Practice basic infection control.
Navigating the Covid-19 outbreak has been difficult for everyone. Many states are still on lockdown and others are partially shutdown. Everyone other than essential workers have been urged to stay home except to buy groceries or seek necessary medical care. When you do go out, health officials advise staying away from others, or social distancing. The goal is to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.
Along with social distancing, here are the best things you can do to help protect yourself from colds, the flu, and most importantly– the coronavirus.
If possible, stay home.
The idea behind social distancing is to reduce the chances of spreading the virus. According to the Center for Disease Control, respiratory viruses are most often transmitted between people who are less than 6 feet apart, so keep that in mind when you need to leave your home.
This is especially important for people at high risk of serious illness due to COVID-19, including those who are 60 and older and anyone with a chronic medical condition like diabetes, heart disease, or lung disease.
If you are sick, you should avoid going out even for groceries. Only leave your house only if you need medical care. For this reason, it’s a good idea to have groceries on hand for a couple of weeks in case you get sick.
Wash your hands.
Hand-washing is a critical step in stopping the spread of viruses and other illnesses. Furthermore, it’s one of several measures the CDC recommends to reduce your risk of contacting COVID-19.
At a minimum, wash your hands after you use the bathroom, before you eat, and after you blow your nose, cough, or sneeze.
Make sure you use an anti-bacterial soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds.
Clean frequently used surfaces.
At home, it’s a good idea to regularly clean frequently touched surfaces, like doorknobs, handles, and counters. This will kill any unwanted bacteria and decrease the likelihood of you or your family getting sick.
Cover your face.
The CDC also recommends that you wear a cloth face covering when you go out in public. Medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers, who need them when caring for highly infectious patients at close range.
While handmade face coverings aren’t very effective at protecting the wearer, they do protect others. It’s important because mounting evidence shows that people can spread the virus even if they don’t have any symptoms.
Use hand sanitizer.
If you’re in a situation where you need to wash your hands but you aren’t able to get to a sink, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol is your next best option.
With the flu and Covid-19 still circulating widely, cleaning your hands after being in crowded spaces or after touching surfaces in public areas is necessary. Hand sanitizer is a good, portable way to meet that need.
Self isolate if you feel sick.
If you DO feel sick, stay home! Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and can recover at home without any medical care. Don’t leave your home, except to see your doctor. Additionally, make sure you get proper rest and stay hydrated. Take over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen, to help you feel better.
You should also stay in touch with your doctor. Be sure to get seek care if you have trouble breathing, and avoid public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
Even though you can’t see everyone in person right now, it’s crucial for your mental health to stay in touch with your friends and family that don’t live with you. Call, video chat, or stay connected using social media. Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations and having to socially distance yourself from those you love can be difficult.
See You Soon!
For the latest updates on the coronavirus, please visit the Center for Disease Control Covid-19 website.
As soon as the CDC deems it safe, we will be reopening for cleanings and cosmetic appointments. In the meantime, if you have an emergency, call us at (978)744-7575 and we will see you as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing your smiling faces again very soon.
Dr. Randall Burba is an American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry accredited dentist, with a practice in Salem, Massachusetts. He considers himself an artist–with teeth and beyond! He often paints, draws, and has a passion for woodworking.