The Canadian Men’s Health Foundation shares some practical advice on prevention from a virologist with coronavirus experience.
- No handshaking! Use a fist bump, slight bow, elbow bump, etc.
- Use only your knuckle to touch light switches, elevator buttons, etc. Lift the gasoline dispenser with a paper towel or use a disposable glove.
- Open doors with your closed fist or hip — do not grasp the handle with your hand, unless there is no other way to open the door, especially important on bathroom doors, post office boxes, and commercial doors.
- Use disinfectant wipes at the stores when they are available, including wiping the handle and child seat in grocery carts.
- Wash your hands with soap for 10-20 seconds and/or use a greater than 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever you return home from ANY activity that involves locations where other people have been.
- Keep a bottle of sanitizer available at each of your home entrances AND in your car for use after getting gas or touching other potentially contaminated objects when you can’t immediately wash your hands.
- If possible, cough or sneeze into a disposable tissue and discard. Use your elbow only if you have to. The clothing on your elbow may contain an infectious virus that can be passed on for up to a week or more!
You can download and print this infographic and tape it to the wall next to the sink in common washrooms.
Get some of the following items
- Latex or nitrile latex disposable gloves (get the appropriate sizes for your family) for use when going shopping, using the gasoline pump, and all other outside activity when you come in contact with contaminated areas.
- Disposable surgical masks to prevent you from touching your nose and/or mouth. We touch our nose/mouth about 90 times per day without knowing it! This is the only way this virus can infect you as it is lung-specific. The mask will not prevent the virus in a direct sneeze from getting into your nose or mouth. It is only useful to keep you from touching your nose or mouth.
- Hand sanitizers must be alcohol-based and greater than 60% alcohol to be effective.
- Zinc lozenges have been proven to be effective in blocking coronavirus (and most other viruses) from multiplying in your throat and nasopharynx. Use as directed several times each day when you begin to feel ANY “cold-like” symptoms beginning. It is best to lie down and let the lozenge dissolve in the back of your throat and nasopharynx.
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Source: James Robb, MD FCAP is a former professor of pathology at the University of California San Diego. He was one of the first molecular virologists in the world to work on coronaviruses in the 1970s and the first to demonstrate the number of genes the virus contained. Since then, he has kept up with the coronavirus field and its multiple clinical transfers into the human population (e.g. SARS, MERS) from different animal sources.
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