Wash Your Hands

Why washing your hands and taking other precautions are essential for defeating COVID-19.

“Wash your hands.” A phrase repeatedly said by older relatives and physicians, on signs, and more recently all over social media, advising a frequent hygienic routine to prevent individuals from catching bacteria that can cultivate into an illness. That may be a solution for the common cold, but the coronavirus cannot be defeated with this method alone. In addition to merely washing one’s hands, there are other precautions that must be taken to maintain proper health conditions during a time where any surface can be hotbed for germs.

The main priority as of right now is to continue quarantining practices, with the exception of those who are essential workers. Limited contact with people outside of the home prevents individuals from being potential carriers, even if they are not infected themselves. If a high-risk family member resides in the household, another relative who carries COVID-19 can infect the one with the weaker immune system, which can be fatal. When travel outside the residency is required, there are steps needed to limit contact while out and upon return. Remaining 6 feet apart may sound a bit extreme, but studies have found that the virus would travel just within that radius if an infected person sneezed or coughed. Out in public, masks and gloves have proven barriers, stopping bacteria traveling via droplets. Many forget that the outside of these objects become contaminated and touch them with bare hands, disregarding the entire purpose of these preventative measures. Once returning to the house, it is imperative to remove shoes, outerwear, gloves, and masks. These items can act as hosts, allowing the coronavirus to hitch a ride. Many do not realize that the virus can stick to the bottom of shoes; however, allowing them to air out in an contained space will kill off the potential presence of the virus. COVID-19 can sustain itself on synthetic materials for any duration between 4 hours and 3 days, so disinfecting is essential. 

With many consumers attempting to limit the need to venture out into society, online orders have been on the rise as a safer alternative. Despite the limited human contact that accompanies this system, it is still pertinent to allow products to air out. The same goes from grocery items, whether they are delivered or bought in store. Remember that harsh chemicals are great for a deep clean of many household items, but cleaning edible products with them is extremely dangerous.  

Certain vitamin supplements have shown to be immune system boosters that are successful in fighting against COVID-19. According to the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, elderberry extracts may help to prevent the early stage of corona virus infections, which includes COVID-19. Elderberry extract has become a necessity in many homes, as evidenced by it rapidly fleeing the shelves. Although, if a person catches COVID-19, they should stop ingesting the supplement immediately. “It is recommended to stop elderberry at the first signs of infection (fever, cough, sore throat) and/or if you test positive for the virus,” according to the Weil Center website, “as it incites inflammatory agents that worsen the disease.”

Another vitamin that is seemingly disappearing from grocery stores is Vitamin C. This anti-inflammatory vitamin boosts the immune system and the efficiency of phagocytes which destroy harmful invaders. A variety of other vitamins, including Vitamin B and Zinc, have also been deemed beneficial in a battle against coronavirus.

Whether it be disinfecting every item in your household, or simply doing your morning walk, many precautions can be taken to fit the needs of an individual fighting the virus. Ensuring the safety of oneself and their loved ones is crucial and by protecting oneself they prevent the spread to others since a carrier may not get infected but pass the illness on. In times where research is constantly being evaluated, keeping up-to-date is essential to maximum protection against the unknown.

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