March 20, 2020

Staying Safe from COVID-19

It was only a couple of months ago that the phrases “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” were making their way around the world. Now it has affected every country and caused multiple schools and businesses to close in an effort to slow the spread of the novel virus.

As COVID-19 spreads, we learn that it most likely gets transported person-to-person via respiratory droplets. Because symptoms can appear anywhere from two to 14 days after exposure, and it affects all age groups differently, it is very easy to unconsciously spread the virus. Until there is a widely available vaccination or cure for COVID-19, the only thing we can do is try our best to contain the virus. Here are some tips and best practices we recommend to keep you and your family safe and healthy in this uncertain time.

Practice Good Hygiene

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) believes the transportation of COVID-19 mostly occurs when an individual carrying the virus sneezes or coughs. When you are sneezing or coughing, make an effort to sneeze or cough into the corner of your elbow. You won’t touch as many common surfaces with your elbow, and it most likely will make it harder for the germs to spread to others.

After you cough, sneeze, or blow your nose, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer. Your hand sanitizer will be most effective if it contains 60% alcohol content or higher. When washing your hands, you should be washing them with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. A trick to make sure you’re washing your hands long enough is to sing “Happy Birthday”- you’ll be entertained and germ-free by the time you’re done!

Keep Your Distance

Another phrase that was recently nonexistent and is now in our everyday communication is ‘social distancing’. Respiratory drops are easy to transport when individuals are in closer proximity to one another. Since COVID-19 spreads quickly and unknowingly, the CDC recommends staying at least six feet away from each other. Other recommendations to reduce the spread include working from home when possible, staying home if you or your family are sick, and wearing a CDC approved facemask if you need to be around others.

COVID-19 affects individuals and groups of people differently. Young children, people in older generations, pregnant women, and those who already have serious health conditions are more likely to have a harder time fighting COVID-19. Since the symptoms take two to 14 days to appear, it is best to limit the close contact you have with others and the public, whether or not you have the virus.

Deep Clean Your House

One practice to help eliminate germs is to clean and disinfect the ‘high-touch’ surfaces in your household as often as possible. This would include door knobs, light switches, common area surfaces, etc. If you spend a lot of time at your work station, you should also take a few minutes to wipe down your computer and desk.

After cleaning your home, consider designating a ‘wipe down area’. This spot will be where you wipe down anything you took outside or around others. Taking a few seconds to wipe down these items/areas might help eliminate further spread of germs and help keep your house clean and healthy.

Until we can find a better way to combat the virus, continue to do your best staying clean, staying healthy, and practicing social distancing. If you would like more information on what NMB is doing in response to COVID-19, visit nmblife.org/covid-19.  

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