Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus

The Coronavirus is spreading across the globe and there is a growing fear of the disease showing up in our backyard. The Arthritis Foundation included some common sense information about how to protect yourself in their most recent newsletter:

Wash your hands. We can’t stress this enough. Wet your hands with clean, running water, then lather them with soap. Scrub both sides, between your fingers and under your nails for at least 20 seconds – about as long as it takes to sing the alphabet song (or Happy Birthday) twice. Be thorough and follow the WHO technique.

Use hand sanitizers on the go. Don’t rely on them, but when soap and water aren’t an option, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Keep a bottle in the car, at your desk and in your purse or pocket.

Disinfect surfaces regularly. Clean high-touch surfaces like countertops, light switches, doorknobs and the inside of your car with disinfectant. Use a mixture of 60% isopropyl alcohol and 40% water to kill germs on high-touch objects and surfaces like your cell phone, computer keyboard, remote, doorknobs and faucets. Wash eyeglasses with soap and warm water every day.

Cover your mouth and nose when you cough. Throw away all your used tissues immediately.

Practice your fist bump. Try to forgo handshakes and hugs for the time being.

Skip the mask. Standard surgical face masks won’t screen out viruses in healthy people, but if you’re sick, a mask can help block droplets from sneezing or coughing so you won’t infect others. The U.S. Surgeon General has asked healthy people not to stock up on masks because the priority is that health care providers have them and they may experience a shortage if the general public buys them.

Call ahead. If you have cold or flu symptoms call your doctor instead of rushing to urgent care or the emergency room. If you don’t have a doctor and are sick enough to need emergency care, call ahead and let the hospital know you’re on the way.

Keep up to date with reliable sources. Follow major news outlets and health authorities such as the CDC, WHO, and the New York Times.

Follow this sound advice and you will go a long way towards minimizing your risk.

Stay healthy!

Chris Alexander

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