How to Decrease Your Chances of Getting Sick
With all of the news on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) going around I did a ton of research to try and figure out how I could increase my chances of staying healthy.
While this is relevant to the current pandemic, this applies to ALL contagious diseases.
This is really just simple ways to lessen the chance you catch any virus.
In the next 5 minutes, you will learn the most effective ways that you can use
to reduce your risk of contracting the virus, and other viruses.
My husband and I just got back to our hometown in Michigan from Puerto Rico, I have been following the virus and do not want to be in Puerto Rico when it gets bad. EDIT March 28th, 2020 – This was a great choice, Puerto Rico is now completely locked down, the only things people can do there now are go get fuel, doctors appointments/medication, or food. Any trips out are now rationed by way of license plates – all normal license plates end in 3 numbers.
Odd numbers are let out Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
Even numbers are let out Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
#1 Wash your hands OFTEN!
This is #1 for a good reason, washing your hands is the best weapon you have against getting sick.
While this is as simple as it gets, it is extremely hard to pull off as you need to break normal habits and remember that the only time you can touch your face – at all – is right after you have washed your hands. Hand sanitizer does count, but soap with water as warm as you can stand is the best possible option.
Now washing your hands does not mean you use a pump of soap, and wash them for 5 seconds. You should follow the CDC guidelines on washing your hands, but you need to lather them with soap for around 20 seconds then wash them under warm to hot water.
Coronavirus, and most viruses, infect a large amount of people by fomites – that is things you touch that has virus on it.
Think about it, when people cough, they usually cough in their hands. (DONT DO THIS, PLEASE USE YOUR ELBOW!!!)(1)
This means they have live virus particles on their hands and when they touch doorknobs, elevator buttons, phones, computers, anything.
Those surfaces now have virus waiting for someone to touch it. When the new person touches it they touch things they own like their phone, keys, whatever. As soon as they touch their face (eyes, nose mouth) they have introduced virus into their body and are likely to become sick with it.
The scariest thing is you can’t see the virus so you have no idea what has it or not! So during cold and flu season, or a pandemic it is crucial you do not touch your face unless you have just washed you hands.
It is also very important to have a safe space, free of virus. This is usually your house, washing your hands and following the other steps here will help you to not let the virus in your house.
As soon as you touch anything your hands should be considered dirty and you can no longer touch your face.
This is a very hard thing to do because the average person touches their face over 400 times per day! Or over 23 times every hour! (2)
#2 Clean Your Phone
Would you stick your hand in the toilet, then reach into a bag of chips and eat them?
What if I told you, you effectively do this daily?
Your Phone is one of the dirtiest things you touch. (3)
We touch things all day long, and constantly pull out our phones during the day. Think of how many doorknobs you touch, then think of how many doorknobs you touch and then touch your phone.
How many different bacteria and viruses must there be on it?
To make it worse, we never clean our phones.
I mean, my phone is water proof, but I have never in my entire life washed my phone with soap and water no matter if it was waterproof or not. There is too much sensitive information on my phone to risk it.
My friend a few years ago actually wanted to show me his new Galaxy S7 waterproof phone. So he ran it under the faucet….
and sure enough
it immediately died. Samsung sent him a new one but the hassle of not having a phone, and reloading all of your stuff, maybe you will even lose precious pictures or other data on your phone.
You also shouldn’t use hand sanitizer to disinfect your phone, the alcohol can hurt the hydrophobic coating and also cause other problems. (4)
So how can we wash our phones?
During this outbreak I spent many hours looking for ways to clean phones…
…and I finally found one! It is called PhoneSoap and it disinfects phones reliably and without water. It uses the power of UV light.
UV light kills most viruses and the new coronavirus is susceptible to UV light.
You need to keep your phone clean, its just proper hygiene. We wash everything, but not our phones, isn’t that weird?
#3 Take Your Shoes off Outside Your Home
This is something I doubt most people would have thought.
But think of all of the things you step in with your shoes…I wouldn’t be super worried about dragging COVID-19 in on the bottom of your shoe, but it is a definite possibility!
Instead, I would like to think of this as just hygienic. We tend to step in all sorts of grossing things, gum, dog poop, etc…
But if you walk with your shoes inside your house, you are bringing in all types of nasty stuff. In our house we have a mud room (well sand room now) and from there the different germs could possibly move throughout your house by socks, or pets, or other ways.
This is an out of the box suggestion, and I have no idea if shoes actually makes your house significantly dirtier, but I do know especially in this time, it is probably worth it!
#4 Be mindful of doors and Faucets!
This goes back a little bit to point #1 about washing your hands. One of the massive problems is two-fold.
- Many bathroom doors open out (pull from inside the bathroom).
- Faucet Handles
1. After washing your hands, if you then pull the door to open it then you just wasted your time. All door handles are disgusting, but bathroom door handles are even more gross than that! I do not know why places build pull to exit bathroom door and that infuriates me to no end!
What I do in these situations is when you open the door to wash your hands, I use my food to prop the door open if possible.
If that isn’t an option then I either use paper towel to pull it open, or just open the door with my non-dominate hand and not touch anything with that – that is rather tricky though for certain tasks.
2. As for faucets, unless the bathroom has motion sensor ones I always tun the faucets on with my elbows. This is tricky especially at first, but eventually it becomes easy. Even with the twist knobs!
Don’t forget to not use the air hand dryers! They are less clean even though they are more sustainable.