How Best to Stop the Coronavirus (Covid 19) From Spreading in Wyoming
As the novel coronavirus, known also as Covid-19, continues to spread across the United States, people in Wyoming are beginning to worry about how they can help stop an outbreak in their community. The best way to get ahead of the Coronavirus is to get ahead of it as much as possible. Thankfully, the Center for Disease Control (the CDC) has provided detailed instructions about how you and your family can help stop the spread of the highly contagious virus. Below are the top 10 most effective ways to prevent further spread of the coronavirus from The Advocates law firm:
#1. Wash Your Hands…and Wash Them Some More
Now is the best time to pick up the habit of frequently washing your hands. According to the CDC, you should “wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.” This includes whenever you visit a public place, after you sneeze or cough, or if you have physical contact with other people or with a potentially contaminated surface, such as a countertop or a table. A helpful rule of thumb to remember is to vigorously wash your hands for as long as it take to sing the song Happy Birthday, which is roughly 20-30 seconds. Reports indicate that coronavirus can live on a surface for up to a week or possibly longer so routinely washing your hands is the best way to prevent infection.
#2. Don’t Talk to (or Touch) Strangers
During the pandemic you should, obviously, avoid encountering anyone, friends or family members, who are sick or show symptoms of the virus. But you should also strongly consider avoiding strangers completely until the curve of outbreak has flattened. Granted, such advice may prove difficult for those living in Casper or if you work in an office around people. In all honesty, however, you do not know if the strangers around you are infected with the virus or not. So for the time being, practicing social distancing measures by maintaining 6 feet of space between yourself and others is a practical way to remain healthy until the virus is finally contained.
#3. Too Much of a Good Thing? Not When it Comes to Sanitizer
If you find yourself with a bar of soap nearby, hand sanitizer is the next best solution. When you choose a sanitizer, though, make sure you pick up a brand offering an absolute minimum of 60% alcohol. Completely cover your hands with the sanitizer, rubbing them together until they are dry again. You can also use the sanitizer on any surfaces you believe might be infected, so be sure to buy the biggest bottle possible.
#4. Touching Your Face is Bad
On average, a normal person touches their face up to 23 times every hour. Most people aren’t aware of this fact, but face touching is one of the most common practices people do automatically. Once you know you’re a face-toucher, breaking the habit is more than a little difficult. Even professional healthcare workers find it difficult to break the habit, so don’t feel bad if you struggle at first. Here are a few tricks you can use to keep your fingers away from your face:
- Keep your hands occupied with a stress ball or even a rubber band
- Wear a bracelet or a ring to help remind you not to touch your face
- Break other bad habits like fingernail biting or anything to do with your nose
- Deploy the buddy system by having someone point out each time you touch your face
#5. Scrub It Down! Scrub It All Down!
As of today, the CDC believes that the coronavirus can live on virtually any common surface for up to weeks at a time. This includes not only your own skin but also kitchen counters, bathroom surfaces, blankets and bedding, and even in carpet fibers. While many people focus on cleansing their bodies, they neglect all the other surfaces the coronavirus can infect. You may not be able to clean everything in your home or office. But you can certainly focus on the more heavily-touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, desks, phones, toilets, sink faucets, and keyboards and mice. Most over-the-counter disinfectants work, but you can also dilute bleach in warm water if you prefer. A basic rule of thumb is 5 tablespoons of bleach per every gallon of water.
#6. Get Help If You Experience Covid Symptoms
Now is not the time to sleep on a trip to the doctor. If you feel ill at all, you should seek out medical assistance ASAP. According to the CDC, symptoms of a coronavirus infection begin to manifest after just 2 days following exposure. Below are the relevant symptoms you should be on the lookout for:
- A persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- A fever
If you experience the above symptoms, you should follow the advice of the CDC and “restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care.” You should also restrict your contact with any pets as well. While human-to-animal transmission of the coronavirus hasn’t been discovered as of yet, contagion remains in the realm of possibility. Nobody wants to see their faithful companion fall ill with the coronavirus when they could have been quarantined.
#7. Contain Your Coughs and Sneezes, Too
Even if you do not believe you are sick with the coronavirus, you should cover your mouth and nose whenever you cough or sneeze. The coronavirus thrives in saliva and nasal projectiles. So even if you are merely suffering an allergy attack, pay the favor forward by covering your face before sneezing. Your efforts could help contain an outbreak.
#8. Face Masks Aren’t Just For Superheroes
Real talk: You probably don’t need to wear a face mask. While the news is full of stories about price gouging on Amazon and retailers like Wal-Mart running out of face masks, you really only need a face mask if you are already sick or plan to be in close proximity to a person who is sick with the coronavirus. If you simply follow the the above steps, your chances of avoiding contracting the virus are about the same as they are if you wore a mask 24/7. If you are healthy, push aside the urge to stock up on face masks which would be better used by a medical professional or someone who is infected and needs to keep their germs under lock and key.
#9. How to Self-Quarantine Like a Pro
If you feel ill and your job allows it, you should strongly consider self-quarantining in your home until you feel better. Coronavirus spreads most easily by direct human-to-human contact, so quarantining yourself until your immune system destroys the virus completely is the most effective way to halt the virus’ spread. If you do decide to self-quarantine, be sure to stock up on groceries, paperback novels, and toilet paper beforehand. You’re going to need it.
#10. Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3?
As of today, March of 2020, coronavirus testing kits are not readily available to the public for a variety of reasons. Hopefully, more tests will be available as the virus continues to spread across the country over the next few weeks. When they do become available, however, you should definitely get tested if you think you might have contracted the virus. Ignorance may be bliss, but not when it comes to your health and well-being. Stay safe out there, Wyoming.