Nothing has changed about the way COVID-19 spreads, Dr. Moorcroft says, so the basics still apply. The corona-virus is spread through respiratory vapour, like as if someone “sneezes” or “coughs” into the air around you. It can also spread if someone who is infected sneezes or coughs into their hand, then touches a door handle, light switch and other “high-touch” surfaces.
Influenza viruses and common cold viruses are also spread this way. However, now that the virus is more widespread in the US, other preventative guidelines do apply, such as the concept of social distancing.
Yes, this is still the #1 way to prevent coronavirus, Dr. Moorcroft says. “The things you should do to protect yourself from the coronavirus are things you should do every day,” he points out. “The no #1 thing you can do to prevent any respiratory illness is to practice good personal hygiene.”
Washing your hands correctly — using soap and water and washing for at least 20 seconds — or using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available, still stands as the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, according to the CDC.
The CDC, the WHO, governments and healthcare workers are all urging people to stay home if they can. Obviously, some people don’t have the luxury of working from home, and people still urgent need to venture out to grocery stores and gas stations. But when you can stay home, do so to flatten the curve.
If you do need to leave the house, follow some basic preventative measures.
By End of March 2020, many states, countries and cities implemented their own protective measures to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Many public and private schools are closed, and youth sports programs have been suspended just as college and professional sports have. Restaurants and bars are closed or have limited hours and capabilities, as do other nonessential businesses, such as clothing stores.
If your state or local government has imposed guidelines, you should follow them to the best of your ability.
On top of basic illness prevention, Moorcroft says the best (and only real) defence against disease is a strong immune system. Your body is better able to fight off illnesses when your immune system is really pulsating, he explains, and everyone should put in an effort to get theirs into fine shape.
“This is a time to focus on all the health habits you may have been putting off,” Moorcroft says. “Start daily activities and food choices that support your health and turn them into habits that will lead to lifelong improvements in health behaviour. During this time, get satisfactory sleep and some fresh air and sunlight daily.”
Also, stay hydrated, minimize overly processed foods and make sure to eat enough micronutrients when you can (try your best with what you can find at grocery stores right now).
In addition to your physical health, you should take care of your mental health. High stress levels can take a toll on your immune system, which is the opposite of what you want in this situation. If you’re feeling overly concerned about COVID-19, follow these tips from a psychotherapist to keep your nerves calm.
Moorcroft also reiterates the CDC’s advice for avoiding coronavirus (and other respiratory diseases):
As for face masks, the CDC still maintains that only those who are sick should wear them to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are not sick, you don’t need to wear a face mask unless you’re caring for someone who is sick.
You really shouldn’t be traveling anywhere at this point, according to the WHO, the CDC, the federal government and state governments. Avoiding travel — even travel within your own city — is the best way to stop the spread of corona virus, Moorcroft repeats. For travel guidelines, check with your local or state officials, and stay up-to-date with federal travel restrictions, CDC recommendations and WHO recommendations.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.