With coronavirus threatening to run riot in India, here’s how you can keep yourself safe from the scourge. As of now, a vaccine has not been formulated for the novel coronavirus. In light of this fact, prevention appears to be the best cure available so far. New coronavirus cases are being reported in India as the world scrambles to contain an outbreak that the World Health Organisation has declared a global emergency. So far, there are no vaccines or medicines to treat Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and only supportive care. But as you’ll see, there are a number of steps you can take to protect yourself and those around you. The World Health Organisation says the “most effective” protective measures are the following: cleaning your hands regularly, properly covering your mouth when you cough and social distancing. A few viral particles cannot make you sick — the immune system would vanquish the intruders before they could. But how much virus is needed for an infection to take root? What is the minimum effective dose? For SARS, also a coronavirus, the estimated infective dose is just a few hundred particles. For MERS, the infective dose is much higher, on the order of thousands of particles.
Other infectious diseases also spread in clusters, and with close to 5 million reported COVID-19 cases worldwide, some big outbreaks were to be expected. But SARS-CoV-2, like two of its cousins, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), seems especially prone to attacking groups of tightly connected people while sparing others. It’s an encouraging finding, scientists say, because it suggests that restricting gatherings where superspreading is likely to occur will have a major impact on transmission, and that other restrictions—on outdoor activity, for example—might be eased. These adjustments aren’t just focused on COVID-19, but are practical health tips that will help prevent the spread of many common illnesses, including the flu and the common cold.
As temperatures rise and sunny days grow more common, large groups of people are spending more time outside. Physical distancing and wearing a mask are still the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but it’s important to understand how the virus spreads outdoors.
Initial phases of reopening have begun across the country, and there are still risks that require health and safety precautions. Health experts nationwide agree that the most important guidelines to adhere to outside are to remain at least six feet from others and continue to wear a mask.
When spending time outdoors, be sure to continue to take precautions to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Wash your hands before going outside
- Wear a mask when in public spaces and when physical distancing is not possible
- Avoid crowded areas
- Avoid close contact with others
- Keep hand sanitizer on-hand and properly stored
- Wash your hands when you go back inside
While there are safe ways to enjoy the outdoors, there are certain areas you should avoid in order to remain protected, like being in a crowded dog park or going to a crowded playground or waterpark. Keep in mind that those you encounter may not be taking the same safety precautions as you.
One last thing to keep in mind — don’t fall prey to fake news! There’s plenty of misinformation out there on the coronavirus outbreak, and sharing it is dangerous. Follow trusted sources of information — these include the World Health Organisation and India’s Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.