As I��ve quite a few new followers based on the Coronavirus stats I’m compiling/interpreting, I thought some people might be interested in some of the personal advice I’ve been compiling for friends and family. Stuff that I’ve noticed isn’t being covered/may be a little ‘out of the box[a][b]’ thinking.
The sooner you start practicing/preparing for some of these, the better it will be for the good of yourself and everybody. Once they’ve become habit, it gets a lot easier to avoid slipups (like touching your face)
* Experts advise to sneeze/cough into your elbow pit
* Based on the above, I recommend to avoid the ‘elbow touch’ as a greeting
* If need be, cut your fingernails using nail clippers! Do not bite your nails.
* Get used to not touching your face
* When talking to somebody (or in a queue, elevator etc), keep at least 2 metres away from them. It's speculated that about 95% of current infections happened because of talking to somebody face to face for 15 minutes.
* There's mixed evidence that COVID-19 might linger in the air following a cough or sneeze, this is worth bearing in mind if sharing a space/near a person who recently coughed/sneezed. Joggers/cyclists can also be at risk if trailing too close behind a person in front.
* Covid-19 can survive on surfaces below 4 degrees celsius for up to 28 days, keeping the house warm can make the virus inactive quicker. However, also make sure your rooms are well ventilated, if self-isolating/quarantining.
* Stop eating with your hands - wherever possible, use (clean) cutlery and wash/dispose of it straight after.
* Where possible, use contactless payment. This helps to avoid paper and metal currency, as well as the keypads on PIN/ATM devices.
* Clean your phone screen with alcohol wipes/spray when possible. This applies to any other items you carry around regularly.
* There’s little focus on how to dry hands properly, but this is almost as important as washing your hands correctly. Experts advise to pat your hands dry with a paper towel where possible (otherwise use whatever methods are available, just make sure your hands are dry, but you don’t rough up the skin too much - this helps as: drying skin vigorously can damage skin cells and open you up to further infection; using/sharing towels can harbour bacteria; using air-dryers can spread bacteria around.
* If you share your home with anybody, try to consider items/places you all touch regularly and clean these with alcohol wipes/spray. Especially anywhere that might be involved in building entry or food preparation Examples include things like: door knobs; alarm entry keypads; taps; TV remotes; fridge doors; oven doors/buttons; pens; pepper grinders; games controllers etc.
* When out shopping/in public, if you don’t need to touch or pick up an item, then don’t. Especially true for fresh produce, which many people will commonly handle/sort through. Consider that every item you pick up and put back on a shelf is a potential risk to somebody else. I’ve personally witnessed somebody do this immediately after sneezing into their hand.
* If using online shopping, TAKE OFF SUBSTITUTIONS. This service means you and your delivery driver will have to exchange goods back and forth by hand etc. and increases risk of exposure to you both. Note - only do this in cases where you can live without the product. If you need an equivalent substitution, then I suggest you just turn substitution on for those specific items.
* Supplies you may not have considered, but will be useful if you get/suspect infection:
* Digital thermometer - bear in mind if multiple people need them, you’ll want separate thermometers, ones with replaceable tips or to make sure you fully sanitise between usage). Don't bother with those non-contact IR thermometer guns you see on the news, they're notoriously unreliable.
* Humidifier[c][d] - these can help ease sore throats, coughs etc. (However, it’s worth bearing in mind that people who are treating their symptoms more effectively, may be deemed to be less severe/worthy of testing. But that’s just my paranoid-thinking!). You can currently pick up small personal humidifiers for around £20 on Amazon.
* Face masks are only really useful if you’re already infected and want to stop it spreading. Buying this needlessly is particularly depriving for those in need.
* Hand sanitiser is sold out or massively overpriced in most places, but can be made with a mixture of Isopropyl (otherwise known as Rubbing) alcohol and aloe vera gel. The alcohol content must be at least 60% and most Isopropyl will be 70% or 99% alcohol. This means:
* If using the 70% alcohol, you should make sure to use less than a 10th as much Aloe Vera Gel as alcohol (e.g. 25ml AVG to 250ml 70% alcohol). In a pinch you can even just use the neat 70% alcohol, though this won’t be kind to your skin long-term.
* If using 99% alcohol, then a mixture of 2 thirds alcohol to one third aloe vera gel will suffice. Though if you’re worried, always use less aloe vera gel to ensure the alcohol content is high.
If you make enough hand sanitiser to share with those around you, then please consider this.
* Dried beans. Quinoa, chickpeas, lentils etc. These are a staple food for many preppers and will go a long way. You might have pasta and rice already, but these help with versatility to your diet and might be available where other things are sold out. Tinned tomatoes, kidney beans or black beans are also recommended, where available.
* Non-dairy milk (like soy, almond, oat, rice etc) is much longer life than dairy and can be kept without refrigeration
* Please don’t bulk-purchase items unless you have to, as you may be depriving others (particularly already vulnerable people/groups) who arguably need it much more. As many are pointing out - the more of us who have clean hands, the lower the chance of infection for us all!