It has been a year since South Africa’s first Coronavirus lockdown in 2020. The pandemic locked down countries all over the world in an attempt to protect all citizens from contracting the potentially life-threatening virus.
Now in 2021 there is evidence to show that the SARS-CoV-2, which is a new variant of the virus is transmitted a lot more easily from person to person. Much like any other coronaviruses, it has the ability to survive in the air and on surfaces for a long enough time in order for another person to contract the virus.
Unfortunately a lot of people have become slightly complacent with regards to PPE and social distancing which has caused a rise in infections once again.
This article serves to remind you of the best ways in which to avoid the virus and other tips on how to survive it both physically and emotionally.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
SARS-CoV-2 has been known to multiply faster in the body even before you start to feel any symptoms. This is a scary thought as the virus can be transmitted from a person who has no symptoms at all to another person who can land up with severe COVID-19 symptoms (source).
How Does the Coronavirus Spread?
The COVID-19 virus is spread mostly though droplets that are emitted by people when they talk, sneeze or cough. Although these droplets don’t tend to stay airborne for long. It can, however, travel through small aerosol particles that can stay in the air for up to 3 hours.
You may even contract the virus through touching something that an infected person has touched and then putting your hands near your eyes, nose or mouth.
Tips to Follow During the Pandemic
The following tips and guidelines can go a long way in preventing the spread of Covid-19:
1. Wash Your Hands
The best way to make sure that your hands are clean is to use warm water and soap and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Start by lathering your wrists as well as between your fingers and under the fingernails with an antibacterial soap.
Although sanitizer is the best thing to use when you cannot wash your hands properly it is still always better to use soap and water to wash your hand several times a day. It is also important to remember to wash your hands especially after you have touched any item such as a cell phone or a laptop.
2. Try Not to Touch Your Face
It is possible to get the COVID-19 virus by touching any infected surfaces or objects that have previously been handled by a person who has the virus. Once you have touched this surface and later on touched an area on your face it is entirely possible for you to then contract the virus.
The virus has the ability to live on some surfaces for up to 72 hours and can be extremely contagious when on items such as cell phones, doorknobs and plastic surfaces
How to Manage the Triggers That Make You Want to Touch Your Face
Sometimes it is important to change your environment in order to reduce the urge that you get to touch your face. Try to figure out what triggers the emotions that are associated with your face touching.
Here are some examples and solutions:
|Glasses that slip||Use ear hooks or hair ties.|
|Biting of nails||Keep your nails short. Even go as far to use gloves and bandages to cover those nails.|
|Allergies||Limit your exposure to things that make your skin itch or nose run and carry antihistamines with you.|
|Food in teeth||Brush your teeth after every meal. Don’t dig in your mouth!|
|Hair in the eyes||Use an elastic, hair products or a scarf to keep your hair out of your face.|
3. Physical Distancing
Skin to skin contact is a sure way to transmit the virus from one person to another. You may be feeling perfectly fine but be infected without knowing it. Once you have hugged or touched a few people they are almost certain to contract the virus. Try to keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people at all times.
4. Absolutely No Sharing
Never share personal items such as cellular phones, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, spounge or hair products. It is also important to try as best you can to not share eating utensils or drink from the same bottles. This should be followed at home, school and in the workplace.
5. Cover Your Face When Coughing or Sneezing
COVID-19 is carried by droplets to other people when you cough or sneeze. If you feel a cough or a sneeze coming on then use a tissue or sneeze into your elbow so as to keep your hands clean. Thereafter wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
6. Surface Protection
Disinfectant with a high alcohol base should be used to clean all surfaces in your home. These disinfectants should be used on cell phones, door handles. Furniture, toys and countertops.
Check out Protective Hygiene’s amazing smart phone sanitizers as well as our foot and hand dispensers that can be used in any setting.
It is also important to clean your phone, laptop and anything else that is being used several times per day as well as disinfect areas that are used to store groceries or packages that are brought into your home on a daily basis.
7. The Difference Between Sanitizers and Disinfectants
Sanitation is another word for cleaning, and while both words have the same meaning, sanitation refers to removing any visible contamination to lower the number of germs on a surface.
Disinfection refers to the destruction of any viruses, bacteria or fungi on surfaces that may have come in contact with a person who is ill.
How long corona lives on the following surfaces:
|Paper and Tissue Paper||3 hours|
|Stainless Steel||2-3 days|
|Outer Parts of a Surgical Mask||7 days|
Foggers: How Do They Work?
Fogging if often used in kitchens, offices, hospitals and even homes. It uses and antiviral disinfectant solution which is able to clean and sanitize large areas quickly and effectively.
A fine mist is sprayed from a spray gun and then left to evaporate for about 6 hours. The products that are used are generally safe on equipment and computers as the mist is extremely fine but effective in penetrating all areas to kill off the virus.
8. Do Not Gather in Groups
Getting together with other people and being in a group makes the likelihood of you contracting the virus much higher as it is more likely that you will be in contact with someone who may have the virus.
Congregating in parks, beaches, functions or religious gatherings can be a serious health risk, especially if you are in close contact with the people there. These gatherings can cause cluster outbreaks and potentially make all who was in attendance at the gathering sick.
9. Avoid Restaurants and Pubs
Even though a lot of restaurants and bars may be open it is still not a good idea to visit them. It is so easy for the virus to be transmitted through utensils, cups and dishes. It could even be airborne from other people who are also visiting the establishment. Rather stay at home and don’t take the chance.
You can, however, still opt to get delivery or takeaway food as long as these foods are thoroughly cooked and can be reheated.
COVID-19 need to enter the respiratory system in order to produce the disease. This being said, there is however certain materials that can travel from the mouth into the lungs.
It is important to remember that the virus is inactivated at temperatures of 56 to 65 degrees Celsius.
10. Clean Your Groceries
Wash all of your fresh produce under running water before eating or preparing it. It is, however. not recommend to use soap, detergents, or commercial products on items such as fruit and vegetables. Running them under warm water and washing your hands before preparation should suffice.
It is also important to keep safe while shopping for essential items at the grocery store. Always wear a mask and sanitize before and after leaving the grocery store.
Check out Protective Hygiene Blog on: Safety tips for grocery shopping
11. Wear A Mask
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everybody should wear a cloth mask when out in public, especially where physical distancing can be difficult.
If these masks are used in the correct way, they can substantially help to prevent people who are asymptomatic from passing the virus onto others when they breathe, talk or cough.
The CDC’s website even provides instructions on how to make your own mask at home, using materials such as a T-shirt and scissors (source). How to make your own face mask without sewing, a step by step
All masks should cover your mouth as well as your nose. For additional guidance, see (source)
12. Wearing A Mask Safely
Just wearing a mask will not prevent you from getting Covid-19 and regular handwashing as well as physical distancing protocols also need to be adhered to as well.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you put on your mask.
- Wash your mask after using it every day.
- The virus can be transferred from hand to mask so try to avoid touching the front of it.
- Always wash your hands if you touch the front of the mask.
- A mask shouldn’t be worn by a child under 2 years old.
- A mask should not be worn by a person who has trouble breathing.
Keep Your Mask Funky and Fresh!
Wearing a mask does not have to be tedious and boring. At Protective Hygiene we have masks for all occasions. Choose from our colourful, funky and even scented styles of masks. These masks are a hit amongst children and teens alike. Making the best of a bad situation has never been so much fun!
Watch this video to find out more about our fun, funky and fashionable masks.
13. Quarantine If Feeling Ill
If you start to feel ill, then wear a mask and wash your hands as much as possible. It is important to make use of the following guidelines if you start to feel sick.
If you think that you may have symptoms of COVID-19:
- Stay home except if you need to get medical care.
- Do not visit public areas
- Get enough rest
- Stay hydrated
- Take over the counter cold and flu medications to ease symptoms.
- Learn to recognise any warning signs, especially if you are struggling to breathe.
- Avoid any kind of public transportation
- Separate yourself from any family members living with you.
- If you have no other choice than to be in close proximity with carers or loved ones wear your mask at all times.
- Let any close contacts know that you are feeling unwell.
- Go for a Covid test to verify as to whether you have the virus or not.
Phone ahead to your doctor if you are feeling really ill. In most cases your doctor will recommend you getting an oximeter in order to measure your oxygen levels. This is a small device that can measure the amount of oxygen that you have in your blood. I reading of 95% or higher is considered to be a normal reading. If you reading is 92% or less, it may be time to visit your local hospital.
14. Monitor Your Symptoms
If someone feels sick, they should stay home and contact a doctor or local health professional about their symptoms.
Typical COVID-19 symptoms include a persistent cough, fever and flue like symptoms. If you are feeling any of these symptoms stay at home and monitor yourself carefully. A lot of times it could be a simple cold or allergy but being safe and responsible during the pandemic is always best.
When to seek emergency medical attention
- If you experience difficulty breathing
- Pain and pressure in the chest
- Confusion and Disorientation
- Inability to wake up or stay awake
- Pale of blue colour of the skin, lips, or nail beds. This can indicate a lack of oxygen to the body.
15. Try Not to Travel
If you have the choice and travel is not work or emergency related, then it is best to refrain from any travel both nationally and internationally.
16. Have a Sick Plan in Place
If you are at high risk of contracting the virus then it is good practice to talk to friends and family about how they would be able to help you if you were to fall ill.
This can include family members who can help with cooking, running errands and taking care of you if you are on your own. We will give you some tips on how to prepare for self-isolation.
17. Take Special Care of The Elderly
People with underlying health conditions and those who are over the age of 60 are significantly more susceptible to contracting a severe case of the virus. These people need to take extra precautions and their caregivers should adhere to strict protocols and keep them away from crowded places.
18. Manage Your Anxiety
The WHO says that it is “normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected.” (source).
If you are feeling anxious and depressed, then it is important to seek help from friends or relatives. Even though we are living in a pandemic, there are ways in which people can still communicate. Zoom, Skype and many other platforms can be used to connect to your friends and loved ones.
19. Talk to Your Children About Safety at School
It is important to make sure that your children are aware of the dangers of the virus whilst at the same time not making them anxious about it. Choose an age appropriate discussion to discuss the virus with them and try to establish how much they already know.
Calm them and reassure them while making them aware of the ways in which they need to protect themselves from the virus, especially when at school.
Make sure to read over our blogs to find out some invaluable information on how to explain the pandemic to your children:
20. Make Preparations
In case of another lockdown it is a good idea to prepare beforehand in case you may need to stay at home for an extended period of time.
Making sure that you have enough food stuff, household items and medication is always a wise idea, especially when you are dealing with the unknown.