As of March 2020, the coronavirus has affected nearly 100,000 people and caused over 3,300 deaths worldwide. And, while countries like China, South Korea, Japan and Italy more than others, it’s quickly turning into a pandemic that will likely reach even the most far-flung countries in the world.
Whether you live in an affected country, plan on traveling soon or simply want to learn how to protect yourself in the inevitable case that it turns into a worldwide pandemic that’s hard to control for the next few months, you’ll want to arm yourself with some tips.
Want to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak? First of all, don’t freak out. Numerous health and government officials have said that while the virus is concerning, it does not warrant any type of widespread hysteria or pandemonium. Simply follow these five tips to protect yourself and your family.
1. Wash Your Hands!
Health officials have consistently said that the most effective way to prevent contracting the virus is to simply wash your hands and follow other good hygiene practices. If you have children, make sure they understand what good hygiene means, especially as it relates to this kind of virus.
Experts recommend washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds before rinsing them off with water. Try to get under your fingernails and up to your palms. If you’ve touched an infected surface, this is the easiest way to transport the germs into your system. So, try to remember to wash your hands frequently or at least every time you leave a new place.
If you work in an environment where a lot of other people might touch your equipment, wash your hands more frequently or even take to disinfecting your equipment with hand sanitizer (i.e. if multiple people touch your keyboard at work or if you share supplies as a contractor).
2. Stay Away From Sick People
The CDC recommends staying at least six feet away from people who are coughing or sneezing. The coronavirus specifically seems to have spread from water droplets that get carried through the air after a sick person coughs or sneezes. So, whether or not you know if that person is infected with the coronavirus, it’s a good idea to stay away from them if they are sick.
If you can’t move away from them (for example, if you’re on a train or in an airplane), health experts seem to suggest that distancing yourself as much as possible can help reduce your risk of contracting the virus. Cover your own mouth if they’re sneezing into the air and wash your hands immediately after.
3. Stay Home If You Feel Sick
There seems to be one thing everybody agrees on...if you’re sick, stay home! If your kids are sick, keep them at home! Even if it’s not the coronavirus, you can never be too safe, especially with a virus that’s spreading as fast at the COVID-19.
Not sure if you’ve been struck with the common cold or the coronavirus? They have similar symptoms, but the coronavirus starts in the lungs, so you’ll notice:
- Dry Cough
- High Fever
- Shortness of Breath
It’s important to note that very few cases of the coronavirus have caused nasal symptoms such as a runny nose or congestion. This virus is more central to the lungs. Regardless, however, in such a time of uncertainty, it’s still much better to just stay home if you’re feeling sick.
This is especially true for children as they’re younger and have a much weaker immune system. Try to quarantine them as much as possible. Don’t take them out to public places, don’t let them ride on public transportation and don’t allow them to come into contact with anybody who hasn’t already been exposed to the immediate family.
4. Stock Up On Home Supplies
If your community has already been hit with an outbreak or you live near a region where there have been a lot of reported cases (the Pacific Northwest, for example) then it’s wise to stock up on other sanitary products and home supplies that aren’t face masks.
The CDC listed off a few items that included:
- Reusable Gloves
- Alcohol Solutions with 70% Alcohol
- Household Bleach
- Trash Bags
In terms of other supplies, it’s recommended that you also ensure you have enough of your everyday items to tide you over in case the outbreak spreads to the whole community. This is unlikely, but in the case that it does happen, you’d want to have a month’s worth of your prescriptions, plenty of toiletries, water and perhaps canned food.
5. Don’t Spend, Just Save
If you do happen to find yourself locked up in the instance of an outbreak, you’ll want to look at the silver lining of the whole situation. You’re not spending any money; you’re saving! And, if you’ve got the right kind of debit card, you can save even more.
Even in times of crisis, we’d like to think we’re looking out for you. Our FDIC-insured account comes with savings bonus without charging any banking fees.
While it won’t necessarily balance out the negatives of this type of outbreak, it helps lessen the blow just at least a little bit. Want to know more? Learn more about the Cheese debit card.