How to protect yourself from  Coronavirus

How to protect yourself from Coronavirus

There are several directives given by health organisations to stay safe. 

They include:

  • Washing your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap; 
  • Covering your face when you cough or sneeze, either with a tissue that you immediately dispose of, or with your elbow; 
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth; 
  • Cleaning surfaces and objects you touch often; 
  • Avoiding direct contact with live animals in affected areas.
**DO NOT USE** INTERACTIVE: Covid-19 protection


Scientists doubt the effectiveness of face masks in protecting a healthy person from airborne viruses, saying they are more useful in keeping an infected person from affecting others.

Social distancing aims to slow the spread of the virus, giving global health systems more time to care for patients who need help.

It is most effective when used against infections that can be transmitted via droplet contact (coughing or sneezing), which is the case with the coronavirus.

Cancellation of public events that draw large crowds, such as sporting events and music festivals, is an essential part of social distancing, but avoiding smaller gatherings is equally important, according to Johns Hopkins University.

When you are in any kind of gathering or at a service provider, it is important to stay at least 1.8 metres (6 feet) away from anyone around you.

Other social distancing techniques are working from home instead of at the office, e-learning instead of going to school, and visiting loved ones via electronic devices instead of in person.

INTERACTIVE: Covid-19 Social distancing

Symptoms and what to do if you think you caught it

According to the WHO, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, fatigue and a dry cough. Some patients may experience aches and pains, nasal congestion, a runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea.

Current estimates of the incubation period – the amount of time between infection and the onset of symptoms – range from one to 14 days. Most infected people show symptoms within five to six days.

However, infected patients can also be asymptomatic, not displaying symptoms despite having the virus in their system.

INTERACTIVE: Coronavirus COVID-19 symptoms explainer

How to prepare for self-quarantine or lockdown

At least 14 days are recommended for a self-quarantine, while the duration of a lockdown depends on the decision of a local government.

Given the likelihood that more people around the world will be house-bound, preparing one’s home for that eventuality is an increasing concern.

Among the things being stocked are:

Non-perishable foods including shelf-stable beverages, sauces, pasta, pulses, rice, cereal and crackers, and dry goods including tea, sugar, and coffee.

Basic medical supplies including over-the-counter medications to alleviate possible symptoms – which, in mild cases, have a lot in common with the symptoms of the common cold. Medicines for fever, congestion, and cough are recommended. It is also important to keep a one-month supply of prescription medication on hand in case getting to a pharmacy for a refill becomes difficult.

Cleaning and hygiene supplies needed would include soaps for handwashing, bathing, laundry and cleaning, as well as disinfectants to keep surfaces clean.

Also important is preparing some activities that can be undertaken within the home, whether a list of books to read or an entertainment or exercise subscription that can be used without going out. 


Myths and misinformation

No proof hot weather can stop coronavirus

report by researchers at MIT raised hopes that hotter weather can suppress the coronavirus. But a dramatic surge in infections in Southeast Asia in recent days has increased doubts about the theory, health experts say.

Mosquito bites

There is no evidence showing COVID-19 can be transmitted by mosquitoes, according to the WHO.

Spraying yourself with alcohol or chlorine

Spraying alcohol or chlorine all over your body because you think you were infected will not kill the coronavirus. Alcohol or a chlorine solution can be used to disinfect surfaces, and hand-sanitisers do have a relatively high percentage of alcohol, but the use of these substances has to be according to safety recommendations.

Snow and cold weather

There is no evidence to show that cold weather can kill the new coronavirus. In fact, there is no evidence showing that hot weather can do that, either.

Eating garlic

Garlic is a healthy, aromatic food that is touted for its antimicrobial and culinary properties. But there is no evidence that eating garlic has protected people from the coronavirus, according to the WHO.

Drinking water

There is no scientific evidence that supports consuming large volumes of water at short intervals can help individuals flush the virus into their digestive tract.

Taking antibiotics

Antibiotics only work on bacteria, not viruses.

To date, there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.


How to work from home effectively

If you are asked to work from home during the pandemic, here are a few tips to help you make the most of the situation.

Separate ‘home you’ from ‘work you’

Keep as much of your routine as intact as possible. So, take a shower and get dressed in the morning, avoid staying in your pyjamas while working. Acting as if you are going to the office will help you mentally separate your work hours from your downtime and will keep you motivated and in a better mindset.

corona social cards

Use apps to make up for distance

There are plenty of apps available that help you to work with your colleagues remotely. Many employers use Slack or Microsoft Teams for messaging.

For videoconferencing, you can use Skype, Zoom, BlueJeans and WebEx, while tools such as Asana and Trello help to manage team collaboration projects.

DropBox, Google Drive and Box help you to share files.

Maintain your physical and mental health

Remember to take breaks to help you recharge and stay focused. If possible, try taking a 15-minute walk outside, with the necessary precautions.

“But you should give yourself the permission to have ordinary, boring conversations with others because they really contribute to our feelings of happiness and being connected to others,” – myPhoneMate

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