6 Tips to Staying Healthy During Covid-19

By Lisa Gillison, RN,MSN

Wash Your Hands!  Wash Your Hands!  Wash Your Hands!

Washing your hands properly – and frequently – is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of germs and stay healthy. Lather up with soap and water and scrub all parts of your hands — back, front, between your fingers, around your cuticles and under your nails — for at least 20 seconds before rinsing off the suds.  If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Here is a handwashing video: https://youtu.be/FkA4dzO5bzo


Wear a Mask

The coronavirus is spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person sneezes, coughs, or talks. This virus can stay in the air for up to three hours. Thus, it is important to wear a cloth face covering when in public. Cloth face coverings help protect others from your aerosolized droplets. When everyone wears a mask in public we minimize the amount of potentially contagious droplets in the air. Here is a mask wearing video: https://youtu.be/qSnlhjTP9_0


Minimize Your Exposure to Others

Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people can spread the corona virus without ever having symptoms. Continue to only leave your home for essential needs and services and maintain 6 feet of distance from others when out.  Do not gather in groups. This includes playgroups with friends for the time being.

Manage Your Stress

It’s easier said than done, especially during this unprecedented time when parents are trying to work from home along with assisting their children with virtual  learning.  However, studies show that persistent levels of stress decrease our immune response.  So, take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting. Take care of your body by taking deep breaths, stretching, and meditating; eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, and maintain a regular sleep schedule with 8-9 hours of sleep per night.

Monitor Your Symptoms

The main symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath. Monitor yourself and your family members for these symptoms, but remember that some people may have Covid-19 without expressing any symptoms.  If you have any of these symptoms, or believe that you have been exposed to some one who has, notify your physician. Most cases of Covid-19 can be managed at home with rest and Tylenol to control fevers.  However, if you experience difficulty breathing you should seek medical assistance immediately.

Disinfect Common Surfaces

The coronavirus can live for hours to days on hard surfaces such as door handles and countertops, so disinfecting commonly touched surfaces on a regular basis is important. For a list of disinfectants effective against the coronavirus visit www.epa.gov. Don’t forget to disinfect your phone regularly as well.  Most phones have more bacteria on them than a toilet seat!

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