As some communities begin to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, what concrete steps one should follow to prevent the infection ? Below are some steps that everyone should take with or without lockdown to stay safe during this pandemic.
According to WHO guidelines, people can take the following measures to prevent infection during day-to-day activities.
1. Hand wash:
One of the most crucial aspects. We need to remember and inculcate the practice of hand washing not only to fight COVID-19 but also for other existing and emerging and re-emerging new infections in the future. Washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is vital and important. Hand wash should be done before and after all activities. Ensure by washing hands after coming from outside, before touching your face, after coughing or sneezing. This will prevent all respiratory and digestive system infections.
Take a bath and change the clothes immediately after coming home from work or any long hour outdoor visit. Soak the used clothes in soap and water.
Inculcate the habit of carrying sanitizer once you go out and hand washing is not possible. Whenever it is not possible to wash hands with soap and water, wash it with the sanitizer at least.
2. Respiratory hygiene:
Another important aspect to prevent all respiratory infections including COVID-19. Covering mouth and nose while coughing and sneezing is very important to prevent all respiratory infections. Another point along with this is to wash your hands after handling your respiratory secretions. If you cover your nose and mouth while coughing or sneezing with tissue paper then dispose the same in the dustbin and do not throw it indiscriminately. If you use a handkerchief, do not allow anyone else to handle it. Wash it whenever possible with soap and water and sun dry it.
Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water after every such activity.
3. Social distancing:
Post lockdown, social distancing is also important to follow to prevent transmission of the COVID-19. It means maintaining a minimum of 1 meter or 3 feet distance from everyone every time outside your home. The principle is wherever possible, follow social distancing irrespective of lifting of sanctions by the government. This will prevent getting infection and spreading infarction to your family.
- Inculcate the habit of saying Namaste and avoid shaking hands.
- If possible, avoid attending or arranging gatherings (parties or any religious gatherings)
- If you come to know any person in your company or office is suffering from any respiratory infection, if you are an employer, give him/her leave.
- If you are not in a position to give leave, maintain social distancing from the person.
- While travelling also tries to maintain social distancing. In public transport try to avoid full trains or buses. Adopt walking or cycles for short distances.
- If you go to Salon/barber’s shop, see that everyone has a mask, request the dresser to clean all equipment with disinfectant before use.
- Ensure the salon worker/ Barber is wearing a mask and uses a new washed cloth for you.
- Avoid touching various surfaces in the shop and avoid talking in the shop.
- Maintain social distance while shopping at any shop. Try to do digital payment and avoid the exchange of cash or cards.
- Even while purchasing vegetables or fruits from any vendor ensure social distancing and wash hands after any such purchase.
Mask provides additional protection. Whenever you go outside of your home wear the mask. If you suffer from cough or cold always wear a mask to prevent spread of your infections to others. Many South East Asian countries have cultural norm of wearing a mask whenever they go out. If possible, do practice it. People in certain occupations are more to come in contact with people like barbers or a front desk person at any office, Courier boys etc. they should always wear a mask. If you are not working in the hospital of COVID-19 patients, a simple homemade mask should suffice.
Also learn handling, wearing and removing techniques of mask. Simple mask should be washed with soap and water after every use and ensure to sundry it before next use. If you are using disposable masks, make sure to dispose it after use in a dustbin with a lid.
If you ever suffer from any type of cold or cough with sore throat and fever, try to isolate yourself at home and take proper rest. Do not go to office, school, any gathering or at any public place. This practice by all of us will prevent spread of any kind of respiratory infections to others.
6. Maintain good health and immunity
Keep your immunity good at all times. Take regular healthy diets. Avoid frequent eating of junk food. Always make habit of taking one fruit daily, some dry fruits daily to maintain good health. Wash all vegetables and fruits before use in simple water. Take fresh home cook food if possible. You can also take various Ayurvedic, Homeopathic immune booster as per expert advice.
7. Exercise and Yoga
Exercise regularly for 20 minutes. It also improves your immunity and keeps you healthy. Practice Yoga, Pranayam daily including breathing exercises. It will help to maintain your mental health even in difficult times.
Take sound and adequate sleep for at least 6 to 7 hours a day. It will not only refresh you but also helps you to maintain good immunity
9. Seek Medical care
If you feel ill or develop any symptoms immediately seek medical help. Government has designated centres, hospitals for COVID-19. Visit these centres or call 104 if you have any such symptoms.
10. Take care of elderly or person with any health problem at your home
Take extra care of persons of 60 or more years of age, and persons with any health problems at your home. They are vulnerable to catch infection from you and develop serious disease. Help them maintaining their health and see that they take their required medicines regularly. Whenever you go home, do not touch them before washing your hands or taking a bath. Also take such care of pregnant women or children in your family.