Since the first U.S. case of Covid-19 on January 20, this illness has spread quickly touching every state in the nation. With the trajectory of the virus on a daily basis, it is necessary for us to shift our focus from reactive to proactive. How do we keep one step ahead?
Japan preemptively practiced school closings and canceled public events along with increasing the already commonplace habit of sanitizing hands and wearing facemasks. If we look at countries like China and Italy, one of the ways that they coped was by endorsing extreme social distancing which included not leaving the home even for things like food and other daily necessities. What does this mean for us?
Keep in mind that Covid-19 is a droplet infection, namely spread by coughing, sneezing or speaking at close quarters. These droplets can remain infectious on surfaces if they are touched and moved to the face. Additional recent information tells us that many people can carry the virus without having any symptoms. Therefore, innocent trips to the supermarket and hardware store can place you too close to someone who doesn’t know that they are infectious.
What to do? Masks should be worn whenever you are in a public place. If you don’t have access to a box of medical masks, there are several websites that can show you to how to construct and maintain simple masks.
What about your hands when you are out and about? Hand washing for 20 seconds with any soap will kill the virus as well as hand sanitizer with alcohol. Once you have touched anything in a public space, soap or sanitizer is in order. If you have access to disposable gloves, wear them when you go out, and peel them off before you touch your steering wheel or your front door handle. Consider wiping down steering wheels, door handles, doorknobs and banisters if you are not sure when they have last been touched without hand washing first. Leave mail and packages alone for at least 2 hours after they have been delivered, or open them with disposable gloves. Wipe down plastic packages before storing them in the refrigerator.
What do you do if someone at home is recovering from Covid-19? You can help them isolate in a separate room by bringing them food in disposable materials and by avoiding being in common rooms together. High touch areas such as light switches, doorknobs, refrigerator handles, sink faucets and toilet handles should be sanitized after every use.
If you are not feeling well, think you need to be tested for Covid-19, or are feeling better from the illness and want to know about work, etc., call your doctor’s office for help and information. Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology, Urology, and most other specialty Premier offices have a greeter who checks temperature and offers patients masks during appointments. We help patients distance in waiting rooms and see patients for well and sick visits at different times of day. Also, your problem may be most appropriately handled during a telemedicine visit. Call and ask us.
When illness hits this close to home, we need to get ahead of the curve by using our good sense and keeping our distance. We are here to help you stay safe!