With good reason, one of the most pressing questions on all of our minds these days is how you protect yourselves from Covid. Obviously, there’s a lot of anxiety surrounding this pandemic, but as with all things health-related, a few key precautionary measures are just as valuable as finding the cure.
We may be very tired and eager to return to our usual lives, but until a vaccine or good treatment is found, the truth of the matter is that we have to be quite careful. A few key steps can help us avoid getting infected.
1. Stay at home
Avoid going out to shops, people’s homes or any social events. Stay home in the company of people who’s routine you can be absolutely sure of. This is difficult to do, as we are social beings, but it must be done to slow the spread of the virus. There are many who don’t have the option of staying home and working. However, those who do have that option, must absolutely contribute by not giving the virus new hosts. Remember, we all have a part to play in slowing down the spread of the virus.
2. Wear the Masks!
Yes, masks are necessary.
COVID 19 can be transmitted by asymptomatic people i.e. people showing no signs of being ill, therefore as per WHO and Indian Guidelines a mask is necessary both for curbing transmission and to protect yourself from Covid.
Wear a mask that completely covers your nose and comes right to your chin, it should have a fairly tight fit on your face, so that “droplets” cannot enter or leave. A 3 layer mask with cotton innermost, synthetic (polyester) outermost and middle cotton/synthetic layer has been recommended for use by the general public by WHO.
This can be washed with soap and water and reused multiple times. Wear a mask whenever you are exposed to the outside world e.g. simple tasks like:
- Opening the door
- When someone comes to work in your house
- Going out to the park
- Going to a shop
- Being on the bus or the metro, etc.
everyone over age 12 should wear a mask and if your children are younger, then do consult with your physician in India for the best course of action. Medical masks are usually not recommended for the general public, except for certain categories of high-risk persons.
3. Taking care of your mask
You must ensure great care when you take off your mask – you must put it in a designated “dirty” area of your house/bathroom. And remember to wash your hands after taking it off and after washing the mask.
To protect yourself from Covid, please do not touch or fiddle with your mask once it is on. If you have done so – wash or sanitise your hands immediately. Remember transmission can happen from touching the “dirty” surface of the mask and then touching your eyes or mouth or nose.
4. Social distancing
When we’re outdoors, we all have to do our part to ensure public safety for ourselves and others. You must maintain a minimum 6 feet distance from others which reduces chances of virus transmission. This risk is further minimised when we keep our masks on. You don’t want to take the virus back home to your loved ones.
5. Clean your hands
Avoid touching public surfaces – hand rails, lift buttons, door handles – try using elbows or your knuckles instead. Keep and use 60% alcohol based sanitisers to clean your hands when you can’t wash them.
6. Take care of physical and mental health
If your activity has reduced significantly, consider eating lighter than your pre-pandemic diet. Monitor your weight and keep yourself moving as much as you can, even if you’re at home. Remember, obesity is a risk factor for more severe diseases. It’s important to exercise daily, without fail, both for a strong and healthy body and mind. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, especially since we’re all so socially isolated these days.
And last but not least – If you or someone you know has fever/cough/cold, it’ll be safest to isolate and not expose others while they get tested. And if you’re worried about any symptoms, consult your doctor to schedule a Covid-19 test. Even the slightest possibility must be ruled out for everyone’s safety.
While you protect yourself from Covid, it is also important not to neglect any other illness you may have. You could read my article on staying healthy and fit for later years. Don’t let Covid stop you from other treatments. Consult your doctor online. Stay healthy and stay safe always.
Dr. Rachna Kucheria is one of the best general physicians in Delhi NCR. She is a US-trained Physician (Family Practice) on the lines of the old-fashioned ‘Family Doctor’ we grew up with and hope to find again. Her emphasis on early, accurate diagnosis; appropriate (few) medicines; and clear patient communication, sets her apart as one of the most trusted physicians in Delhi. She is licensed to practice medicine both in India & California. Her 27 years of experience includes practicing in the hospital, clinic, and (patient) home setting, and for the last 4 years, telemedicine.
DocGenie is an online telemedicine platform that provides you with quality healthcare from the best doctors in the comfort of your own space. On DocGenie, you will find a select few, highly-qualified doctors, unlike other online platforms with thousands of doctors. So you can be assured of receiving excellent, honest, personalized care from the best professionals.