The number of people infected with coronavirus increases every day due to the fact that Covid-19 is very contagious and spreads like flu. The lockdown all over the world is aimed at keeping the number of sick people to a minimum and limiting the spread of the pandemic disease. State authorities have announced the most important hygiene measures and protective measures that we all need to follow to protect ourselves and families from corona. What really helps and what can we do as coronavirus infection prevention?
Corona virus, like most viruses from the same group, is transmitted through respiratory secretions. This means that an infected person with his cough or breath spreads tiny droplets in the air that other people inhale. Another way to get infected is by touching different surfaces – doorknobs, cell phones or food, and then touch our face with our hands which allows the virus get into the nose and mucous membranes.
These facts may already be known to everyone. But we repeat it again because the way the infection is spread is very important for prevention. The protective measures are therefore divided into two: hygiene measures, which includes disinfection of surfaces and preventive measures. Since the virus is new, unfortunately there are no extensive studies available at this moment. That is why the situation is so dynamic. But, especially when it comes to protective measures, the rule of thumb applies: “It is better to be safe than sorry”. Here is a list of the effective protective measures.
Limit your contacts: If you reduce your contacts by half, you not only protect yourself, but also the others. Each infected person distributes the virus to 2.5 people, each of these 2 (or 3) people then redistributes it to another 2 or 3 etc. Within a few weeks, only one infected person can lead to over 3000 new Covid-19 cases. But if everyone limits their contacts, the number of infected people will decrease. In this way, the number of patients can be kept low. Restricting contacts can help individuals as well as society. How to protect yourself? Stay at home in a close family circle and only contact your relatives and friends over the phone.
Limit physical contact with other people. No hugging, no shaking hands! Greet friends and neighbors on the street, but keep a minimum distance of 2 meters from them. Avoid physical contact with relatives or close friends.
Stay at home and go out only when necessary. If possible, stay at home and try to go out as little as possible. Avoid crowds. Keep a distance of minimum 2 meters from other people in the supermarket or in the bank. Go to the store with a shopping list so that you spend as little time as possible in the supermarket. Buy foods that last as long as possible. Fruits like apples, pears and quinces keep in a cool room for over a week, in the fridge even longer. There are also many types of cheese that can be kept in the fridge for weeks. Pay your bills online and order groceries online to keep contacts with other people to a minimum and avoid waiting in line.
Wear a face mask. Face masks are a controversial topic due to the fact that they only help when everyone is wearing him. The mask prevents sick people from spreading viruses. It also prevents infection if you touched an infected surface with your hands and then touch your face.
Avoid traveling. Use your car or bicycle instead of public transport, if possible. Walk or ride a bike. In the fresh air, the risk of infection decreases and physical exercise is also good for the body.
Wash your hands with soap and water properly. On average, we wash our hands for 10 seconds. However, if you want to protect yourself from viruses, you should wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds. Disinfect your hands. Rub the wrists and thumbs generously with the disinfectant as well.
Avoid touching your face. Unwashed hands can spread viruses and bacteria to your mouth and eyes and the pathogens enter the mucous membranes and the upper respiratory tract.
Clean and disinfect your house – doorknobs, cell phones, laptops and worktops. Wherever possible, you can disinfect the surfaces with disinfectant. Wear rubber gloves. Just like face masks, wearing rubber gloves is controversial but you should wear it as a protection when you go out and especially if you are unable to wash your hands and have no disinfectant with you. It is advisable to wear rubber gloves if, for example, you want to withdraw money from the machine or if you have to touch door handles and doorknobs that many other people also touch.
Strengthen your immune system. You can strengthen your immune system with a healthy diet, sports and breathing exercises. A strong immune system helps fight viruses and bacteria.
Leave your shoes at the doorstep or moisten a door mat with disinfectant and clean the shoes there. Pull them out in front of the front door and store the jacket and shoes in the wardrobe or shoe cabinet in the hallway.
Wash your clothes at 60 degrees Celsius. In this way you can prevent germs from forming in the washing machine. You may also be able to kill viruses on clothing.
The protective measures against coronavirus infection are very similar to the general flu prevention. But there is one exception – those infected with influenza are contagious only one day before the first symptoms. In contrast, those infected with coronavirus are contagious up to 10 days before the first symptoms. That’s why you should avoid crowds. If you order something online, avoid direct contact with the courier. It is best to stay at home and try to keep your contacts to a minimum.
Corona virus infection: These protective measures do not help!
When it comes to coronavirus infection, it is important to know which protective measures really help and which – don’t. Here is a list of the measures that prove to be ineffective:
- Wash hands with hot water: Hot water cannot kill the virus on our hands. It also doesn’t help if we rinse our hands thoroughly with hot water. It is best to use disinfectant or wash your hands with soap.
- Eye glasses, contact lenses or sunglasses cannot protect our eyes from the coronavirus.
- Drinking a sip of water, tea or juice every 15 minutes cannot prevent coronavirus infection. Drinking a lot of water is good for your immune system because water ensures better blood circulation and important nutrients and oxygen can be quickly supplied to the cells.
- After 24 hours, the virus can no longer infect the surfaces. This is not really true, because studies have shown that viruses can remain active on metal or plastic surfaces even after 9 days. So for safety, disinfect all surfaces in the house.
- A slice of onion (garlic, oranges, lemons) can kill viruses in the air. That’s not true.
- The protection you get from a DIY face mask is also questionable. It is effective if they consist of two or more layers. Do not wear such a mask for more than an hour because it is quickly moistened by your breath and is then less effective.
- Do not trust chain letters that are sent on social networks, but always check the information for security. You can do this by clicking on the website of the local health authorities and rechecking the protective measures against coronavirus.
If you want to protect yourself effectively against Covid-19, then you should follow the instructions of the authorities. Learn to filter the information and trust only reliable sources. There will always be rumors that a miracle cure for coronavirus appeared. This is also the greatest danger to your health, because the effects of the remedies are often not scientifically proven.