How to protect you and your family from COVID-19?
Things are starting to look good all over the world as scientists discover more and more about the insidious novel SARS COV 2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Candidate vaccines are now being tested for trials, and health experts are now experimenting on possible treatments. People have started to go out following effective safety protocols.
How long does COVID-19 usually last? We don’t know, but we’re definitely on our way to defeat COVID-19. But it doesn’t mean we’re now out of the woods. The virus is still here, waiting for the unwary and careless. We can go on with our lives, but we need to put a lot of extra care to protect ourselves and our loved ones from contracting the coronavirus.
One of the most vulnerable people who may contract COVID-19 is your own family. A family member that goes out of the house to do their usual stuff – buy groceries, meet people, go to work—may return home bringing the virus. Knowing this, family members should follow and exercise some health protocols in order to avert the threat of infection within the household.
How does the SARS COV 2 virus spread?
To effectively curtail the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important to understand how it’s transmitted. Mainly, the virus spreads through tiny respiratory droplets when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. Another person can inhale these droplets if he’s within close proximity within the infected person, usually around 6 feet.
These virus-laden droplets may also land on hard, non-porous objects. If a person gets in contact with a contaminated surface then touches his eyes, nose, or mouth, the virus might get inside his body.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the family
Now that we know how the coronavirus spreads, we can now formulate ways on how to prevent it from spreading among your household.
How long does COVID-19 usually last depends on the surface. The virus can remain intact for a few hours on surfaces such as copper, aluminum, and cardboard. However, it can also last for days on wood, glass, and plastic.
Regular disinfection of surfaces, therefore, is important. There are lots of commercial disinfectants that can deactivate the coronavirus. Check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s List N for a list of disinfectants that are proven to kill the coronavirus.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as tables, counters, doorknobs, and cabinet handles. A person should not touch his eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Frequent hand-washing is your best defense against the coronavirus. Family members should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. The chemical makeup of the soap rips apart the virus’s protective fatty envelope. Each family member should wash hands especially after coughing, sneezing, blowing his or her nose, or has been in a public place.
Alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol also work in lieu of soap and water although the latter is more effective.
When outside the house, family members should stay at least 6 feet away from other people. They should also avoid crowded places.
Let each household member wear a mask when he or she is in public. Wearing a mask greatly reduces the chances of inhaling infected respiratory droplets from others. Surgical or KN95 works best, but cloth masks will do fine as well.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when sneeze or cough, even inside the house. Discard the tissue, and wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more.
Upon returning home from work, groceries, or other activities, it’s advisable to have a thorough bath or shower before doing anything else. Traces of the COVID-19 coronavirus might stick to your skin and clothes when you were out of the house. Rub soap all over your body to destroy any pathogens.
Change into clean clothes. Place the clothes worn that day into your washing machine and run a cycle. Use plenty of detergents when washing clothes as detergent breaks up the coronavirus’s protective casing. It’s recommended that you wear gloves to avoid contamination.
Always monitor each family member’s health conditions. Watch out for symptoms such as fever, shortness of breath, body malaise, or loss of taste or smell.
What if someone in your household is infected
Don’t panic if a family member is suspected to have COVID-19. Following these steps allow you to maximize your family’s safety even if someone is COVID-19 positive:
- Adhere to these CDC guidelines if symptoms develop.
- Isolate the symptomatic family member in a separate bedroom and, if possible, a separate bathroom. Keep pets and other family members away. Separate the patient’s eating utensils, clothes, beddings, and other personal items away from the rest of the family’s.
- Let each family member wear surgical or KN95 masks at home. Of course, each family member should also practice frequent hand washing.
- Frequently disinfect surfaces and items, especially those that the infected person touched.
- Your local health department has protocols in place for quarantining and moving people. They will give you instructions on checking the patient’s symptoms and relaying information. Always follow these protocols and instructions for your safety and the safety of the community.
- Call emergency services or your doctor immediately if symptoms worsen. Don’t go directly to the hospital. Healthcare facilities have a strict protocol in transporting and admitting patients who are suspected to be COVID-19 to prevent their facilities from becoming contaminated.
- Get an at-home COVID-19 test with Concierge MD LA to ensure other family members aren’t sick and do not unintentionally pass the virus to others.
No one in the world expected that we will experience a pandemic in our lifetime. But COVID-19 did come, and it changed the world. But that doesn’t mean we have to live in fear. By following simple, doable health protocols and by exercising good hygiene, we can protect our loved ones from contracting the disease.
If one thing is true about Lillian Connors, her mind is utterly curious. That’s why she can’t resist the urge to embark on a myriad of green living/home improvement projects and spread the word about them. She cherishes the notion that sustainable housing and gardening will not only make us far less dependent on others regarding the dwellings we inhabit, but also contribute to our planet being a better place to live on. You can check her out LinkedIn.