By now, most of us are more than familiar with the basic CDC guidelines for protecting ourselves against coronavirus. But, how many of us are actually practicing them thoroughly and consistently? Many continue to underestimate the severity of the virus, while many more are relatively unsure about what the guidelines mean, especially when they change frequently as we gradually learn more and more about the unique attributes of COVID-19.
Below, you’ll learn the main guidelines as provided by the CDC, and how each one should be properly executed.
#1: Wash Your Hands Frequently
Are you washing your hands as frequently as you should? Many of us find ourselves forgetting to wash our hands as often as we should simply because we have not yet gotten into the habit of doing so. But, washing your hands is possibly one of the best ways to avoid catching the virus.
You should be washing your hands whenever you touch something coming from the outside, or when you return after having left your home. While you wash your hands, you should use soap and warm water, and should wash for at least 20 seconds. If for whatever reason you cannot wash your hands, you can use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
#2: Disinfect Your Home, as Well as New Additions to Your Home, Including Packaging
Disinfection of surfaces and items in your home is another extremely useful guideline. We are constantly bringing into our homes items from the outside, from grocery bags to new products that we’ve just purchased. Further, many may be asymptomatically infected, which means that touching surfaces may leave germs that can spread to those with whom we live.
Lysol is a completely adequate disinfectant that has been shown to work. If you can, use this product to disinfect surfaces at least a couple of times a day, and also disinfect anything that you’re bringing into your home.
#3: Cover Your Face When in Public
Covering your face when you’re out in public doesn’t just protect you, but it can protect others as well. The CDC says that a cloth is adequate, but more and more experts are suggesting that we use a legitimately protective mask whenever we leave our homes, even if it’s just to go for a walk around the block.
#4: Avoid Close Contact with Others
By now, we all know that we have to avoid close contact with others. This means that we must avoid socializing completely, even with our own family members and close friends. The bottom line is that close contact makes it very easy for the virus to spread, and so for the time-being, we must keep a distance. Six feet between people is recommended, but some experts say that the virus could even spread between twenty to twenty-five feet. The bottom line? Avoid close contact completely.
#5: Cover Coughs and Sneezes
This is a habit that we should have all adopted by now anyway, but it’s crucial that when we cough and sneeze, we cover our face, preferably with our elbow or a cloth. Coughs and sneezes send droplets far into the air, which means that they can easily be breathed in by others.
#6: Only Leave the Home for Essentials and Emergencies
You should only be leaving the house for essentials and emergencies at this point. The problem is that these terms are relatively subjective. Is a walk around the block essential for our mental health? Is a toothache an emergency? We all have our own ideas of what are essential and emergency situations, and we must really use our own wisdom to determine when we must leave the house, and when it’s not worth the risk.
#7: If You Suspect You’re Sick but Have Mild Symptoms, Stay Home
One guideline that we’re seeing widely ignored throughout the country is staying home if you have mild symptoms. It’s better to stay in and let it pass than to go to a hospital, clinic or doctor’s office where you could risk spreading the infection to others, or catching the virus should your symptoms actually be unrelated to coronavirus. If you’re concerned about your health, call your doctor instead.
The CDC is Doing What They Can for Us
Much about coronavirus remains misunderstood as this virus is incredibly new, and researchers are still trying to figure out the unique attributes of its behavior and its effects on our health. However, the CDC guidelines will help ensure that all your bases are covered when it comes to protecting yourself against infection. These guidelines are simple to follow and have been proven to work against viruses such as this one.