COVID-19 or Coronavirus has impacted the whole world and LAUSD schools. The school district decided to close schools officially on March 16, 2020 and will be closed for two weeks. The virus itself is a disease with symptoms similar to the common flu such as fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, according to the World Health Organization. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) announced that there is no current vaccine or cure that could reduce the outbreaks. While fears of the respiratory disease are reaching faster than the virus itself, here are some important tips for your safety and awareness.
Wash Your Hands
Although washing your hands should be necessary every day, many should be aware to wash their hands after they eat, before and after preparing food, using the toilet, using the garbage, etc. Irene Tan, a nurse at McAlister High School, suggests that washing your hands for 20 seconds (which is the duration of singing the birthday song twice) is most effective.
Use an Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
When you cannot wash your hands, you should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Purell Hand Sanitizers ($2-$5 based on size) are the most effective at killing germs, while other hand sanitizers such as those from Bath and Body Works ($1.90) are available. Hand Sanitizers are also available in sprays such as ‘Dr. Bronner’s Lavender Hand Sanitizer’ ($5) and Trader Joes’ ‘Grapefruit & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray’ ($1.99).
Try to wash your face often and not touch your face.
When we touch our faces, the dirt, oils, and bacteria from our hands will attract our faces. Our eyes, nose, and mouth have mucous membranes that can provide bacteria to enter our bodies. Therefore, wash your face and make sure to remove makeup.
Cover your mouth when you are coughing or sneezing.
It is always important to cover your coughing or sneezing with your elbow. You should not cough with your mouth because your hands will need to be washed and as you touch doors or other objects in order to wash your hands, your germs can become a disadvantage to others who touch the same objects.
Do not burden others if you are sick.
Even if you are down with a common cold, think of others around the environment and do not come in close contact with others. This way we can prevent everyone from getting sick.
Regular Masks will not help.
While many tend to use masks and believe that they will be able to avoid the virus, this is false. Masks actually should be used if you are constantly sneezing or coughing or if you are taking care of someone with COVID-19. (If you are using a mask, make sure you are washing your hands constantly and you are not reusing single masks).Otherwise, masks will not help you avoid the virus. Instead, make sure you are not touching your face.
Do not travel and try to stay home.
If you travel to different locations, your risks of exposure to the virus will increase. In addition, you can get infected if you are near someone who does not know they have the virus. Usually, a person will show signs 2-14 days after they come in contact with the virus. Also do not try to raid the supermarket or stores because we should consider those who are vulnerable to resources such as the elderly or sick. (Raiding the toilet paper at Costco will not save you from the virus).
Be kind to everyone.
When we are in a panic, we tend to forget the act of kindness. Do not make negative racial comments to other communities because as humans, we are all trying to fight this epidemic. Pointing or calling someone inappropriate comments are not the cures to this virus. Be kind to those in the medical field and people who work at grocery stores. Those people are trying their best to help the community. Our generation can do our best by showing kindness and making sure we are keeping everyone safe.