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What you need to know about COVID-19

Information is changing rapidly and it can be a challenge keeping up with how to protect yourself and your family. As someone who has some insight into the medical field I wanted to share some helpful tips so we can all stay safe and informed.

Its no secret that pretty much the entire world is stressed out about Coronavirus (COVID-19), and rightfully so. These are scary times! Personally, I feel the greatest amount of stress when I feel like I don't have enough information, and there is definitely a lot of confusion and misinformation out there. That is why I wanted to share the main points of what you need to know keep you and your family safe during the Covid-19 pandemic!

1. Wash your hands, and avoid touching your face! COVID-19 is spread via droplets - this basically means that if you touch a contaminated surface, or someone with the virus coughs in your face you can contract the virus. Perhaps the absolute best way to protect yourself from most illnesses, not just COVID-19 is to wash your hands. You can also use hand sanitizer to eliminate germs between washing. The Centers for Disease Control recommends one that is 60% alcohol or greater. The cleaner your hands are the less likely you are to contract the virus, or spread it to others.

2. Stay at home! We've all seen the posts and read the headlines, but so many of us continue to treat this time as if it is an extended vacation. Its important to be aware that you can be a carrier of the virus even if you aren't showing symptoms. Every time you leave your house you could be shedding the virus and exposing those who are at risk for not only getting sick, but developing very serious complications. Please do your part and stay home. If we don't get control of the spread hospitals will become overrun and people will not be able to get medical care. Should you feel symptomatic call your primary care provider, or clinic for instructions on what you should do. Do not just show up to their office; there is a good chance they have specific protocols in place to protect staff, other patients and you.

3. Keep you distance & say hello to social distancing! In the event you need to go out in public try your best to keep at least 3 ft of space (preferably 6 ft) between yourself and others. As I mentioned above the virus is passed via droplets so you want to make sure that you aren't in the splash zone if you know what I mean.

4. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily! Wiping down your door knobs, counters, remotes, light switches & other surfaces you frequently touch can help reduce your risk of infection. This is especially important if you live with other people, which most of us do. It is still unknown how long the virus can live on any given surface, so make sure you wipe them down with an alcohol based disinfectant at least twice a day.

5. Cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze! In an ideal and perfect world you should cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, throw it out and wash your hands every single time you cough or sneeze. However, as I'm sure you're aware, this is not a perfect world. If you don't have a tissue handy cover completely and then wash or sanitize your hands. It's a simple concept, but it can have a huge impact.

BONUS TIP. Save face masks for caregivers and those who are ill! This is a major pet peeve of mine. Especially with the shortage of medical supplies due to the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Masks are essentially used to protect others from yourself; unless you are working closely with someone who is ill. The CDC says, "You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers." On the other hand if you are sick, the CDC says this, "You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room."

These are just a few of the easiest and most effective ways to remain healthy, and protect your friends and family. The best way to eradicate this virus is to stay home and avoid spreading the virus to others. One person can make a big difference! For additional information please visit

Glitter art work was created by Sara Shakeel!

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