Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. I have just gathered some information from reputable sources for this post. All of the information in this post has come from reputable sites such as the Government of Canada’s Corona Virus Website, the Government of Nova Scotia Coronavirus Website, and the Harvard University Coronavirus Website.
What is Coronavirus/COVID-19 disease?
Since the first cases of COVID-19 started appearing in Canada, many of us have heard lots of information on them, some of it true, some of it untrue and much of it thoroughly confusing. I am writing this post in hope that it might help clear some things up.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that have been around for a long time and some can cause illness in people and others in animals. Before COVID-19 Coronaviruses were thought to generally cause mild illnesses like the common cold. Coronaviruses are common.
How Coronavirus Spreads
The first thing you need to know is how Coronavirus spreads. The Coronavirus (all human Coronaviruses) cause infections of the lungs, throat, and nose. The most common way it is spread is from person to person through:
- Respiratory droplets that are generated when someone coughs or sneezes.
- Prolonged, close personal contact such as hugging, shaking hands or touching.
- Touching your nose, eyes, or face after touching an infected surface.
Current evidence suggests COVID-19 seems to spread easily in the community in many affected areas, known as “community spread” and therefore attempting to curb the spread of the disease is vital (and continues to be vital) in helping to prevent our healthcare systems from becoming overwhelmed.
Since Coronaviruses are one of the easiest viruses to kill with the proper disinfectant products as long as used according to the proper label directions, there is a lot you can do to help protect yourself and your loved ones from getting COVID-19 by properly cleaning. Here is a list of hard surface disinfectants compiled by Health Canada which are likely to be effective against COVID-19.
Ensure to clean the following surfaces:
- door handles
- television remotes
- bedside tables
- fridge and deep freeze handles
- light switches
- faucet handles
- cabinet handles
- elevator buttons
And anything else you or someone in your family might touch on a day to day basis. Keep in mind things that are in reach of your children’s hands. For more information and guidance on cleaning and disinfection public places click here.
Proper Hygiene & Wearing Gloves and Face Masks In Public
- Keep gloves for when caring for someone at home who is infected with COVID-19. Wearing them in public to get groceries, touch shopping carts, etc is not needed and can actually spread the virus. It is far better to wash your hands often (between tasks) with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the washroom and when preparing food. If no soap or water is available than us an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Cough or sneeze into the bend of your arm or tissue not your hand if you have to cough or sneeze. Dispose of tissues as soon as possible into a lined garbage can and wash your hands as soon as you can after.
- Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wearing a non-medical face mask or a face covering out in public is optional but recommended (some suggest that they remind you not to touch your face when out in public, I take this myself with a grain of salt as they never fit me right and actually cause me to touch my face more to adjust them). Masks alone will not prevent the spread of COVID-19. They need to be used with proper hygiene and social distancing practices as well.
Social Distancing And Staying At Home
Making a conscious effort to stay at home and social distance can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and help flatten the curve. Social distancing (physical distancing) is one of the most effective ways of preventing and helping to slow the spread of illness during any outbreak, COVID-19 included. Staying at home unless you have to go to work or go out for essentials such as groceries, prescriptions, caring for elderly or vulnerable people (dropping off groceries or medication at their door), or for a medical need such as going to an ER or doctors office. Most doctor’s offices are set up to do phone or video consultations during the pandemic. Also, please stay close to home when exercising, such as running or going for a walk. Keep a distance of at least approximately 6ft (2 meters) when going out for the things mentioned above.
In certain circumstances, you must quarantine:
Quarantine for 14 days is required if you become sick with symptoms of COVID-19, you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are awaiting lab test results for COVID-19. Also if you have been in contact with someone who has a suspected, probable, or confirmed case of COVID-19 or you’ve been told by public health that you may have been exposed to COVID-19 or you have traveled and returned with symptoms of COVID-19.
There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes in vulnerable populations, which include:
- People aged 65 and over
- People with compromised immune systems
- Or people with underlying medical conditions
I hope this information helps you sort out fact from fiction and helps you stay safe & healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.