Countries around the world are gradually reopening after months of shutdown due to the COVID-19 virus. However, this reopening doesn't mean that the threat of COVID-19 is over. As a result, we need to be even more careful as we go about our daily business during this pandemic.
Earlier, experts thought that the COVID-19 virus doesn't stay suspended in the air for a long time. They believed that the virus droplets fell after flying a few feet. So, the general suggestion was to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Now, new evidence suggests that the virus can stay in the air for quite some time. This new discovery means that we need to be more careful when we leave our house.
How to Protect Yourself from Airborne COVID-19 Virus?
After the recent discovery regarding the airborne spread of the virus by experts at the University of Georgia, people are told to be more careful. The study that was published in JAMA Internal medicine shows how the air conditioning of a bus led to the transmission of the virus within the vehicle.
To help you protect yourself and people around you from the COVID-19 virus, here are some essential pieces of advice that you should follow when you go out.
Maintain Social Distancing:The initial advice regarding social distancing is still in effect. It means when you are outside, maintain a distance of at least six feet from any other individual. Keep a mask on, and gloves, if possible.
Clean the Surfaces before Using Them:The new discovery doesn't mean that the virus is no longer lingering on surfaces. As most of the cases of COVID-19 come from people coming in contact with contaminated surfaces, you need to be careful while touching surfaces outside your home. It would be better if you wipe the surfaces in public places before using them. If possible, avoid touching handrails or other similar surfaces.
This spread through contaminated surfaces is a major concern as public transport is starting all over the country. In lieu of that, you also require to wear a mask while entering these transport systems.
Don't Spend a Long Time in Enclosed Spaces:The study shows how spending a long duration in enclosed spaces increases the risk of a person getting infected. There are many cases where people who were sitting in a restaurant or attending an indoor event were found COVID positive. These people never came in direct contact with the infected people. However, an infected person was present in the room, and the virus spread through the air conditioning system.
As per the experts, you need to be careful how much time you spend indoors. If you are in a high-risk environment such as a hospital, you should not stay there for more than 15 to 20 minutes without proper PPE gear. If you are visiting a supermarket, mall, or other such places, don't spend more than an hour.
Safety in Office Spaces:We all are seeing that one of the major sources of infection is the air conditioning systems. Air conditioning systems in the offices are an essential part. As a result, offices need to amp up their safety protocols.
They need to ensure that the filtration system of their air conditioning system is upgraded to deal with the COVID-19 virus. They also need to do regular health check-ups to prevent any infected employee from coming to the office.
If possible, the office should allow the employees to work from home.
Safety at Home:Staying safe outdoors is necessary, but we also need to ensure that our homes are protected from the virus. So, here are the things that you should do to keep yourself and your family safe.
- Always wear masks when leaving the house and try to avoid crowds.
- When you return home, remove the mask, and put it away for cleaning.
- Change your clothes if you have been to a place where the risk of infection was high.
- Keep the things that you use when outdoors away from the things that you use inside the house.
- Regularly wash the clothes that you wear and take a shower when you return home.
- Regularly open the windows in your home to let in some fresh air. Good air circulation is known to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection.
- If you can do certain activities outdoors, do them outdoors. Large open spaces mean you are less likely to get infected from the virus.
- If someone is not feeling well, isolate them, and take them to a doctor as soon as possible.
- When dealing with a sick person, take additional precautions, such as wearing masks and using gloves.
- Keep the laundry of the sick person separate from the healthy members of the house.
Stay Safe, Stay Protected
The governments are easing the lockdown restrictions. Many people might see this as a sign of things getting back to normal. However, it is not true; easing the lockdown is essential to keep things afloat on the economic front. The risk of COVID-19 is very real, and we need to take extra precaution as businesses and services resume. Businesses and services are not working at their full capacity to ensure social distancing. As a result, it is essential for everyone to respect the social distancing guidelines.
Until we develop herd immunity, or we get a vaccine or medicine for the COVID-19, we need to be extremely careful. The advice mentioned above would come in handy while dealing with the virus in its airborne form. Follow them rigorously whenever you leave your home.