Many people fear contracting the coronavirus during this difficult time, but if you know how to best protect yourself, then you should not have to worry. The coronavirus’ rapid spread has affected the way we all live our lives. From school to sporting events, many of our daily activities are now canceled, postponed, or done from our homes. While you should still try to continue to do productive and fun things in your day, it is important to remember that your health and safety come first. Here are some ways that one can stay safe, whether it is in the home or out in public.
While being at your house might not seem as dangerous as being in public, it is still important to practice good habits like social distancing in your home. You may think that you and your family are healthy, but you can never be certain. In many cases, those affected by the coronavirus can show no symptoms for up to two weeks, and sometimes never show any symptoms at all. You or one of your family members could have the virus and not even know it, so it is best to keep a little distance. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends going around the house wiping down commonly used surfaces like tabletops, counters, handles, doorknobs and even phones. Disinfecting these surfaces can help to limit the virus’ spread and can help to make one’s house feel cleaner too. Senior Collin Conduah has not been taking risks with the virus. When asked what the best way was to stay healthy, Conduah said, “disinfecting surfaces, staying inside, and always being cautious about everything that enters the house.”
In addition to these efforts, there are some personal actions you can take to prevent germs spreading to you or others. It is always a good idea to cover a cough or sneeze, and even better to wash your hands after. The CDC recommends washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to make sure your hands are clean. One of the quickest ways to get sick is by touching your face or mouth. Keeping your hands clean and away from your mouth can stop this from becoming a problem. Most of all, staying away from people and public places will help you stay healthy. Sophomore Annie Langenbeck said, “I think the best way to stay healthy is to quarantine.” Langenbeck and her family have been self-quarantining since spring break and have only left the house for food and other essentials.
Even more important than being careful at home is being careful out in public. One should try their best not to go out, but in necessary situations, a proper plan is needed to stay safe. One of the best ways to do this is to wear a mask that covers both the nose and mouth. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a mask to anyone who is coughing or sneezing, but anyone can wear one for a bit more protection. This will prevent you from getting someone else’s germs or spreading some of your own. Because of how quickly the virus has spread, demand for masks is high and they are sometimes hard to find. However, that does not mean you cannot make your own. High school math teacher Corrie Nash’s mom has been making masks, and Nash said, “you can wear them out when you go to the store. It’s not medical, but it’s still good for keeping safe.” Even with the extra protection, Nash still self-quarantines. Nash said, “the only times I’ve gone out have been to pick up groceries and sometimes get drive thru”.
When wearing a mask, it is still important to keep distance from others when out in public. The general recommendation is to stay six feet apart from other people, and this is an especially good rule to keep in mind in a crowded grocery store aisle or check-out line. If you follow this rule, then you should not have to worry too much. When out in public, it is smart to carry hand sanitizer. There will not be many places for you to wash your hands, and it is best not to use public bathrooms. With sanitizer, hands can be kept clean after touching items in a store and going through the checkout line, and then again after getting in the car.
While taking these precautions may seem tedious and unnecessary, keeping yourself healthy will keep those around you healthy and could even save someone’s life. By doing these simple things, together we can slow and eventually stop the spread of the coronavirus. This pandemic will not last forever, but while it is here, being calm and cautious is the best way to stay safe.