How to Stay Safe and Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic
With new coronavirus cases slowing, cities and states around the country are developing plans to gradually lift or reduce stay-at-home orders and allow more businesses to operate. You can help these plans succeed and support your best health by following these 6 ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
1. Stay informed—wisely.
As information about how to respond to the coronavirus can change, it’s vital to choose reputable sources when it comes to making safe and healthy choices for you and your family.
For the local and state information on COVID-19, visit the City of Dallas and the State of Texas webpages. For the most up-to-date and evidence-based lifestyle guidelines, follow the latest from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
2. Keep your hands clean.
From opening doors to brushing your teeth, your hands are one of the primary ways you interact with the world around you, including germs. While having germs on your hands won’t make you sick per se, germs like the coronavirus can enter the body if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth with contaminated hands. You may not even realize you’re doing this! Unwashed hands can also spread germs to foods, drinks, and other objects and surfaces, all of which can transfer germs to yourself or another person.
Regular handwashing is one of the best ways to stop the spread of infection and keep you healthy and safe. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds several times a day. This is especially important before handling food and after coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose, using the restroom, or going out in a public place. If you don’t have access to soap and water when you need it, cover your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and rub them together until dry.
3. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
Routine cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched surfaces are two distinct acts that can help curb your risk of Covid-19 infection. Cleaning refers to wiping down surfaces with a household cleaner or soap and water to remove dirt, buildup, and germs. While it doesn’t necessarily kill germs, cleaning reduces the risk of spreading infection by lowering the number of germs on a surface. You also receive the bonus of keeping your home and car clear and inviting. Disinfecting further reduces the risk of infection by using a chemical product to kill any germs that may still be lingering after cleaning.
As a good rule of thumb, clean surfaces when they’re dirty and follow up with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Frequently touched surfaces warrant extra daily attention. These include doorknobs, handles, light switches, phones, keyboards, desks, toys, remotes, countertops, faucets, sinks, toilets, and the interior of your car (steering wheel, signals, wipers, gear shift, etc).
4. Wear a mask.
The coronavirus is believed to be most easily spread when a healthy person comes into contact with the respiratory droplets of an infected person when they talk, cough, or sneeze. As these respiratory droplets are launched through the air, they can be inhaled or otherwise settle into your mouth or nose.
Because some recent studies suggest that the coronavirus may be spread by people who aren’t showing symptoms, the CDC currently recommends wearing a mask or other cloth face covering if you’re in a public place. By covering your nose and mouth, a mask may help slow the spread of COVID-19 by protecting the people around you if you are unknowingly infected.
If you’re not wearing a mask, cover a cough or sneeze using the inside of your elbow and wash your hands diligently.
And because we know that it’s impossible to completely protect ourselves from germs, you might want to read this post on ways to boost your immune system.
5. Keep maintaining social distance.
Social distancing has become the new normal locally and globally. Though avoiding groups and maintaining a six-foot space between yourself and people you don’t live with can feel unnatural and challenging, social distancing has so far proved to be the most effective means for reducing the spread of COVID-19.
After weeks of social distancing, you may (understandably) feel eager to gather with the friends, family members, colleagues, and community you’ve been missing. Know that you’re not alone in this experience. Your continued willingness to maintain the recommended social distance through this pandemic is making the right kind of difference.
6. Be selective about public outings.
While plans to reopen businesses evolve and change, one thing that’s for certain is that a level of social distancing will be key. Stick within the current recommended guidelines and narrow your focus to the services you need to be healthy.
Here at Dallas Cosmetic Dental, Dr. Alhadef and his team are right there with you, adapting to the latest version of the “new normal” and making choices that support our individual and collective well-being. We can’t wait to see your smile again. Please call us if you’re experiencing a dental emergency, such as pain or anything more severe. Also know we will be communicating with our patients as soon as our doors can open for elective and routine dentistry.