Winter is often synonymous with runny noses, coughs and general malaise. In 2020, COVID-19 is the virus that’s causing most of the problems. Along with the common cold and flu, avoiding these illnesses is key this year. Take a look at how you can slow the spread this winter with a few simple guidelines.
- Always Wear a Mask
Initially, there was some confusion about wearing masks in public. It wasn’t known if it helped with virus containment at all. Currently, wearing a mask is one of the best ways to slow the spread of any virus. If you’re outside of the home, always wear a mask. It can be a disposable or reusable style. The mask should cover both your mouth and nose at all times. There’s no need to wear medical-grade masks, however. Reserve these items for the medical professionals.
- Keep Hand Sanitizer Nearby
The simple act of touching a wallet, paying for an item and opening a retail-store door are all potential ways of getting sick. Each surface can harbor a virus, including COVID-19. The Mayo Clinic suggests using hand sanitizer after each transaction. It should contain at least 60-percent alcohol to kill off germs. Using sanitizer after visiting the grocery store or bank, for instance, can protect your health while slowing the spread. You don’t become the person who moves the virus from location to location with sanitizer as your hygiene secret.
- Avoid Gatherings
This winter is the time to spend with the people who live in your household. Avoid gatherings with people who’re not in your household. You don’t know who they’ve come into contact with or their personal-hygiene practices. Slowing the spread means that you don’t put yourself in groups that can transfer germs through the air. Remember that many viruses are spread by people who’re asymptomatic.
- Stay Six Feet Apart
Everyone must leave the home at some point to shop for food and other necessities. To slow the virus spread, remember to stay six feet apart from anyone who’s not in your household. Any airborne viruses have a good chance at not infecting others with this type of spacing. Combine the six-foot rule with masks, and you have the best scenario for a healthy tomorrow. Simply wave at others instead of shaking hands as you greet people on your daily outings.
- Wash Your Hands
One of the best ways to slow the spread this winter is by washing your hands, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After venturing to a store or other outdoor space, wash your hands for about 20 seconds when you return home. Be sure to gently scrub between the fingers and across the top of the hands with hand soap. Any type of soap will keep your hands clean and free you from spreading germs any further.
- Stop Touching Your Face
The average human touches his or her face several times a minute. It’s not even a noticeable habit, but it’s the perfect pathway for germs to enter the body. The World Health Organization urges everyone to stop touching their faces. These areas are of particular concern, such as:
These body parts are home to mucous membranes, which lead directly into the internal organs. Viruses can easily spread when a person touches a surface and then the face. Be aware of your movements as you go about your day.
If you find yourself feeling ill, contact your doctor as soon as possible. The professionals can guide you toward the best outcome for your situation. With a little courtesy and personal hygiene, slowing the virus spread this winter can be a reality.