Combating Viruses With Science Rather Than Panic
It’s been impossible to avoid all of the news surrounding the current coronavirus pandemic. Some of the statistics can be quite sobering, including the fact that the U.S. has already experienced over 10,000 deaths.
But thanks to social media and various news outlets, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed with information, and even more, overwhelmed wondering if the information you’re getting is actually true or not. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation leads to a lot of panic. That panicking is why things like toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages were making news headlines for weeks.
coronavirus is a serious health problem impacting the world. It’s important to know the symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
- Trouble breathing
The more you know about the virus, the more precautions you can take to prevent it. But, make sure the information you’re getting about coronavirus or any other virus is based on scientific facts, not incorrect information fueled by panic.
Practicing Proper Hygiene
One of the best things you can do to prevent the spread of viruses and protect yourself is to practice good hygiene. The Center for Disease Control recommends washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds at a time. They also suggest that washing your hands is more effective than using hand sanitizer because sanitizers don’t eliminate all types of germs.
But using hand sanitizer is the next best thing to washing your hands, and sometimes it may be all you can use. Try to use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol, and follow these simple steps to use it effectively:
- Apply it to the entirety of your hands.
- Rub your hands together for 20 seconds until they begin to feel dry.
- Let them air dry and don’t rub them on your clothes or wash the sanitizer off.
Since 90% of Americans are currently under stay-at-home orders, now is also a good time to disinfect your home as much as possible. Viruses can stay on surfaces for different lengths of time, so practicing good hygiene within your house can make a big difference. Target the surfaces in your home that get touched the most frequently, including:
- Kitchen counters
- Dining chairs
- Remote controls
- Light switches
Disinfecting these surfaces multiple times a day can help to keep them free of harmful bacteria and may reduce your risk of getting sick.
The Science of Social Distancing
You’ve probably heard about social distancing or social isolation at this point. While we can all joke about the memes and test the limits of this practice, it’s actually an effective way to flatten the curve and slow the spread of viruses.
Social distancing is very simple. It involves staying home as much as possible, avoiding large gatherings, keeping at least six feet between you and others, and wearing a protective mask if you’re coughing or sneezing.
According to Johns Hopkins, social distancing, isolation, and quarantining can help to ‘flatten the curve’ and allow hospitals to have a chance to care for the people who are at a greater risk of dying from COVID-19. If we don’t take it seriously and don’t flatten the curve, hospitals across the country will have a shortage of staff, equipment, beds, and other medical supplies to care for patients.
Staying Healthy in Times of Uncertainty
It’s easy to feel scared and even a little panicked when things seem so uncertain. One of the best things you can do for yourself, though, is to take care of your mental and physical health. Exercising every day and getting outside can help to boost your immune system, as well as eating a diet rich in vitamins and antioxidants. You might even try natural immune boosters.
Taking care of your mental health is just as important if you’re starting to feel stir-crazy at home. Find time to relax each day. It’s a great time to take up practices like meditation or mindfulness, that can help you to focus on the present moment and your breathing, rather than worrying about what’s going on in the world around you.
While it’s okay to feel a bit uneasy about what we’re all going through, don’t let the panic surrounding this virus allow you to believe everything you see or hear. Learn your facts from the right sources, and fight back against this, and other viruses, using science instead of fear-mongering by others.