How To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus
With COVID-19, a “novel” (new strain) of the coronavirus, popping up around the globe, it has captured the attention of our media and our nation. Despite (or maybe because of) constant media coverage, it’s not easy to find balanced or tactical information about how to protect your yourself from Coronavirus and keep your family healthy. It’s overwhelming to think about completely changing how you get through family life each day. A mask on a toddler? A lot of us can’t even get shoes on our little ones without a battle! A key thing to know though is that by being more diligent about some of the habits you already have in place, you can make great strides in Coronavirus prevention. Here’s our guide to what you need to know to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19, based on input from Jeanne Breen, Infectious Disease Physician and Researcher.
How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus
The news is making me panic. What are the best sources for information that is helpful?
Coronavirus is here and that’s scary, but there are things you can focus on that can really help you protect yourself and your family from contracting COVID-19. It’s best to stick to getting your information from trusted sources like the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) instead of dubious sources like social media.
My kids are small, which makes it really hard to control cleanliness and hygiene. What are the most important things for me to focus on when it comes to Coronavirus prevention?
1. Hand-washing! Thoroughly & frequently. The CDC equates handwashing to a vaccine you can give yourself. It’s the single most powerful way you can protect yourself against viruses like COVID-19, the flu and more. Proper hand washing requires warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds, roughly the time it takes to sing the birthday song twice through. Make sure to clean even the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nail tips thoroughly. Make sure the whole family is washing hands at a minimum:
After using the bathroom
After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing – then throw the tissue in the trash instead of putting it back into your pocket or purse.
How can I best protect myself and my kids from COVID-19?
1. Clean the high-touch surfaces in your home thoroughly and frequently. If you think a toilet seat is germy, you’re phone is probably worse. Cut down on germ exposure and transfer inside your home by wiping down commonly touched surfaces with an EPA registered disinfectant like Force of Nature. A recent study showed that viruses similar to COVID-19 have lived up to 9 days under ideal conditions. Here’s a list of key areas to hit:
Cabinet and Drawer Pulls
Faucets and Handles
Fridge Door Handles
Tablets and eReaders
Phones and Smartwatches
Handbags (especially the bottom)
2. Sanitize hands on-the-go. You want to use a hand sanitizer that says it kills 99.9% of germs. Use when entering or exiting your car, the gym, grocery store, school or other public areas.
3. Don’t Go To Work Or School Sick. If you don’t feel well, stay home. This is always a good rule of thumb, but it’s important to do what you can to limit exposing others to germs, even if you don’t have COVID-19.
4. Don’t touch your mouth, eyes or nose (your “T Zone”) if you’re outside your home. Think of how many times a day you rest your chin on your hand, rub your eyes, or scratch your nose. These are all direct paths into your body’s entry point for infections. Studies have shown that people touch their T Zones much more frequently than you might guess. One study showed that it was 23 times an hour on average, another showed the average to be 16 times an hour. This is a tough habit to stop because a lot of us do it without realizing it, but I tell people to try to be more conscious of it. Every time you touch an area in your T Zone, you’re laying out a welcome mat for infectious diseases.
Do face masks actually work to prevent COVID-19? Are they practical to use with kids? Why or why not?
If you’re healthy, the CDC is not recommending that you worry about wearing a face mask. The purpose of surgical masks is to protect others from your germs, which is why health workers wear them to protect the patients they are treating. Masks have to be worn and handled in a specific way to be effective, and most people (children included) may touch, adjust or lift their masks to eat or blow their nose, exposing them to germs.
What’s the #1 thing you’re telling people to do during this outbreak to protect yourself from Coronavirus?
Consider others! While COVID-19 is serious, it’s particularly worrisome for vulnerable populations like those with other serious respiratory illnesses or are in otherwise poor health. Simple actions like washing your hands and covering your mouth with your elbow when you cough or sneeze are the most powerful ways you can help protect those that need it most. Also, preserving resources for those who are truly in need is something we can all do to help.
At Force of Nature, we’re real people and parents too – we get how scary this outbreak of COVID-19 is. Remember that you probably already employ a lot of the habits above, and now is the time to be more diligent about them. We’re using Force of Nature in our own homes to disinfect. If you’re new to Force of Nature, it’s a small appliance that uses electricity to convert salt, water & vinegar into a multi-purpose cleaner & EPA registered disinfectant that kills 99.9% of germs. It’s EPA registered for hospital and ICU use for disinfecting and sanitizing. You might have even read about hypochlorous acid, Force of Nature’s antimicrobial ingredient, being used to fight COVID-19 in countries like South Korea. Because Force of Nature has demonstrated effectiveness against viruses similar to COVID-19 on hard, non-porous surfaces, it can be used against COVID-19 when used in accordance with the directions for use against Norovirus on hard non-porous surfaces. Refer to the CDC website for additional information.
Questions about Force of Nature? We’ve got you covered with the scoop on how Force of Nature kills viruses, about how its technology called electrolyzed water works, how Force of Nature is safe to use on just about any surface in your home, and about how Force of Nature actually works.