The current global pandemic is making everyone nervous – and justifiably so. But our best weapon against this disease is information. COVID-19 is caused by a novel Coronavirus. It began in China and has spread worldwide, now including the United States.
Here’s What You Can Do
There’s nothing scarier than the feeling that you have no control over your circumstances. But there are steps you can take to minimize the impact of disease and it’s spread.
Protect Yourself from Infection
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends the following measures:
• Maintain social distancing. Stay at least three to six feet away from others, particularly if they are coughing or sneezing.
• Practice good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze using the crook of your elbow or a tissue.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. If you have virus particles on your hands, you can transfer them to your mucus membranes and become infected.
Wash Hands Frequently and Thoroughly
You’re probably sick of hearing this by now, but there is a good reason experts are stressing soap and water even more than hand sanitizer. The Coronavirus is what is referred to as an “envelope virus.” That means the virus is surrounded by a fatty layer that soap dissolves. The water then washes it away. The goal is not to kill the virus, but to wash it away.
If you are away from a water source and cannot wash your hands, hand sanitizer will do, but it must be at least 60% alcohol and you should rub it in for twenty seconds or more.
Stay Home When You Can
If you are sick, definitely stay home. Even if it’s not COVID-19, while your immune system is fighting off whatever bug you have, it can be weakened, making you more vulnerable to the virus and if you go out, you can spread your illness to others whose immune systems may also suffer.
If you are well, you should still stay home as much as possible. Go to work, go out for supplies, go for a walk. Don’t go anyplace where there are crowds or invite people into your home.
Take care of yourself. This is not the time to end up in the emergency room with a sprained ankle.
Be Ready to Treat Symptoms at Home
Typical symptoms of COVID-19 include coughing, fever, and shortness of breath. If you notice any of these symptoms or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with the virus, call your doctor.
Do not go to urgent care or the emergency room. If you do have COVID-19, you could spread it to others, and if you don’t, you could pick it up in the emergency room.
Experts recommend you treat the symptoms by:
• Getting plenty of rest and fluids
• Isolating yourself from the rest of the household as much as possible
• Controlling fever with over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
• Reducing cough as needed with a cough suppressant and/or a humidifier
Take Care of Your Physical and Mental Health
Get exercise, eat well, drink plenty of water and manage your stress. Your gym or fitness classes are probably closed, so you may need to get creative with exercise. The weather is getting nice, so go for a walk or run with family, your dog or on your own. Try the 7-minute workout or yoga, which offers exercise and stress management.
Keep Your Home and Workspace Clean
The virus is believed to survive on surfaces for hours and possibly days. Anyplace that people touch or can cough or sneeze on has the potential to harbor virus particles. Wipe down surfaces, handrails, phones, doorknobs and light switches. Find detailed information on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces on the CDC website.
Stock up on Necessities
There is no need to stockpile, for months, but keeping a couple of weeks’ worth of supplies is a smart strategy. Canned or frozen vegetables, protein sources such as meat or beans, water, a first aid kit and any prescription or over the counter medications you take regularly. While you’re shopping, throw a couple favorite treats into the cart. If you can’t treat yourself now, then when?
Information is Changing Rapidly
Keep up with the latest at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). You can also follow official state, county and local accounts on social media and reading or watching the local news.
Keep in Touch with IntelliStaff Medical
Contact our team for the latest on how IntelliStaff Medical is handling the outbreak in your area. Some employers may close down, or need fewer workers, which may affect you and your job. If you are unable to report as scheduled for a job, please give us as much notice as possible. Keep in mind that some employers ARE STILL HIRING, or conducting business as usual, so stay in touch!