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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Give the gift of prime:
We are an affiliate of Amazon.com, which means we received a small commission if you click through one of our Amazon links when you shop, at totally no cost to you. This helps keep the lights on at the blog. Thanks!