virus stop in warm weather?
    No reference points to temperature and weather being a factor in influencing the spread of COVID-19.

  5. What is a community spread?
    When the transmission of a virus takes place by moving from one person to another in a particular area.

  6. Can I donate blood?
    As long as you are healthy, you can donate blood.

  7. Can I test negative and later test positive?
    Like all viruses, an initial negative test for COVID-19 indicates the early stages of the attack. You need to keep testing until the symptoms disappear

  8. Can I attend the funeral of a person who died of COVID-19?
    There is no known risk of infection by attending the funeral. However, being near the people attending the funeral can still expose you to the virus, if anyone is sick. Like we said earlier, social distancing and hygiene are critical.

Conclusion

Keep yourself safe to protect yourself and family by following instructions from your government. Viruses have a reputation for spreading fast, leading to high mortality rates within a short time. Knowing how quickly the symptoms emerge and last on the surfaces you come into contact with help in keeping yourself safe.

Look after your older folks and patients with terminal illnesses such as heart problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and complications of the lungs. These group of people are at a high risk of contracting serious illnesses.

In any circumstance, be alert. Follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and government briefings. Listen to what the World Health Organization says about the latest findings. Any decisions you make locally should reflect the prevailing circumstances. Safety starts with you.