Protecting those who are closest to us is second nature for many. How to keep the family safe from harm from any Coronavirus infection is something that everyone should know. Here are five handy steps to take to reduce the risk of infection coming into home and family life.
What is a Coronavirus
Coronaviruses are considered a family of diseases. These are most often found in animals; however, seven known strains, such as COVID-19, are known to jump to humans. Highly infectious, they typically generate cold and flu-like systems in their host, and while the majority of people can go on to fully recover, it can prove fatal for some.
While this may seem obvious, it is something that many people struggle to do. Being unable to hug and hold loved ones or even simply shake an acquaintance’s hand may go against the very fabric of our social rules in the Western world. However difficult this may be, social distancing is something that we all should practise in a time of an outbreak. What this means is keeping distance, preferably 2 metres, away from those who are not a part of the household. It will help to reduce the chance of infection from others and should be implemented in any situation such as shopping at a store or taking a walk in a park.
Washing Hands Thoroughly
Infections are easily transmitted through touch, so it is crucial to be washing hands with warm, soapy water for a minimum of 20 seconds. By doing this, it will kill any bacteria on hands and stop it from transferring to surfaces and/or skin. Singing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice while washing hands can help ensure that they are being cleaned for the appropriate amount of time without setting a timer. If there is no access to warm water and soap, then alcohol-based antibacterial hand sanitizer will be a good substitute.
Avoid Touching the Face
The average human touches their face 23 times an hour. With infectious diseases such as the Coronavirus family, touching eyes, mouth and nose may mean absorbing the virus into the body. By both washing hands and avoiding touching the face, this can reduce the risk of becoming ill. One way to help with this is to agree with the family that they will shout ‘face’ at anyone in the home touching their face, increasing awareness each time someone does this unknowingly.
Cleaning Phones Regularly
It is incredible how much bacteria our phones pick up by merely handling them, and with phones being such a large part of our lives, it is essential they are kept clean. Regularly cleaning our phones will ensure that germs on its surface are killed and not transmitting the disease to all the family.
Don’t Go Out
In situations where there is a pandemic, the best course of action is to avoid going out entirely, unless absolutely necessary. When the risk is high of contagion, then keeping the family safe at home can generally be the best path to take and avoid any exposure. If there is a need to go out for essential items, or perhaps a family member is required to go to work, when returning family should avoid hugging or kissing as soon as they arrive home. Clothes should be safely putting in the washing machine without touching any surfaces, and ideally they should have a shower before coming into contact with the rest of the house.
It can be scary dealing with a Coronavirus outbreak, but following these best practices can help keep your nearest and dearest safe. It is not always possible to know who is infected but not displaying symptoms so keep contact to a minimum and self-isolate if in any doubt whether a member of the household has it. It could save a life.