Home Health News 7 tips for staying safe as COVID-19 cases rise and colder weather heightens the risk

7 tips for staying safe as COVID-19 cases rise and colder weather heightens the risk

11 min read

As temperatures fall, persons are spending extra time indoors. That heightens the risk of the coronavirus spreading, however there are some easy steps you may take to assist shield your self and everybody round you.

It’s straightforward to get uninterested in carrying masks and practising social distancing. There has even been some talk from the White House about herd immunity – the concept that if sufficient folks get contaminated, the virus gained’t be capable to unfold.

But the U.S. isn’t anywhere close to herd immunity for SARS-CoV-2, estimated to be reached when about 60% to 70% of the population has been contaminated – seemingly greater than 200 million folks. Without a vaccine, hospitals can be overwhelmed by the sicknesses and hundreds of thousands more people would die. We additionally don’t know how long immunity lasts.

Since we don’t have an accredited vaccine in widespread use but, protecting measures are nonetheless essential. As a nursing college dean, I like to recommend taking these seven easy steps to guard your self and your family members and scale back the unfold of COVID-19.

Avoid crowds and preserve a ways

Avoid the 3 C’s – closed, crowded and shut contact. This will get more durable as the seasons change and extra actions transfer indoors.

When folks sing, shout and even simply discuss, they ship tiny respiratory droplets into the air. If contaminated droplets get into your eyes, nostril or mouth, you will get contaminated. Staying 6 ft away is an effective rule of thumb, however it doesn’t shield you from every little thing. The tiniest of those droplets, known as aerosols, can linger in the air for hours.

The dangers of contracting COVID-19 improve in inadequately ventilated areas the place folks spend lengthy durations collectively in shut proximity. Outbreaks have been linked to eating places, choir practices, fitness lessons, nightclubs and different spots the place folks congregate. You can nonetheless discover methods to exercise outdoors, although. Try going for a stroll with a pal. Virtual occasions also can deliver folks collectively safely.

Wear a face masks

Face masks can reduce the virus’s spread by stopping droplets folks breathe out and filtering a few of what they breathe in. They are particularly vital in crowded and poorly ventilated areas.

To put on the masks accurately, start by cleansing your palms earlier than you place it on, and ensure that the masks matches securely over your nostril, mouth and chin. When the masks doesn’t cowl your nostril, you’re giving the virus a simple route for an infection.

If you put on a material masks, ensure that it has two or extra layers.

Avoid touching your eyes, nostril and mouth

Your palms contact many surfaces and can choose up viruses. Once contaminated, palms can then switch the virus to your eyes, nostril or mouth. From there, the virus can infect you.

A woman in face mask and jacket sits outside a bakery.
Outdoor actions that made socializing safely simpler in summer time get harder as temperatures drop.
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Wash your palms

Simply washing your hands can scale back the unfold of viruses. Regularly and totally clear your palms for a minimum of 20 seconds with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with cleaning soap and water. This eliminates germs, together with viruses.

Fall and winter additionally deliver extra colds. When you are feeling the must cough or sneeze, cowl your mouth and nostril along with your bent elbow or tissue. Then eliminate the used tissue instantly right into a closed bin and wash your palms. By following good “respiratory hygiene,” you shield the folks round you from viruses, together with those who trigger the frequent chilly, flu and COVID-19.

Keep surfaces clear

Clean and disinfect surfaces in your house frequently, particularly these folks contact frequently, such as door handles, taps and cellphone screens.

Recognize the signs

Until the U.S. has an accredited vaccine with dependable immunity and it’s getting used, this pandemic stays a critical health menace. Being in a position to acknowledge the symptoms of COVID-19 is vital.

Common signs of COVID-19 embody, fever, dry cough and fatigue. Other signs that will have an effect on some sufferers embody loss of style or scent, aches and pains, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, purple eyes, diarrhea or pores and skin rash.

Some of those signs overlap with the frequent chilly, however it’s finest to err on the aspect of security. If you feel sick or have a fever and difficulty breathing, name your physician or hospital and search assist. If you expertise much less extreme signs, self-isolate till you get better, even when the signs appear delicate. Call your health care supplier or see the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Coronavirus Self-Checker for further assist. If you’ll want to depart your own home, put on a face masks to keep away from infecting others.

Keep updated on COVID-19 data and dangers from native and national health authorities.

Take care of your psychological health

During the stress and upheaval of the pandemic, don’t overlook to take care of your psychological health and well-being.

Connecting with associates, family members and your neighborhood through social media, cellphone, video or textual content will help scale back emotions of social isolation. Eating nicely, exercising each day and getting enough sleep are vital for health and coping.

Be deliberate in making time to care for your self by partaking in actions that deliver you pleasure. Don’t be afraid to ask for assist or to hunt assets together with counseling or remedy if you’re feeling burdened. Practice optimistic self-talk by saying phrases out loud such as “This is temporary” and “We can do this.”

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The actuality is that you don’t want this virus. More than 220,000 people with COVID-19 have died in the U.S. We don’t but know what the long-term results can be or whether immunity after an infection will last. Even younger individuals who get it and get better can expertise continuing cognitive effects, fatigue and probably heart and lung damage. As you look forward, bear in mind these vital security tips and discover socially distanced actions that may make it easier to stay linked and safe.

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