Few things have changed our lives as fundamentally as the COVID-19 pandemic. Before it, we typically didn’t pay much attention to the surfaces we came into contact with, or how often we touched our faces. We could also walk around with our mouths and noses uncovered and chat and laugh with our friends, even in close quarters. There were hygiene guidelines that we’d been raised to follow, sure, but we adhered to them because we thought it proper to do so, not because we considered them especially vital to our health and safety.
Today, we have to take pains to defend ourselves from a deadly invisible enemy by wearing masks and other protective items like fabric gloves or hand protectors. We also have to unlearn certain habits and develop new ones if we hope to stay safe and healthy in this post-COVID-19 world. In this article, we’ll talk about the 3 important rules of hygiene etiquette to follow when in public.
Cover Your Mouth When You Cough or Sneeze
By now, we are all aware that the virus that causes COVID-19 spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets that are produced when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, or talks. This is the very same mode of transmission for other respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, influenza, and whooping cough, among others.
To keep the viruses that cause these conditions from spreading to others, you have to make sure to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. If disposable tissue paper is not available, make sure to cough or sneeze into your elbow instead of your hands. It’s also important to wash your hands immediately after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing to keep from contaminating the things that you touch.
Wear a Mask
The CDC recommends wearing a cloth face covering when out and about, though it isn’t just meant to protect the wearer. Instead, wearing a mask keeps the wearer from possibly spreading the virus to others. This is especially helpful if an individual has COVID-19 but lacks symptoms, or if they are in the pre-symptomatic stage of the infection. It’s a good idea to purchase face masks that complement your wardrobe, so you can mix and match them with your everyday attire.
It’s important to wash your hands before putting your mask or cloth face covering on. The mask should cover both your nose and mouth adequately and fit snugly against the sides of your face. When you get back home, take your mask or cloth face covering off carefully by handling only the ear loops or ties and folding it inside-out. You can then toss it in the laundry along with your other clothes or wash it by hand after soaking it in a soapy solution. Indeed, better hygiene with face masks can be achieved, but only if we know how to use them properly.
Practice Frequent and Proper Handwashing
Most of us typically don’t pay much attention to what we touch or where our hands land. After all, we’ve never really had to before. We didn’t always look at surfaces and wonder if they were contaminated or not, and we used to think that whatever illness we could possibly pick up from surfaces that did happen to be contaminated could be easily dealt with anyway.
This is not the case in the post-COVID-19 world. In this strange new era, health leaders urge us to assume that everyone has COVID-19 and that all surfaces have been contaminated. Washing your hands frequently is the easiest way to get rid of all the germs, bacteria, and viruses that they could be harboring. It’s not enough to wash your hands frequently; you also need to wash them properly as well. Rub your hands thoroughly with soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds to let the solution break down the germs on the skin. Make a point to wash your hands before and after preparing food, treating wounds, cleaning up items, or touching delicate or dirty surfaces.
Keeping your hands clean also means preventing viruses from using them as vehicles to get into your eyes, nose, mouth, or broken skin. You can further protect your clean hands by using anti-microbial hand protector before touching communal surfaces like door handles or elevator buttons. When there are no proper handwashing facilities around, you can use 60% alcohol sanitizers as an alternative. However, take note that alcohol alone cannot completely eliminate grease, dirt, or heavy metals.
Paying strict attention to how we comport ourselves in public from a health and hygiene perspective is now everyone’s responsibility. We should all be considerate of each other and do our best not to put others in harm’s way. By following these hygiene rules, we can all help make the world a safer one as we weather through this crisis.
This is a sponsored post
Digital Health Buzz! aims to be the destination of choice when it comes to what’s happening in the digital health world. We are not about news and views, but informative articles and thoughts to apply in your business.