As you know, the situation around Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is rapidly evolving as confirmed cases continue to spread, resulting in may unprecedented decisions being made in an attempt to minimize the spread of this virus.
As public health officials continue to learn more about the virus and work to find an effective treatment, it is normal to feel upset, scared, or anxious. The emotional impact of this outbreak can range from:
- Fear and worry about your own health status and that of your loved ones who may have been exposed to COVID-19
- Changes in sleep or eating patterns
- Difficulty sleeping or concentrating
- Worsening of chronic health problems
- Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and other organizations continue to share prevention tips and spread awareness on how to stay safe and healthy, giving you an opportunity to regain control over your surroundings.
Tips on How to Help Prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Wash Your Hands: This is the number one way to help protect yourself against COVID-19. Remember to wash your hands, for at least 20 seconds, frequently.
- Disinfect Your Home & Office: The EPA recently published their list of approved house-hold cleaning products to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Remember to disinfect commonly used areas of your home or office (e.g. door knobs, counter tops, stair railings, etc.).
- Keep Your Hands Away from Your Face: It’s estimated that on average we touch our faces 23 times an hour (USA Today). And this is typically done with little to no self awareness. Keeping your hands away from your mouth, eyes, and nose will prevent bacteria and other germs from entering your body and causing you to experience cold or flu-like symptoms.
- Cover Your Mouth & Nose: When you feel a sneeze coming on, remember to cover your nose with a tissue or with your arm. As COVID-19 is an airborne respiratory illness, it can easily spread from person to person from the droplets of a sneeze or cough. Practice this habit and remember to remind loved ones and children to do the same.
- Build Up Your Immune System: Drinking plenty of water, getting more sleep, taking essential vitamins, and eating plenty of veggies and fruits can help boost your immune system and support you in fighting cold and flu symptoms and bacterial infections.
- Make a Household Plan: The CDC recommends creating a household checklist and plan for your family in case an outbreak of COVID-19 occurs in your community. This can include keeping kids out of school, working from home, practicing good hygiene, and stocking up on essential food and medications in case you need to remain inside your home for more than two weeks.
- Carry Hand Sanitizer: In addition to washing your hands frequently, the CDC also recommends that you also carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol for times when you are unable to access water and soap.
Take Care of Your Emotional Health and Wellness
There is a near constant stream of news reports about the outbreak and that can cause anyone to feel anxious.
- Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage of the coronavirus. Seek information updates and practical guidance at specific times during the day and avoid listening to rumors or speculation that make you feel uncomfortable.
- Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Engage in healthy activities that you enjoy and find relaxing. Maintain familiar routines: exercise, sleep, and eat healthy foods.
- Connect with others. Share your concerns and how you’re feeling with a friend or family members. Maintain healthy relationships.
- Maintain a sense of hope and positive thinking.
Having a plan in place and practicing these self-care tips regularly can help you achieve a sense of control and empowerment during this time of uncertainty. Stay connected to the CDC website for more news and updates, tips, and support on COVID-19.