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By Rebecca Fending
With the coronavirus still at large, many folks are left to cope with empty store shelves, health scares and their fear of the unknown. However, there are a number of different ways that you can protect you and your loved ones from the virus. Whether it’s making your own masks for your time in public or concocting homemade disinfecting solutions, here are ways you can prepare against COVID-19.
Make Your Own Masks
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), face masks are one of the best (and most accessible) ways to protect yourself and the public from the spread of any disease. The masks not only keep you from directly breathing in any airborne virus particles or droplets, but they also help contain the virus if you are either knowingly ill or are an unknown carrier.
With most face masks flying off of consumer shelves, the CDC has issued guidelines to making and wearing a homemade face mask. They recommend using cotton materials to ensure that the fabric is at least breathable for you and easily washable. You can make your face mask out of a cotton T-shirt, cut of cotton fabric or a folded bandana.
PLEASE NOTE: Face masks, whether store bought or homemade, are meant to be used in addition to CDC recommended hygiene protocol. Though face masks can protect you from airborne hazards, your regular hand washing and general disinfecting habits should still be in use.
DIY Disinfecting Solutions for Coronavirus
Disinfecting solutions have become another hot commodity during this coronavirus crisis. Rather than running to the store to battle crowds and exposing yourself to potential carriers, here’s how you can easily make your own disinfecting solutions and cleaners at home:
- Disinfecting wipes: The key to any success disinfecting wipe is a solution of 70 percent alcohol. According to One Essential Community, any alcohol you include in your homemade wipes should either be isopropyl alcohol or 140 proof grain alcohol (such as Everclear, 151 rum and some whisk(e)ys). Once you’ve made a mixture of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and your chosen blend of essential oils (both to enhance the scent and for great disinfecting power), you pour the mixture over a roll of paper towels placed in an airtight container. Shake before each use to ensure each sheet is soaked with the solution.
- Disinfecting spray: Similar to the requirements for disinfecting wipes, a homemade disinfecting spray must be 70 percent alcohol in order for it to properly disinfect surfaces. Homemade Lovely‘s recipe for a copycat Lysol disinfecting spray enlists several ounces of alcohol with whatever essential oils you’d like to include for both the aroma and their antiviral/antibacterial qualities.
- Hand soap: Per the CDC’s recommended hygiene practices, washing your hands is a must during this time. However, those of us who either can’t find hand soap in stores or are unable to leave the house in order to get hand soap need not fear. Homemade hand soap can consist of whatever hydrating ingredients you’d like (e.g. carrier oils, glycerin for that viscous texture) and any blend of essential oils, preferably ones that are notably antiviral.
PLEASE NOTE: These are all suggested options and should be executed with great care and only when the store-bought options are not accessible. Please exercise caution while measuring and potting the materials.
Where Does Florida Stand?
Although the Florida sunshine feels spectacular, it hasn’t been able to save The Sunshine State. Beginning on March 1, Florida was yet another state to fall victim to the coronavirus. Since then, the numbers have risen at an alarming rate. However, according to experts, the worst is yet to come. Florida’s projected peak of coronavirus cases and deaths will come later this month. with the state mandated stay-at-home order from Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to help slow the spread of the virus throughout the state.
So, what does this mean for the Florida residents over 50? As we know, the virus is especially dangerous to older people. However, it’s not a death sentence. Instead, there are several preventative measures you can follow in order to best protect your health:
- Minimize trips in public: This means that you should try to obtain everything you’d need for the foreseeable future in one trip. If you’re at the grocery store, stock up on frozen, canned or boxed goods that will last you a while. You can also buy more meat than you normally would in order to freeze it for later use.
- Avoid contact with anyone outside of your home: Unfortunately, this does mean casual visits with family. It’s been shown that the coronavirus can live on surfaces such as clothing, door knobs and tables for up to three days. Instead, download video chatting applications such as Skype, WhatsApp or even Facebook Messenger.
- Do not touch your face: Easier said than done, this is a crucial part of protecting yourself from any sort of illness. Viruses can enter your body through any orifice, specifically your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Invest in supplements: A great way to help strengthen your immune system against coronavirus is by working daily vitamins into your routine. One such vitamin is vitamin D as it helps strengthen your body from the inside out. This specific vitamin helps boost the number of T cells in your body, the cells that help fend off and destroy pathogens and free radicals such as viruses. Vitamin D can be found in supplements, certain foods or even by exposing yourself to sunlight for a short period of time.
Although the coronavirus and the buzzing panic surrounding it can be intimidating, it shouldn’t keep you from living your life. Instead, just be sure to exercise caution and follow the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Keep yourself and others safe by being smart about your actions.