COVID-19 is wildly contagious and spreading at a rapid rate. Sure, you can practice social distancing and only leave the house for "essential" items, but when someone you live with has contracted the virus, it can be much more difficult to keep yourself safe.
If someone you live with has COVID-19, the following preventative strategies can help keep you as safe as possible.
The most effective way to kill germs is to wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. Health experts say soap can kill agents in the virus, rendering them inactive once the lipid layer has busted open and broken apart during the hand-washing process. Once this layer of fat is destroyed, the virus can no longer infect you.
Here's a quick reference list for when and how often you should wash your hands:
You can stop the spread of germs by regularly sanitizing shared items in the home including countertops, doorknobs, faucets, refrigerators, toilet seats and tabletops. Carefully wipe down all tech devices, too, including laptops, computers, TV remotes, phones and video game controllers. You can use a disinfecting spray or disinfecting wipes to do the trick, but if none are available to you, feel free to make your own by mixing a quarter-cup of bleach with a gallon of water.
Steer clear from the infected individual as often as you can by socially distancing yourself six or more feet. This will help you decrease your chances of getting infected by the germs that may spread through speech, coughs and sneezes.
If the space is available to you, allow the sick individual to self-quarantine in a room. Stock the room with tissues, water, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and face masks. The infected individual should also have access to a tech device (such as a phone, tablet or laptop) to encourage communication and connection. And activities such as books, puzzles, movies, toys, etc. can also help them pass the time and support their mental health and creativity while quarantining.
If there is more than one healthy adult in the household, have one of them take care of the sick family member. This person should be the only one to go in and out of the room and should take extra sanitary precautions when moving through the home.
Though this is not an exhaustive list, you can pamper your immune system with the following foods:
COVID-19 can be especially dangerous for individuals over 65 years old with underlying conditions. Please seek additional protection for seniors such as medical attention.
If you want to avoid contracting the virus, avoid the following three behaviors:
Avoid sharing food such as family platters or double dipping, and don't share liquids as germs can spread through saliva. Also, keep toothbrushes and towels to yourself in order to avoid cross-contamination.
It's in your best interest to keep your hands away from your face as your hands are the most likely to contract and spread COVID-19. Avoid handshakes, wash your hands often and create new habits to avoid touching your face when you cough or sneeze.
COVID-19 can live on surfaces anywhere between 24 hours to five days — your personal items are no exception. Dispose of the infected person's toothbrush and throw away, wash or replace any other personal items that were used while they were sick.