Photo Credit: Prasesh Shiwakoti Lomash (Unsplash)

2020 has been quite the year, especially for those working in the healthcare sector. Earlier this year, the COVID-19 pandemic began its onslaught on humanity, and governments across the world were forced to impose strict regulations on international travel and enforce lockdown orders on their domestic populations. Although lockdown in most places is now slowly easing, we’re not out of the woods yet. While countries may have been able to curb the spread of the virus and manage the situation to differing degrees, a vaccine has yet to be found. Until it is, it’s up to individuals and communities to take an active role in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Even though the science and best practices surrounding the virus are continually changing, there are a few simple things that everyone can do to play their part:

Take Steps To Boost Your Immune System

Prevention is better than a cure, as they say. While it may not stop you from contracting the virus, having a strong immune system may potentially help limit the impacts on your health. Many of us can be complacent when it comes to taking vitamin supplements or eating a proper intake of fruits and vegetables, but there is no better time than now to start introducing good lifestyle habits. 

Avoid Contact With Large Crowds

Although lockdown orders are easing, it’s still important to limit our contact with people. The fewer people you come into contact with, the less likely you are to catch (or spread) the virus. Of course, it’s natural to want to get back to a sense of “normal”, but try to find a balance. Use technology to help you along the way. Whether it’s a zoom call to an elderly relative or making use of telemedicine services to touch base with your doctor, every little bit helps. 

Wear A Mask

This one often causes a little bit of an uproar. It may feel a little inconvenient at times, but wearing a mask in public settings where physical distancing may be difficult, such as supermarkets, is imperative to preventing the spread of the virus. If used correctly, masks help prevent people who are asymptomatic or undiagnosed from transmitting the virus when they breathe, talk, sneeze, or cough. In turn, this slows the transmission of the virus. 

Keep Your Hands Clean

Not only is the virus spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, but it is also believed that the virus can end up on hard surfaces such as doorknobs and elevator buttons. If one proceeds to touch their nose, mouth, or eyes after having contact with these surfaces, they can get infected. Regular hand washing or using hand sanitizer can help limit the spread. 

Don’t Panic, Be Prepared

While it may never happen, it is best to be prepared for the event that you become infected. Having a basic supply of medication such as ibuprofen can ease mild symptoms. Also, be sure to have important hotline numbers on hand in case you need help or advice. If you find you have COVID-19 symptoms, or those in your household do, you have a responsibility to isolate, so try to have some food supplies on hand, or have a friend or family member deliver groceries to your home. In a worst-case scenario where you end up testing positive for COVID-19, it’s imperative that you have comprehensive personal insurance to cover your all medical expenses. 

This advice isn’t fool-proof, and best practices are sure to change as we learn more about COVID-19. However, following these simple aforementioned tips can help keep you and others safe. Ultimately, when navigating the unknown territory of a global pandemic, it is important to find a balance between exercising a sensible level of caution and responsibility without going overboard and panicking.