How to prepare and protect yourself from COVID-19

If you have purposively looked up for information on protection and prevention against COVID-19, chances are you may be one of the millions of people right now who are anxious about catching this viral infection.

As of March 19, approximately 328 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Florida with 967 people under monitoring. These are the latest real-time records generated by the Florida Department of Health as shown in their data surveillance dashboard. COVID-19 cases are mostly mild in symptoms and the global recovery rate is also higher than the fatalities. Although the rapid spread and the increase of cases proceed to almost ten folds daily, this can be prevented by following the effective measures set by healthcare professionals.

Where are we now?

Despite the warning signs and efforts of the government to manage the spread of COVID-19, the question on the safety of everyone and the chances of survival among those who have tested positive from the Coronavirus still remains.

We get plenty of information on the nature of Coronavirus and the essential measures to protect ourselves from the outbreak through the World Health Organization. However, there were little preparations and anticipation of the mass hysteria and the troubling reaction and behavior of the people towards COVID-19.

Amidst the frenzy, the main concern still is surviving and ending this pandemic. And the answer to this lies in how we handle COVID-19 as a human race.

We’ve included an interactive map for you to stay updated with the virus courtesy of the John Hopkins Center for systems Science and Engineering:

Here are basic measures that everyone must undertake to ensure the safety and protection of all.

1) Stay Calm and Be Logical About the Situation

This may sound easier said than done. But with the gravity of the situation, filling our thoughts with worst-case scenarios and panicking altogether will lead us closer to disaster.

That being said, it is also imperative that we screen the information we encounter especially in social media, which means that we don’t have to believe everything we read about Coronavirus on the internet. Trolls, for some irrational reasons, take advantage of the situation to spread fear and even deceive people. It is best to verify this information with credible sources such as WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

2) Strictly Practice Social Distancing

The public is strongly urged to practice social distancing at all costs. In the same way, those who have shown symptoms of COVID-19 are mandated to undergo self-quarantine for at least 14 days.

During St. Patrick’s day, a lot of reports about lines of people desperately wanting to get into bars had surfaced in the US. In Orlando, there have been some issues with social distancing since businesses that are mostly service-oriented require social interactions. However, the fact remains that social distancing is necessary to stop the spread of Coronavirus from one person to another. It is a drastic solution that would determine the severity of the outbreak in the coming days.

Avoid social contact such as handshakes and maintain 6 feet distance with other people. This action is not simply to protect you from the virus but to protect the entire community as well.

3) Avoid Panic Buying and Hoarding

Unfortunately, as the confirmed cases of COVID-19 increase, people are rushing to malls, warehouse stores, and even mini-marts not just to buy a week’s worth of goods but to hoard all the supplies. Items from facemasks, alcohols, sanitizers, toilet papers, even diapers, and milk formulas are in short supplies if not completely gone on the shelves.

Nobody wins when people are panic buying and hoarding.

Here’s why this practice aggravates the problem. The mentality that “it’s every man for himself” will not protect us from the outbreak. Instead, it would increase the risk of infection for the entire population, not to mention other sources of mortality such as starvation and other illnesses.

When just a quarter of the population has secured their basic needs while the rest struggle to secure theirs, it doesn’t only damage the undersupplied; it damages the economy, the government, and eventually everyone else.

The point is nobody wins when people are panic buying and hoarding. If you have to store basic supplies, get enough for your household and ensure that there is plenty left for others.

4) Maintain Proper Hygiene

Hand washing is one of the aseptic techniques that have saved humanity from numerous outbreaks starting from the Doctor’s plague in the 1600s. It means that for centuries hand washing has been proven and tested as a key practice to protect us from serious illnesses such as the COVID-19.

Proper handwashing rids the virus and eventually diminishes it. Likewise, practising respiratory etiquette such as covering your mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing limits the transmission of the Coronavirus.

5) Cooperate with the Authorities

The state government is currently implementing measures that would halt the infection of Coronavirus. If logic dictates that it could lessen the spread of the Coronavirus and protect all citizens from the infection, then there is no reason to participate in anarchy.

Measures such as social distancing, self-quarantine, and even cancellation of profitable mass gatherings are all for the common good despite the fact that they pose several disadvantages economically and socially.

As of March 16, Florida government officials released an order to limit crowd capacity and access to establishments such as malls, restaurants, and movie theatres. Additionally, state officials also relayed that they have been setting up mobile hospitals for testing.

Bottom line

Surviving the COVID-19 outbreak can only be done if it is perceived as a communal strategy. We need to sort out our priorities and embrace a common mindset to look after one another and not just ourselves.

Humanity has seen worst pandemics than the COVID-19 long before we had the medical capacity to treat diseases and technology to spread awareness. Experience wise, we are bound to survive this global crisis in no time provided that we approach it as one community and one humanity. Play your part by staying indoors, avoiding panic buying, maintaining social distance, and practising proper hygiene.