By Rebecca Fending
The coronavirus has hit Florida, but that doesn’t mean you have to live in fear. There are simple preventative strategies and tips you can follow to help keep yourself and your loved ones from contracting this invasive virus. From washing your hands (the right way) to getting your fill of vitamin C to keep your immune system healthy, this advice (including some tips from pathologist Doctor James Robb, MD FCAP) can help keep the coronavirus out of your home and body.
Hand washing is a no-brainer when it comes to preventing illness, but a surprising 95 percent of people don’t wash their hands in the best fashion to truly get them “clean”. Of course, you know how to carry out the action of washing your hands, but are you washing your fingernails, as well? The best way to get a thorough clean is by scrubbing even under your nails for around 10 seconds. All in all, you should wash your hands for a minimum of 20 to 30 seconds. Make sure you dry your hands well and use a disposable towel or glove to open all doors.
Keep Your Hands to Yourself
According to Dr. Robb: no handshaking. That’s it, it’s that simple. Any alternative greeting is a great substitution for this professional contact. For example, a wave or fistbump can do just as well in terms of greeting a person. So long as you can help it, prevent any and all physical contact with other people. Given this current coronavirus crisis, no one will fault you for skipping the handshake in a meeting or hug at the family reunion.
If you do find yourself having to touch various public surfaces, Dr. Robb advises that you minimize the use of your fingertips. For instance, use your knuckles, hip, elbow or any other low-contact body part that doesn’t hold the likelihood of coming in contact with your face. Not surprisingly, the reason our hands have so many germs is that, well, we use them at nearly every moment of the day. Reducing your finger and hand usage can help you succeed in your fight against contracting a virus.
Sanitize to Save Lives
Dr. Robb also recommends that you keep sanitization supplies on hand at all times. From hand sanitizer in your car and home entrance to disinfectant wipes for any and all surfaces, you come in contact with (shopping cart handles are a prime example of why wipes are key to preventative strategies). Sanitizing takes literal seconds and could save you from missing weeks of your life due to illness. However, the best way to not have to worry about scooping up all the santizer you can at the store is by adequately washing your hands.
Your Mask Won’t Save You
Dr. Robb specifies that the masks people wear in the high tide of illness are meant to keep them from touching their face, not as a way to keep themselves from breathing in viruses and bacteria. This assumption leads many people to forego other preventative measures as it acts as a faulty solution. The best ways to protect yourself against the virus are by diligently washing your hands and limiting your contact with crowded public places.
Although these five tips aren’t a guarantee that you’ll never get sick again, they are a great way to ensure that you’ll practice hygiene and minimize your likelihood of contracting an illness. Start implementing these strategies now and come next cold and flu season, you’ll be a pro at virus prevention. Find out more information on our website for how you can treat viral illnesses (including the coronavirus).