With the world focused on the growing Coronavirus outbreak I feel this is the right time to talk about pandemic preparedness. Pandemic 101 if you will. Even if you live in an area not touch by the Coronavirus you’re not safe from diseases. From the Common Cold to Rabies disease affects us every day. Every year 2.8 million Americans die each year from a variety of diseases.
Masks Can Only Get You so Far.
Every cold and flu season we see people wearing them everywhere, I’m talking about those surgical masks. People wear those masks in the hope they will be protected from diseases, but this isn’t as truthful as you think. The mask needs to cover the mouth and nose tightly, but many don’t like that. They either only cover their mouth (leaving the nose vulnerable) or wear them very loose (which leaves holes in the sides). They are designed to keep things in, not things out. If you aren’t sick and you wear a disposable mask, you’ll still be susceptible to airborne particles as the material is too thin to protect you. Mostly, they block particles from getting out. So, if you’re already sick then wearing a mask would prevent those around you from getting sick.
Wash Your Hands!
I can’t stress this enough as this is the number one most proven method to stop the spread of diseases. But, there is a catch as many people are doing it wrong. To successfully wash your hands you must use hot clean water, not cold or lukewarm. Make the water as hot as you can take it. After you wash with the water for 45 seconds add a mild antibacterial soap. Rub your hands vigorously under the tap covering every square inch of your hands for another 45 seconds. Don’t forget the wrists and under the nails, these two parts everyone forgets. Next, you’re going to wash the soap off and dry your hands with disposable paper towels. Those air dryers have been scientifically proven to blow germs all over your hands defeating the whole process. Then you are going to use the paper towels to shut off the tap and use your elbow to leave. If you don’t have any clean water or soap then use hand sanitizer as a last resort. But, don’t forget to wash your hands once they become available as sanitizer doesn’t thoroughly clean your hands as well as water/soap do.
Stop Touching Your Face
The average person touches there face 2,000 times a day. When a virus is airborne it’s on every surface the air touches. It could be on your steering wheel, your work desk, your favorite recliner. Just think about this Mary in the cubicle next to you have the flu and sneezes on your stapler when your back was turning. Twenty minutes later you use the stapler. Realizing it’s oddly wet you go to the bathroom to wash your hands. Along the way, you scratch your nose. Mary’s flu germs are on your nose and you don’t even realize it. You then go room to room at the office scratching your nose and touching everything.
The Internet Is Not a Doctor
Do not look up your symptoms online. A lot of diseases have overlapping symptoms, and if you are not a trained medical professional, then you won’t have the expertise to separate them apart. Let say tomorrow we wake up with a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. To save time you decide to look up your symptoms online, and you realize those are the top three symptoms for the Coronavirus. You remember that your state was on the news because you had a reported case. You begin to panic thinking you are now infected with this virus, but what you don’t realize is those symptoms could be from pneumonia, the common cold, or Mary’s flu. If you truly want to use the internet to diagnose yourself for whatever reason, I recommend using the app, K Health. They are very knowledgeable and helpful.
This is going to be the number one problem of any outbreak. People don’t like to stay home when sick, and it’s a huge problem. There are a lot of reasons people ignore this advice. Many go to work because they just can’t financially stay home when sick. We live in a society were thousands live paycheck to paycheck, and struggle to even afford necessities. For some, it’s because they are showboating to get a promotion to move up the corporate ladder. Whatever the reason please just stay home. Missing a single day of work may hurt you financially, but you won’t take out all your co-workers forcing you to work double shifts to pick up for there absence. Besides most businesses can replace you in a single day if you drop dead. So, you’ll be working when your sick and when your better you’ll barely have enough time to recuperate since you’ll be working longer hours to make up for those who call in sick because you brought the virus to work. Thank Mary, you staple sneezer.