Here is a list of tips for staying healthy and weathering the ramifications. Just to get the necessities out of the way, “social distancing” and “flattening the curve” – ok, I said it. Now to get on to the real content.
Post any tips in the comments and they will be incorporated into this list.
Avoiding the Virus
- Stay home. Don’t leave unless necessary. Avoid public gatherings, crowds.
- Set Up a Clean Zone. Make sure that you don’t bring the virus home. Keep shoes outside. Use disinfectant wipes on any items coming into the clean zone that might have been exposed to virus. This includes cell phones, car keys, wallets and credit cards that you probably handled while outside. Anything delivered should be wiped (Amazon workers don’t have time to wash hands).
- Don’t Touch Your Face. While you are out of the clean zone, be careful not to touch mouth, nose or eyes because this can transfer the virus to mucus membranes. Some people like to wear gloves because it reminds them not to touch their face.
- Mail. It is not clear if mail or delivery items are risk factors, but virus can live on cardboard for at least 24 hours. Open boxes and envelops and put them in recycling right away, and then wash hands.
- Wash Hands. Whenever you return home. 20 second rule.
- Bag Your Phone. Nurses in China have put phones in plastic bags, and then just tossed the bag at the end of the session, as opposed to trying to disinfect the phone every time.
- Keep Your Distance. The virus spreads through the air. Stay 1 to 2 meters from people. Don’t hug or shake hands. Best you can do is wish them well.
- Beware Common Surfaces. Gas pumps, credit card machines, elevators, parking ticket machines, door handles. If you live in a multifamily building, consider all the surfaces your neighbors handle.
- Hand Sanitizer? It’s not as good as washing hands. Although I consider my car to be a potential risky place, I will put on hand sanitzer when getting back into my car, just as an extra precaution, but I don’t rely on it. I keep a pair of nitrile gloves on me at all times in case I have to touch something that looks prone.
Handling Getting Sick
- Exposed? Most people develop symptoms in 3 days, but it can incubate for 14 days (maybe 21 days?).
- Cover Your Mouth. Cough into your shirt or your elbow. Wear a surgical face mask.
- Vitamin C. Has been reported to help.
- Nasal Flushing. Another treatment rumored to work is rinsing your nasal passages.
- No Complications? Stay home. Don’t go out.
- Emergency? Call ahead to your doctor or emergency room and let them know you are coming in with your conditions.
- Stock Up. People are running out to buy 1 to 2 weeks of food. This is because people are worried that either they might be ordered to stay home for a couple weeks or they are worried that other people will be anticipating such an order and will stock up, emptying the supermarket shelves. The real worry is if supply chain or production workers are hit by the virus and are unable to plant or manufacture. Especially true for imported items.
- Don’t Waste. It’s not clear what items will be needed in the future. At the moment, save more than you would otherwise.
- Hold Off on Major Purchases. I know the economy is tanking, but the number one thing is uncertainty. Things will be changing fast, and the things you want today might not be things you really want next month. In other words, save more than you would otherwise.
- Cooperate. If you are asked to social distance, do it. You might think you are in a resilient age group, but you could spread it to a loved one, or encourage others to take fewer precautions. If you are ordered to quarantine, do it. Don’t be like this jerk. Human resources are in short supply and if you need to be guarded 24/7, you are helping to make sure somebody who needs help doesn’t get it.