With new reports about the dangers of coronavirus and the spread of COVID-19, the virus can seem pretty scary and insurmountable.
But there are a few concrete steps you can take right now to protect yourself and your family from infection.
Here’s how to protect yourself from COVID-19, according to the CDC.
Avoid contact with people who are sick
It may seem obvious, but steer clear of anyone who has a confirmed case of coronavirus. You can see them in a few weeks when they have recovered and provide moral support over the phone or digitally in the meantime.
Wash your hands often and well
One of the easiest ways to pick up the coronavirus is to touch an infected surface, so it’s important to wash your hands often. A quick scrub isn’t enough to guarantee clean hands, though. Wash with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Avoid shaking hands
Rather than trading handshakes and viruses, greet coworkers and peers in other ways, like bumping fists or bowing.
Don’t touch your face
Rubbing itchy eyes or a runny nose are quick ways to pass the virus from your hands to your internal system. Avoid touching your face by using tissues, eye drops, and distractions for your hands.
Routinely wipe down kitchen counters, desks and office tools, remote controls and other common surfaces to reduce the chances of viruses sticking around. Your employer may take care of this kind of cleaning as well, while you don’t have to clean your house quite as much if every family member is careful about washing their hands, so don’t go too crazy scrubbing everything down constantly.
Prepare food and supplies
If you are quarantined for any reason, you may want a supply of food, drink and other essentials to pass the required 14 days. Stock up on foods you would normally eat while sick, and make sure you have access to plenty of water.
The more time you spend moving through public spaces and outside the home, the more time you spend exposing yourself to potential infection. Reduce risk by foregoing all non-essential travel.
Go to the (right) doctor
If you have symptoms that appear to be coronavirus, contact local medical or emergency professionals in order to find the nearest medical office that can screen you for the virus. Not all doctors offices and hospitals are equipped to run tests for COVID-19, so if you need help, make sure to find the right help.