Steps to Take During Any Viral Outbreak

It’s difficult to be on the internet or in a conversation without the word coronavirus coming up. The disease is on everyone’s mind. COVID-19 has been declared a “public health emergency of international concern,” by the World Health Organization. Fortunately, most businesses and organizations are taking serious precautions to prevent the spread of germs. You can also take steps to protect your health as well as others. Remember that it’s also extremely important to remain calm for your own mental health and wellbeing. We all know stress does not help any situation, especially your health. It’s also flu and cold season, so remember to practice good hygiene and healthy habits. Here are a few important precautions to take. 

1) Avoid close contact with your sick friends, coworkers and peers. 

Person-to-person contact is believed to be the main vehicle for spreading COVID-19. Individuals in close proximity to one another (about six feet) are more at risk of spreading germs. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, the respiratory droplets that are produced can land in mouths, noses, or even inhaled into the lungs, by people standing close by. Also, avoid creating a stigma that Asian individuals are the only capable carriers of the disease. The first case of COVID-19 was found in China and has spread throughout the Asian continent, but that does not mean Asian individuals are spreading the virus. Please do not jump to conclusions and create unsound stigmas. 

2) Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing. 

If you’re experiencing a sore throat with a bad cough or a running nose, cover with a tissue. Always avoid coughing or sneezing directly into your hands, as this can lead to unintentionally spreading germs when touching other surfaces. You don’t want to share your germs with your friends and coworkers. We’re all trying to stay healthy. 

3) Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

When touching your eyes, nose or mouth, germs spread much quicker and you’re more susceptible to catching a disease. Bacteria, viruses and other pathogens gain easier entry to the body through these openings. 

4) Wash your hands! 

It’s well known washing your hands will help the spread of germs, but most people ignore this easy step. It cannot be stressed enough, that regular hand washing will help fight against germs and will help you avoid illness. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It is also highly encouraged to wash your hands after touching high-traffic items in public areas like doorknobs, staircase handles and other common objects. If you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer will also kill germs. The CDC released a new handwashing campaign, Clean Hands Save Lives, with more facts and resources about the importance of washing your hands.

5) Stay home if you’re sick.

If you’re not feeling well, it’s best to rest. Avoid going to work, school and running errands. Resting will help you recover and prevent spreading illness to others.

6) Get enough sleep.

Everyone needs their beauty sleep, but we also need sleep to remain healthy. The immune system is weakened by sleep deprivation. Furthermore, it’s imperative to keep our immune system at its top game during outbreaks such as COVID-19, as well as during peak flu and cold season. 

7) Eat healthy and immune-boosting foods. 

Consuming a diet rich with vegetables and fruits will keep your body feeling healthy and energized. Vegetables and fruits are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will boost your immune system. Eating fermented foods with probiotics will also help nourish the gut, promoting overall health. Herbal supplements and adaptogens such as ginger, turmeric and ginseng are also terrific for the immune system.  

Furthermore, practicing and implementing good hygiene and health habits will help you stay strong to fight against germs. Along with washing your hands, disinfect countertops as well as desks and common areas to help kill germs. This is also a reminder that there’s also no better time to clean your phone than now - we all know our cell phones are crawling with germs, so let’s do something about it. Along with good hygiene, it’s vital to keep your body strong by eating immune-boosting foods, taking herbal supplements, staying hydrated, managing your stress and getting enough sleep. 

Written by Grace Maeda

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