The novel Coronavirus or COVID-19 is now a “public health emergency of international concern”. Health experts are scrambling to understand the new virus that originated from Wuhan, China. It has now become a matter of concern and is creating havoc and panic all across the world (clearly reflected by #toiletpaperapocolypse).
The World Health Organisation has declared Coronavirus, a global pandemic killing more than 5,746 people with 1,53,648 confirmed cases around the world and 107 reported cases in India as of March 2020.
Face masks? Sanitizer? Gloves? Public health experts are grasping for ways to cope with the outbreak and the precautions one should take. Experts advise to stay calm and follow precautions suggested for curbing flu. Till now 147 countries have been affected by COVID-19, making it a national emergency for many countries like US, Italy, Iran to name a few.
If you’re thinking what precautions you should take to fight the novel virus and stay safe at work, here’s everything you should know. But first, stop panicking and stick to the basics: wash your hands, cover your coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you’re sick.
PRECAUTIONS TO TAKE AT WORK.
- Breathing Mask
Corona virus’s cell is large in size with a diameter of 400-500 micro, so any face mask can successfully prevent its entry, so you can stop troubling your pharmacist to provide you one with muzzles.
- Wash your Hands
This virus isn’t airborne; So, keep your hands off your face. What is more concerning is that it can stay on surfaces (Outside the host body) for up to 12 hours, so, it is essential to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds frequently during the day.
- Soak up some Sun
COVID-19 can stay up to 9 hours on fabrics, so soaking up some sun in between your work breaks can help kill the virus as it is known to not survive in higher temperatures. We suggest, keep your sunscreen handy, stay safe and stay hot!
- Pocket Sanitizer
Although washing hands with soap is king, lathering up your hands with sanitizer is an ideal on-the-go alternate. Experts recommend the use of alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol content. Take out a substantial amount and rub it around your fingertips and nails for 15-20 seconds to stay safe and sanitized. You should also raise the awareness about the importance of maintaining hygiene amongst your coworkers and encourage them to practice these precautions as well.
- Drink Hot Water
We can’t emphasis this enough- drink plenty of warm water and keep your throat moist. It won’t kill the virus, but it can significantly reduce the chances of infection spreading. Drinking water will wash the virus through your throat into the stomach. Once there, your stomach acid will kill the infection and refrain it from entering your windpipe and lungs. So, keep yourself hydrated and encourage your work buddy to follow the same!
- Refrain from Eating Uncooked and Cold Food Items
Beyond washing your hands, it’s extremely important to track what you eat. Avoid consuming uncooked food, ice-creams or anything cold as it can increase your chances of exhibiting flu symptoms.
- Handshake Hiatus
Certainly, Namaste is now the most preferred form of pleasantry across the globe. Let’s embrace our age-old gesture to greet and avoid physical contact. Give handshake a break at work and invert the rules of politeness during the pandemic with 1-meter distance. Cause’ nothing can be more courteous than not infecting the other person.
- Work From Home
With the Coronavirus outbreak, encourage your coworkers and peers to work from home till the situation abates as a means of reducing exposure to crowds.
- Ensure Workspace Sanitization
Make sure your office space is sanitized and sterilized regularly to keep up with the hygiene standards. This is one of the most effective ways to fight the spread of the novel COVID-19.
- Keep a Track of Your Coworker Travel Plans
Ask your coworker about their foreign travel history or has contact with anyone suspected to have been exposed to COVID-19, should declare the same and encourage them to practice self-quarantine if necessary. The same holds true for you as well. Declare any recent travel history or contact with anyone who has travelled as well. This is not a time for secrecy. Together we can squish this “bug” right in its tracks.
- Ask Your Office
Ask your management to install IR thermometers to screen fever of the individuals entering the facility, this initiative will definitely help in limiting the spread of the virus. Request your people to stay vigilant, self-monitor their health and refrain from visiting the office if they feel under the weather.
How to Self-Check?
The new Coronavirus may not exhibit the sign of infection for many days. And, by the time one gets to know about it, the lung is usually at a state of 50% of Fibrosis and it might prove to be too late. Health experts suggested a simple self-check-up that one can practice every morning. Take a deep breath and hold your breath for more than 10 seconds. If you complete the exercise without coughing or any breathing discomfort, tightness, it means you’re good, there is no Fibrosis in your lungs. Hence, no infection.
When to Quarantine?
It is a very important question. If one experiences a combination of fever, dry cough, runny nose and body ache, it’s a sign of viral infection. While this may not be coronavirus it can still be infectious. And, it would be a good idea to distance oneself to prevent the spread of this infection, whichever it might be.
Always remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry!