The novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, struck the world more quickly than anticipated. Initial cases originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and since have spread to well over a dozen countries worldwide. In the beginning, there was questioning whether the virus would spread to other countries, but now it is a matter of when it will spread across the globe.
What people need to know about COVID-19 is that it is a virus and it spreads like any other virus like influenza. According to the Center for Disease Control. COVID-19 is believed to spread through respiratory droplets produced when a person sneezes or coughs. These droplets can be inhaled into the lungs of nearby people. The spread of COVID-19 comes from close contact from person to person (about 6-feet in proximity). It is currently unknown if these pathogens can be spread from touching surfaces that have the virus on it and then touching your face, nose, or eyes, but err on the side of caution in any case.
Places to avoid
Elevated risk of exposure is more likely with people who interact closely with potentially infected travelers. People who have encountered the following areas should take extra precaution:
- healthcare facilities
- deathcare facilities
- airports & airline operations
- border protection
- solid waste and wastewater management
It’s important to be mindful if you, or someone you have regular contact with, spends time in these places, or if you or someone you know has traveled to areas where the virus is spreading.
Being in heavily populated areas with close proximity to others can be a cesspool for germs to spread. In general, avoid densely populated areas or public places as well as areas that infected travelers might visit.
Currently, there is no vaccine for COVID-19. The best way to avoid contracting the virus is to avoid exposure to the best of your ability. If your current occupation makes it difficult or impossible to avoid contact with people, take these steps to prevent contracting illnesses like COVID-19:
Clean your hands frequently
Believe it or not, people still don’t wash their hands as frequently as they should. Washing your hands more frequently can reduce the risk of respiratory infection by 16 percent! So, why wouldn’t you?
But don’t just rinse–wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. That’s about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. If you get bored easily or feel weird about singing “Happy Birthday” to yourself 27 times a day, check out this list of 20-second song snippets to make handwashing thorough and fun.
If you don’t have access to a sink and soap, use some hand sanitizer to clean your hands. The CDC recommends a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel completely dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with others
As we mentioned before, COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person through airborne respiratory droplets that may be inhaled into the lungs. Stay away from others when possible, wear an N95 mask if you are sick or in a crowd, and avoid situations in densely populated areas.
Prevent others from getting sick
If you have a strong immune system, good for you, but you still need to stay home if you are sick to protect others who may have compromised immune systems. Self-quarantine yourself to ensure that others around you don’t get sick. If you think that you may have contracted COVID-19, you must notify a medical professional. Call your primary care physician or a nearby medical office to let them know your concerns before visiting so that they can take the necessary precautions.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Germs can spread like wildfire if we don’t practice good hygiene. This includes covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue and disposing of the used tissue in a lined trash can. This will prevent respiratory droplets from being inhaled by neighboring people. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after coughing or sneezing for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a face mask
The surgeon general urges people to stop buying masks unless absolutely necessary. If you are sick or if you are caring for someone who is, please wear a mask. Mass purchases of masks have caused a shortage of these necessary resources from facilities that desperately need them. However, if you are indeed sick, you should wear a face mask to prevent respiratory particulates from entering the air and into someone else’s lungs.
Clean and disinfect
Although there is no definitive answer to whether or not you can contract COVID-19 from touching contaminated surfaces, you should clean and disinfect common areas frequently as a precaution. Use cleaning products that eliminate bacteria. If you’re using a reusable cloth, be sure to wash it thoroughly before touching or reusing it again. Always toss disposable disinfecting wipes into lined trash cans promptly after using.
A strong immune system will prevent you from getting sick, so adopting wellness practices are always a good idea. Be sure to get the recommended six to eight hours of sleep per night, drink lots of water, and eat your fruits and vegetables.
On the topic of drinking water, try not to share your drinks with others. Keeping your LARQ Bottle handy is especially helpful during this time because the UV-C will keep the water inside your bottle and the inner surfaces free of any bacteria or viruses. UV-C disinfection technology has been around for decades and used in water treatment facilities as well as hospitals for sterilization purposes. Our UV-C LED technology is projected at an optimum wavelength of 280 nanometers, which categorizes as germicidal. This triggers a photochemical reaction that destroys the DNA of bacteria and viruses, rendering them inactive and unable to harm you. We’ve harnessed this technology in our bottles, providing safe and effective water purification on the go. The bottle also activates the 10-second Self-cleaning mode automatically every 2 hours so you don’t have to worry about what’s growing in your bottle. If you don’t have a LARQ Bottle and are using another reusable option, be sure to wash your bottle frequently and properly as bacteria and viruses and grow exponentially between washes.
Staying healthy will help you fight off illnesses in the event that you do contract something, so it’s more important than ever to pay attention to your health and overall wellness.