It’s hard to know where to look when watching the news these days. The world is changing in front of our very eyes. What should you focus on right now?
We’ve found that it helps to focus on the practical. So many things are out of your control, and fretting over them won’t help. But there are certain things you can do that make a difference, to you and those around you. We decided to share a few tips on what you can do to stay safe.
- Wash your hands. Wash your hands like never before (and don’t worry about your skin for now – we’ll share skincare repair tips with you later!). From what doctors know, the Coronavirus mainly gets to you by way of your hands touching your face. Washing your hands with soap frequently, and especially if you’ve had to leave the house and touched any surfaces, keeps the virus off of them. We never thought that we would need to share our surgical prep sanitizing tips with you, but now is a good time to learn how to properly wash your hands:
- Stay home. Social distancing works. We know it’s not easy, but the fastest way through this is for everyone to stay away from other people. You might think it doesn’t seem to make a difference, but declines in new cases are starting to be reported in areas of the country that took early measures. Staying home is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from Coronavirus, period.
- If you must go out, plan your trip in advance. Limit grocery trips to one person if you can. Consider placing an online order (your wait time might be up to a week, so make your list well in advance). Think about the hour of the day and the location – certain stores are less crowded than others. Keep contact points to a minimum. Instead of placing your purse in the cart like you usually do, leave it in the car and just bring your credit card. Same goes for your phone (more on that later). When you come home, go back to #1.
- Keep the recommended distance of 6 ft from anyone else around you whenever you go out. Avoid public transport (which we don’t have much of here in Tennessee). Traveling right now is not a good idea (and, in most places, possibly illegal).
- The use of face masks has been a bit of a controversial issue. Old school thinking has been that masks are not needed for “regular” people. And that is what we would have told you a few months ago. However, the CDC guidelines on mask use have changed in recent days. Yes, the virus spreads by touching a contaminated surface with your hands and bringing them to your face. But it can also spread by minuscule droplets in the air. If somebody were to sneeze on you, a mask is not a foolproof barrier by any means, but it is better than no barrier at all. Equally important, you are protecting others as much as yourself. None of us can say with certainty that we don’t have it, as symptoms can range from none at all to critically ill. Even homemade masks can be useful, and the Internet is full of instructions – learn more about it here. If you feel silly wearing a mask, just think of it as community service. You are doing your part to protect your family and others. But don’t let a mask mollify you into disregarding other measures. #4 – keeping your distance – is more effective than a mask, and #2 – staying home – is even better.
- Avoid touching your face. Incidentally, that is one of the main advantages of wearing a mask – it keeps your hands away.
- Make it a habit to clean your phone regularly. Studies repeatedly show that the most germ-ridden places in your house are typically your computer keyboard and your mobile phone – much more so than, say, the toilet seat. This makes sense, when you keep in mind what we said in #1. Our hands carry the germs, and what we touch with them most often is where they tend to hang out. Clean your mobile phone twice a day with an alcohol wipe or even a damp, soapy cloth.
- The same is true for all surfaces that are touched often: light switches, door handles, fridge, microwave, dishwasher, TV remotes, faucets, cabinet knobs. Soap is the most effective way to kill a virus. Don’t worry if you can’t find the antibacterial kind, any soap or cleaning spray will do. Change out cleaning rags and towels every day and run the laundry a little more often than you normally do.
- Drink plenty of fluids, often. We say this all the time, because keeping hydrated is healthy anyway. But right now it is especially true. Keeping your throat hydrated can wash down whatever virus might have made it through all the above defenses and gives your immune system a better chance.
- Use the unplanned time at home to do things you enjoy. Mental health is no less important than physical health. We know it’s easier said than done, especially if you have children at home who by now are driving you insane. But we have also seen incredibly creative ways people have kept themselves occupied. If you have any good tips to share, we’d love to hear them – simply contact us and drop us a line!