The #1 Trick To Avoid Being Infected By COVID-19 As Revealed by a Yale Doctor
Even as the world is still firmly in the grip of the coronavirus, authentic information on how to keep yourself safe is the best weapon to fight it. Yes, hand washing, social distancing, not touching our nose and mouth wearing a mask are all the default safety measures against the virus but then again, there are various situations you may find yourself in that need better information to keep safe. This is because no area is completely safe from this deadly virus which is on a rampage. The best way doctors suggest is to make your own “safe zone” wherever you may go and here’s how to do it. Here are the safety tips which you should follow according to Sharon Chekijian, MD MPH, a Yale Medicine emergency medicine doctor and assistant professor at Yale School of Medicine.
1When Seated at a Restaurant”
Most restaurants are taking precautions for the safety of their customers and staff. They are strictly following the guidelines of running their facility at half capacity, sanitizing the facility regularly, and thermal scanning customers on entry. In a restaurant, you have to be sure if the menu sheet is a single-use one or has been used by others. In this case, sanitise your hand after using it. Avoid touching surfaces too much. Wear your mask when not eating.
2Avoid shared meals
Try to eat on the dishes which have been covered by napkins and not in direct contact with the tables. Avoid stuff like breadbaskets which is a communal utensil. Avoid shared meals served on a single platter. If you are having a family or group meal make sure there is just one person specifically serving you to minimise the exposure risk. In a more casual setup like office lunches or picnics, do not share food items, rather pack your own food.
3When flying in an Airplane
All airlines are sanitising their planes and interior surfaces regularly between the flights. But you as a passenger need to take precautions too. Most airlines have made masks mandatory for all passengers. It is wiser to carry an extra mask if you have a co-passenger who is sick or sniffling or coughing. Or better still you can request a seat change for avoiding confrontation.
4Avoid eating with your hands
Wipe the armrest and tray table in the area you are sitting. Windows seats are the safest as they allow less exposure from other passengers. Avoid eating food with hands and use disposable spoons and forks.
5When you’re back at work
Be mentally prepared for a completely different work environment from pre- corona days at the office. Group meetings and presentations should be a thing of the past. Communal lunches in office canteens with food sharing should be avoided or discontinued. The shifts will change so that a limited amount of people work in the office at a time to maintain social distancing. And yes, all your friends and co-workers will be wearing masks just like you. So, make sure you too wear one.
6Avoid group celebrations
Be careful in bathrooms, break rooms or cafeterias as suggested earlier. Office celebrations like birthdays should be celebrated with individual cakes or pastries and not a single celebratory cake as in the past. Make sure you clean and sanitize your work station carefully every day and wash your hands after using the computers and phone at regular intervals. It would be a good idea to carry a small pocket alcohol-based sanitizer with you at all times.
7When you’re staying at a Hotel
People who have to travel for business cannot avoid hotels. The hotel industry is aware of the mandatory safety measure required to be put in place, but you too need to do your bit. Hotel rooms kitchens, bathrooms and public lounge areas are sanitised and cleaned at regular intervals. Still, as a guest always keep wet wipes on you and give a surface you might have to touch a clean wipe. It is better to carry your own sheets and pillows during the time of the pandemic rather than using hotel linen.
8When you’re on the subway or bus
Public transport is cheap, convenient and the easiest way to commute on a daily basis. But be sure that you always wear a mask, or gloves and also if possible, wipe the seats. Make minimum contact with surfaces. Try to avoid a crowded subway train or bus. You might get a bit late but it’s far safer to be late for work waiting for an emptier bus rather than be punctual carrying an infection.
9When you’re considering the elevator
Avoid using small elevators or packed ones completely. It is highly unsafe. Rather go in for the escalator or use the stairs. This will keep you safe and give you much-needed exercise. Moreover, elevators don’t even allow you to maintain a remote possibility of social distancing which is why they should be avoided.
10When you’re at the gym
While most gyms will follow strict sanitization and cleaning of the facility at regular intervals, they will eventually be hotspots for infections because of sweat and body fluids smeared on machines used by all. If possible, exercise in the safe confines of your own house. When you use gym equipment, make sure they are wiped and sanitised before touching it. Weights and resistance machines are comparatively safer but if you have an aerobics class near you with mostly unmasked participants the risks are higher of being infected.
Avoid group exercise as the transfer of droplets of body fluids are much higher in a closed environment. In fact, now is the time to ditch the gym and rather take on cycling, hiking, trekking in nature, but in any case, wearing masks is always required.
11Doctors advise: — make your own “Safe Zone”
As in any hospital or nursing house there is a strict medical protocol which all health workers and doctors have to follow called “being scrubbed in” it is another word of being sterile. Once you are scrubbed in, you maintain it throughout the day to safeguard the patients, fellow doctors, nurses and yourself. If you have touched or come in contact with something infectious from outside the “Safe Zone” then you should promptly get yourself “scrubbed” again. You can follow this principle; in any public setting where you have to use common resources.