Corona virus lock down restrictions are beginning to ease around the world, surely changing how you’ll go to restaurants, malls and hair salons when cities reopen. But whether the shops around you are open or closed, the risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 won’t go away until we achieve herd immunity or access to a vaccine. There are currently more than 3.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus around the world, and over 1 million of those are in the US.
That brings us back to the measures we can take when leaving the house and coming within spitting distance of people outside the household. Since this new strain of coronavirus is highly contagious and can be passed along by those who appear asymptomatic, it’s important to stay alert.
11 Ways to Protect Yourself from Germs–Because you’ll have to leave the House Eventually!
1. Wear Gloves In Public Places
While it may not be fashionable to wear gloves in spring, it’s essential to keep your hands clear of bacteria. Think of all the things that you touch that is covered in germs. Do you ever consider the viruses on the tube at the bank, doors in and out of the stores and restrooms, as well as products at your supermarket?
Do you know how many people touch a box before it makes it to the shelf? Wearing gloves might be silly, but it could save you from the transmission of a severe illness. Remember, even the coronavirus can live for 72 hours on a surface, and you don’t want to be anywhere near those germs.
2. Use a Face Mask In Public Places
There is some controversy over who should wear face masks. Some individuals think they should only be used by the people who are sick, even if they have a common cold. However, others feel that it’s not a bad idea for everyone to use a mask. While the concern right now is over Covid-19, other illnesses should not be forgotten.
Using a facial mask is an excellent way to protect your airways from breathing in harmful bacteria. There are hundreds of viruses and microbes that can be transferred from saliva droplets from the nose or mouth. A face mask just protects the air you breathe, and it’s so inexpensive too.
Whether you’re sick or not, it won’t hurt you to wear a mask. It’s just an extra safety measure that ensures your protection.
3. Carry Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer can never replace good old soap and water. Only hot water and soap will kill all the germs on your hands. However, hand sanitizer has its place.
If you are in a situation where you cannot wash up, then you need to use sanitizer. You need about a quarter-size dollop, and you should rub the alcohol mixture all over. Make sure to get the cervixes of your fingers too, as germs love to hide in these spots.
4. Don’t Shake Hands or Hug
No matter how badly you want to shake hands or hug your friend or family member, you must resist. Hugging and hang shaking are especially off-limits during a pandemic. However, you should avoid these actions during peak flu season and other times too.
When you shake a hand, you are transferring all the bacteria from the other person to you. If they went to the restroom and didn’t wash up afterward, then you now have those toxins on your body.
If you find yourself in a situation where you must show affection, then you need to wash immediately afterward. Since most bacteria needs time to work its way into your body, you should be safe if you wash up quickly.
5. Keep Six Feet from Everyone
You don’t want anyone to close during social distancing. Using public health safety intervention methods to keep others at bay only protects the transmission of illness. Big gatherings of people encourage the spread of Covid-19 and other viruses.
The rule of thumb is that bacteria can travel up to six feet from one person to another. So you need to make sure that you have at least that amount of distance between you and everyone else. If you are too close to someone, then you could breathe in germs should someone sneeze or cough.
These extra precautions are not there to annoy folks but only to keep you safe. The Covid-19 virus is quickly spreading because people aren’t practicing appropriate social distancing tactics.
6. Wash Your Hands
Many people don’t really know how to wash up. Letting the water run and lathering a dab of soap for a couple of seconds isn’t going to kill the bacteria on your hands. No, you must wash your hands like you’re about to do surgery.
Have you ever seen a surgeon on television washing up to go into the operating room? You need to use a healthy amount of soap and the hottest water you can stand. Additionally, you need to wash for at least 20 seconds.
Think of a song that you can sing that lasts about a half of a minute. It will help you ensure that you are washing for the right period of time. You can’t be too careful with all the bacteria running ramped in our society.
7. Avoid Public Bathrooms
Public bathrooms are nasty, no matter what time of year. However, when a pandemic is happening, then they are especially toxic. If you are out and about and feel the call of Mother Nature, then try your best to avoid using these contaminated facilities.
If you cannot wait till you get home, then make sure that you line the toilet with tissue and don’t sit on the seat. Also, touch the restroom doors with a paper towel to avoid recontamination after you’ve washed your hands.
When bathrooms don’t have paper towels, and then use your shirttail instead. The hand drying machines are also a harbor for bacteria and can be counterproductive after you’ve washed up.
8. Wipe down Shopping Cart Handles
Bacteria lingers in places you least expect. For instance, shopping carts are loaded with toxins that you don’t want to come in contact with your body. Just think, one cart in a busy supermarket is probably used around 40-50 times each day.
Do you really want the germs of so many people coming in contact with you? Most stores have wet wipes at the entry so that folks can wipe down the handles. If your store doesn’t offer these options, then you must carry some wipes with you.
Not only should you be concerned about Covid-19, but you should also be cautious of salmonella, E. coli, and campylobacter. Little children also touch shopping cart handles as they sit in the front of the carts. Plus, there’s also blood from raw meat and other toxins.
Shockingly, a study showed that a shopping cart has 8,112 bacteria colonies per square inch. Can you think of anything more disgusting? A grocery store is a feeding frenzy for germs that you want to avoid. Take a few minutes and wipe down the cart handle.
9. Distance, distance, distance; Steer Clear of Crowded Places
Social distancing means staying away from a certain distance from others, but you must avoid crowded places too. If you need groceries or medications, then you should try to use the drive-thru lines or curbside pickup services.
The more people are in a place you visit, the higher your chances of coming in contact with their bacteria. It’s estimated that one percent of the population has the coronavirus, and in a crowded area, your chances of coming in contact with it significantly increase.
Since so many people sick and dying from this virus, it’s worth taking every precaution possible to protect yourself for contamination.
10. Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Experts say to avoid touching your face during the time of a pandemic like Covid-19. However, it’s one of those things that is easier said than done. One way that you can avoid touching your face is by wearing a mask.
The mask can be a barrier that serves as a reminder each time you go to scratch your nose. Why can’t you touch your face anyway? Well, bacteria quickly spread to the hands, which is why you must wash them so much.
Once you touch your face with bacteria-filled hands, you are putting yourself at risk for getting microbes from the virus in your mouth or nose.
11. Watch where you put your phone
While we’ve gotten the go ahead to use disinfecting wipes on phones, another smart idea is to avoid placing your device on iffy surfaces to begin with. Do you really need to put your phone down, or can you just stash it in a coat pocket or purse? The less you can expose your phone to shared surfaces, the less you need to worry about them in the first place.
If you do put your phone down on a shared surface, say if you’re paying for takeout, lay down a napkin and set your phone on that. It’ll save you having to disinfect your device quite so often.
With a few precautions and a little bit of effort, we can help reduce illness and make our lives much more germ free!