Covid-19 is spreading at a rapid pace and has presented a challenging situation to over 200 countries. It has created a state of panic among people. People are asked to maintain 6-foot distance from people when in public. It is not practically feasible to maintain a safe distance from people in all public places and hence masks are highly recommended for more protection.
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Other ways to protect yourself from the novel corona virus outbreak:
The WHO recommends practicing the following to control the infection from spreading.
- Stay home if you are experiencing the infection symptoms like cough, fever, throat pain etc.
- Avoiding close contact with someone who is coughing/ sneezing
- Washing your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your face
Doesn’t sound like too much to ask for, right? Even if you experience minor symptoms, it is best to stay at home and quarantine yourself from other family members. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets of affected individuals. If those droplets are present in other surfaces and you touch them, you could be infected which calls the need to frequently wash your hands.
The last in the list sounds pretty easy but subconsciously we touch our way too often without even being aware of it. We do it for a number of reasons including to express our emotions, to make a point or it becomes a habit. An average person touches their face at least 19 times an hour.
What’s the risk involved with touching our face?
Viruses find its way easily into one’s body through their eyes or mouth. Touching our face increases the risk of infection. When we touch surfaces, which have pathogens and then touch the face, the pathogen enters into our body through mucous membranes and thereby reaches the lungs through the throat.
Some pathogens survive on surfaces up to 9 days. The other precautions mentioned by WHO are easier to follow. All you need is to wear a mask and avoid close interaction with infected people. However, avoiding viruses on surfaces is next to impossible since we are constantly touching surfaces and our face.
Reduce the risk by hand washing:
You can never know when you touched a contaminated surface which is why you’ll have to thoroughly wash your hands frequently for at least 20 second and the risk of touching a contaminated surface between washing hands is high. You’ll still have to follow additional precautions to avoid the risk of infection.
Break the habit of touching your face:
You can start it by making it difficult to touch your face.
- Wear gloves/ glasses
- Keep your hands busy by holding something.
- Use a scented sanitizer since it serves as a reminder not to touch your face
- Have post-it notes put up with the message
Even if you practice all basic preventive measures, your efforts will be in vain if you continue to touch your face often. Work towards breaking the habit.