Since December 2019, the entire world remains aghast due to the global pandemic of coronavirus. Originating in Wuhan, China, the virus spread rapidly to the entire world, despite many places implementing aggressive quarantine measures. According to current statistics, there have been over 110,000 reported global cases, while the death toll is well above 4300 as of March 11, worldwide, at the time of writing.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared this novel pandemic as a global health emergency, causing all citizens from across the world to go into a state of panic. Albeit taking severe precautionary measures, the entire world seems to be converging towards a health calamity. This malady spreads in no time, so taking adequate preventive measures is crucial.
Even though this has turned fatal for many, it is in truth a simple virus, and there are simple and effective measures we can take to minimise risk. With heightened caution, we can spare ourselves from extreme panic, as well as the actual affliction.
How does it spread?
The new coronavirus mainly spreads through human interaction. Being in close contact with someone who has been infected is the major risk factor. Coronavirus is also transmitted through respiratory droplets that are produced when an infected person sneezes or coughs. People are most contagious when they are symptomatic. Thus, it is safer to maintain sufficient distance, a method that is being termed as social isolation, from people who have a cold or flu.
Additionally, the disease can be transmitted via objects that include respiratory droplets left by the infected person who coughed or sneezed on them. Unlike other viruses, the coronavirus can also survive for a long time on various types of surfaces including cloth and metal, for as long as nine days.
Unknowingly, we are at risk of getting coronavirus simply by touching everyday objects. As preventive measures, it is wise to avoid touching anything in public places and keeping our personal belongings at home sanitised with bleach-based cleaners that contain ethanol or hydrogen peroxide.
How can I remain safe?
Simple preventive measures include avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If unknowingly the virus spreads to your hands by touching an object, it can easily be transmitted through bodily contact. The best way to avoid being infected with coronavirus is washing your hands frequently and properly.
Maintaining proper hand hygiene is of paramount importance. Although washing hands is one of the simplest tasks in existence, most people are unaware about the proper way of doing it. Washing our hands should be an elaborate process stretching for at least 20 seconds.
After wetting hands with clean water, soap should be lathered on every surface, including the nails, fingertips, back of the hand, and up to the wrists. After this, both hands must be scrubbed together for 20-30 seconds, ensuring that every bit is cleaned. Thoroughly rinsing and properly drying follows this procedure.
An alternative to washing hands when soap and water are unavailable is to keep hands sanitised at all times is using 60-95 percent alcohol-based sanitisers, which are more effective in warding off the looming germs in this case.
We tend to rush through the hand washing routine, but keep in mind, in an attempt to save mere seconds of your life, you may be pushed towards a life-threatening ailment. So, stay safe and healthy, and educate others regarding the correct way to maintain appropriate hygiene.