Reportedly originating in Wuhan, Hebei Province, China, the coronavirus outbreak began in 2019. Since then, the virus has affected more than 100,000 people worldwide. The virus’ impact reaches further than just humans; last week, the S&P fell 11.5%, the Dow fell 12% and the Nasdaq fell 10.5%. Causing economic slowdowns, the coronavirus has done an estimated $500,000 of damage to supply chains and businesses globally.
Curbing the spread of an outbreak will require mass action, but it starts with you. Today we will talk about some actions you can take to stay safe.
Soap and water. According to the CDC, washing your hands is a proven way to stop the spread of most outbreaks. Researchers in London estimated that if everyone routinely washed their hands, roughly 1 million deaths a year could be prevented. Be sure to wash your hands routinely, especially before/after preparing your food and after you use the bathroom.
Let’s talk hand sanitizers while we’re here. Hand sanitizers have proven to be less effective than hand washing but are still better than nothing. If soap and water are not available, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Buyer beware, the high demand for hygiene products like masks and hand sanitizers have led to a lot of unethical behavior from suppliers, wildly overpricing products.
Reinforcing the boundaries of your personal bubble, or what the World Health Organization calls “maintaining social distancing”, is a great way to be safe. While not every person around you has the coronavirus, it would still be wise to maintain a safe distance between you and anyone coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small drops of liquid from their nose or mouth (gross), if you do not respect the personal bubble, you may breathe in these droplets (really gross).
Wipe it down
Clean clean clean. What if I told you that you touch this object virtually all the time and never clean it? Still don’t know what it is? We’ll give you a hint, you keep it in your pocket and kids love looking at it during Ms. Johnson’s biology class. Yes, your cellphone, according to TIME, your cellphone is 10x dirtier than a toilet seat, and you use it EVERYWHERE. Cleaning shared surfaces and ones you often encounter is a great way to protect yourself, and it starts with your cellphone.
Wearing a hazmat suit and bordering up your home is a drastic measure but being mindful of your travels isn’t. Before you travel internationally, check online to see if the U.S. has imposed a travel ban on that country and the level of travel advisory.
Protecting yourself from the outbreak shouldn’t require extreme measures. Practice normal hygiene.
Stay up to date on the news but beware of fake news outlets trying to spread fear.
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