Can You Avoid the Coronavirus?

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This post is by Bernie Carr,

Notice: We do not give medical advice.  We may write about health topics with regard to emergency preparedness but this is not medical advice.  Please contact your medical professional if you have symptoms.


We are all watching the developments regarding the new coronavirus from China. Every time I check, the statistics change, with more new infections and number of deaths. It has also been found in more countries since I last wrote about it. People are concerned about how you can potentially avoid catching it. So let’s discuss the question that is on everyone’s minds.

Can you avoid the coronavirus?

At this time, cases have only reached a limited number of cities in the U.S. and the world. So right this second, while I am writing this, you need to see if cases are in your city. Even if cases have been found, it does not mean that you will catch it, but that you can potentially get exposed depending on the number of people the initial person had in contact.

Is there a vaccine for the new coronavirus?

No, at this time, the CDC indicates there is no vaccine for it. The virus was only recent discovered so I would imagine it takes time to develop a vaccine.

What can you do to avoid the coronavirus?

This is what the CDC recommends:

“You may be able to reduce your risk of infection by doing the following

    • wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands
    • avoid close contact with people who are sick.”

How do you protect your family and others?

Based on what the CDC recommends, here is what we are doing if someone shows cold or flu-like symptoms. (This is the same advice when someone in the family catches the cold or flu.)

  1. Isolate yourself  – If possible, sleep in a separate room.  Avoid hugging or kissing anyone.  This can be difficult with small kids who need lots of hugs, but you have to stay strong for everyone’s protection.  Eat in a separate area if possible, or sit as far away from everyone as possible.
  2. Wear gloves, face mask, wraparound glasses or goggles– Cold and flu germs are spread by contact with the virus, whether by air or surfaces the sick person has touched.  Flu viruses live on surfaces for two to eight hours.  If you wear gloves, face mask and wraparound glass, you will minimize getting germs near your eyes, nose, mouth.
  3. Stay home – Stop going to work and get some rest.  I have been guilty of trying to “power through” a bout of cold or flu but I have learned that this just makes you get worse.  Getting a day of rest helps you recover faster thereby avoiding further spread of germs.
  4. Disinfect all surfaces that you may have encountered.   I have Lysol aerosol spray as well as Clorox wipes – no I do not own stock in these companies and am not trying to push them.  Try any brand you like; just make sure you wipe down light switches, TV remotes, door knobs, refrigerator handles, faucets, toilet and bathroom.
  5. Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze, using a tissue or handkerchief.  Immediately dispose the tissue or wash the handkerchief.  If you do not have either, turn away from everyone and sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or shoulder.
  6. Wash your own hands frequently with soap and water.  Don’t just wash quickly and rinse – you must lather up for 20 seconds (sing “Happy Birthday” twice) Get your entire family into the habit of frequent hand washing.  If you are unable to wash your hands, use an alcohol based hand sanitizer.
  7. Stock up on over the counter and home remedies before you catch a cold or flu-this will help you avoid having to go out while you’re sick.

A few other steps we take to keep germs out of the house

  • After visiting the grocery store, pharmacy gas station or any location, wash your hands or use the hand sanitizer they provide to the public. If they do not have one, I carry sanitizing gel in my purse and glove compartment.
  • Wash your hands when you arrive at home. There is no substitute for washing hands, and here is the proper way, according to the CDC.
  • For minor conditions, including coughs and colds it may be worthwhile to see an online doctor, also known as a “virtual doctor visit.” I was skeptical about trying it at first, but had good results when I tried it out.  Check to see if your health care insurance plan covers the visit. If not, the self- pay rates are still reasonable.  You can get a prescription and avoid the visit. Of course if your condition is more serious, then go see a doctor in person.
  • Avoid crowds especially if you have a compromised immune system, have very young children or are among the older population.  Consider all the crowded areas you visit – the gym, places of worship, restaurants, etc. Some people elect to use a grocery shopping service. Order online for now to avoid having to visit the mall.
  • Avoid bringing germs into your house – take your shoes off at the entrance. Some guests initially give me a weird look when I bring this up, but science actually backs it up.
  • Stock up on water and food, hygiene items like toilet paper, wipes, pet food, etc – aim for at least a week to two weeks of emergency storage. If you have emergency food, you don’t have to run to the store if you get sick.

In conclusion…

It can be scary to watch and I know a lot of people are worrying about catching the coronavirus.

In answer to the original question – Can you avoid the coronavirus? At this time, it appears avoidable, depending on where you live. You can only change what you can control and there are a lot of steps you can take for prevention. We pray this virus does not spread any further, and there is no reason to freak out. Hopefully, these easy tips will help set your mind at ease.


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Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay


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  1. hello….If you read the gov’t literature you will notice that health care workers wear a N95 respirator. This is a face mask that looks like the ones worn by surgeons but it fits the face more snugly than the surgical mask. Some people “can’t wear” the N95 because it actually makes it a bit harder to breathe…IF THE MASK IS PROPERLY SEALED TO THE FACE…BUT THATS THE IDEA TO KEEP OUT DROPLETS THAT MAY CONTAIN A VIRUS!!.. The surgical mask is much looser to the face…In clinical studies, it has been found that CORRECT usage of the N95 mask significantly prevents the spread of contagious air borne disease….much more than when subjects wore the looser surgical masks. There is a kit the US gov’t distributes to its people who travel abroad where pandemic disease exists or is possible…it is called the DOD Beneficiaries Pandemic Flu Preparedness Kit…It consists of 1) a Pandemic Information sheet….gives steps on how to avoid diseases…wash hands etc…2) two N95 Respirators…3) 4 surgical masks…5) one hand sanitizer 4 oz bottle. The N95 masks are worn around known sick persons, the surgical masks provide some protection when walking among crowds. The kit is sealed in a resealable plastic bag. Once you open the outer bag you can open the resealable bag. Each mask is separately protected in its own wrapper until ready for use. Altho designed for one use throw away…you CAN wear the mask several times…altho the wearer should be properly trained how to don and doff the mask so as not to touch the outer part of the mask that may be contaminated. AS long as the mask is not wet nor covered with mildew and or other contaminates…theoretically it can be reused…but it is designed to be one use only. Note in Civil defense literature the N95 mask when properly adjusted and used will seal out fall out particles after nuclear attack thus saving the wearer from ingesting radioactive particles that can cause cancer or other radiation disease. Americans are so afraid of the Coronvirus that stocks of this mask kit usually sold by military surplus companies was exhausted within days of the company(s) announcing they had supplies of the kits….NOTE…On the back of a Lysol spray can it plainly says…..viruses killed 99.9% of the time…and lists coronavirus….NOTE: Do not fly in commercial vehicles during periods of pandemic. Commercial airlines pressurize the passenger cabin using engine power. This uses aviation fuel. To save fuel the passenger section is always poorly ventilated. The air is not really filtered. You are breathing in the germs the passenger 50 seats away exhaled. I used to work for an airline parts distributor and learned about this unhealthy state of passenger cabin air. This is why over long flights most people get “drowsy” and nap. The airline would prefer sleeping passengers over fidgety impatient passengers. To keep the air crew wide awake, the crew cabins air is refreshed on the order of 15-20 times more frequently than the passenger air. If you must fly commercially wear a N95 mask and keep your eyes closed. air borne pathogens can enter your blood via your eyes. I had one of my salesmen when I worked for the airline parts distributorship company who suffered from this. After every flight ( actually 2-3 weeks of making flights visiting his customers) when he came back to the office his eyes were so blood shot he looked like he was drunk!…I assure u he was not….so moral…DON”T FLY thru “contaminated airspace…”…if u can avoid it….regards, Barbuto,former member of SAFE(Survival and Flight Equipment Association)…BSBA, Aviation Admin and AAS in Aerospace Tech…

    1. Hi barbuto, Thank you for your informative comment. You’ve included lots of helpful information. I agree, avoiding commercial flight if possible since airplane cabins are never well-ventilated. I appreciate all your helpful tips.

  2. These assertations concerning air quality and the reason air is circulated in the manner it is on aircraft are totally wrong and intentionally misleading. Please get the facts from a knowledgeable source, not these posts. Granted, being enclosed in a metal tube with 200 persons, some of whom may be sick, may not be the best scenario during a pandemic outbreak, but the airlines are not conspiring to develop ways to give passengers, their financial lifeline, a poor quality environment to save a few pennies on fuel. The aircraft is pressurized and you can’t just open a window. Fresh air is mixed with recirculated air in varying amounts based upon many factors. I have been a pilot in the military and an airline for over 40 years combined. I am very familiar with aircraft and airlines. Neither are intentionally evil.

    1. Steve, The assertions made in the article are recommendations from the CDC, so they are a knowledgeable source. Therefore you must be referring to the earlier comment regarding air quality in airplanes. I don’t think anyone is accusing airlines of being intentionally evil. Since you have worked in airlines and aircraft for years, I do appreciate your views and comment.

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