It was the end of 2019 when the first case of COVID-19 was reported. The year 2020 seemed to pass in an instant, and defined new norms of life for everyone. We witnessed case levels rise, and were faced with new daily do’s and don’ts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon entering another decade of the current millennium, it looks like the virus is here to stay – at least for a while.
Viruses tend to mutate as a means to enhance their survival rate. As expected, the coronavirus has also undergone mutation. The new variant B.1.1.7 is said to be more aggressive regarding spread and transmission. The variant strain caused the U.K to go into another shutdown. The variant strain is reported to also affect people in the U.S. and South Africa. Just when we thought that we had become acquainted and better equipped with how to deal with the coronavirus! Now, every day brings new updates regarding COVID-19 – the vaccine is here, for example. It’s important to keep ourselves updated.
So in strange times like this, where there’s a ton of information (a lot of which conflict), it’s important to keep updated but also make sure you’re having access to credible sources. Here are ten do’s and don’ts during COVID-19 pandemic, based on my experience and understanding as a medical professional. Some of them are requisites to prevent yourself from the disease; these remain unchanged. Others cater to make a contribution on your part in combating this disease.
10 Do’s & Don’ts During The COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Do wear a mask
The best safeguard against COVID-19 remains the same – wear a mask while going out. However, as more details about the coronavirus are surfacing, we realize that specifically surgical and K95 masks are mandatory for healthcare workers. In contrast, the regular cloth masks do fine for the general public.
2. Do follow hygienic practices
Another measure, the importance of which has not changed, is following hygienic practices. Wash your hands frequently, especially after an outdoor visit. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer where a hand-wash facility is not available. Follow respiratory hygiene and sneeze or cough into a disposable napkin or into your elbow. Do not touch your face, mouth, or nose unless absolutely necessary. Keep high-touch surfaces (surfaces used by many people or surfaces that are touched frequently) sanitized at your workplace and homes.
3. Do not go out often
One thing we have all learned is that spending time indoors may be one of the most difficult requirements of all preventive SOPs against COVID-19. After months of stagnation, complete lockdowns have gone lenient with micro or smart lockdowns, even in high-risk areas. Since the economic wheel must keep running, people have returned to their workplaces and businesses’ activities are back in marketplaces and elsewhere.
However, regardless of the attempt for continuation and normalcy, the virus has not been contained. So stay at home. Work and study from home as much as you can. Cancel any travel plans unless absolutely mandatory. And if you do have to travel, follow the testing rules and regulations at departure and arrival sites because airports are among the high-risk areas where you can catch the infection.
Cut back on your visits to nursing or retirement homes as well as clinics or hospitals (unless, of course, you are part of the frontline health teams). Avoid social gatherings at all costs.
4. Do follow social distancing
Research has proved that the droplets from a cough or sneeze can land at a distance of within six feet. That is why it is crucial to keep a six-foot distance when out in open or crowded spaces. One of the mediums for the fast spread of the virus has been asymptomatic carrier cases. Keeping a distance in public and crowded places can effectively break the transmission chain of the disease. So do not take this precaution casually.
5. Do make a household checklist
As the disease spread is on the rise, with many countries facing a second severe pandemic wave, you need to make a household checklist. It will help you plan better and make informed decisions in case someone in your family or household contracts COVID.
- make a list of local organizations to be contacted in case of an emergency, including healthcare services, support and resources
- make an emergency contact list including family and friends, neighbors and carpool drivers, family physician, local pharmacies, your kid’s teachers and your employers
- mark your family members who are high-risk cases; the elderly, anyone with heart or lung diseases, or those with diabetes. Make sure that take extra precautions
- mark a room for self-quarantine and isolation in case a member gets sick
- learn ways to take care of your sick house member without compromising your safety precautions
- treat your pets as one of your households and do not overlook their care
6. Do plan on getting vaccinated/flu shots
Now that the COVID vaccine is here, keep in touch with your health authorities to make arrangements for getting yourself and your family vaccinated. Keep yourself updated on the authentic vaccine, and when it arrives in your city, make sure you know of how to avail yourself the means to procure it. Also, get the high-risk individuals vaccinated against flu as the symptoms of both diseases are quite similar.
7. Do not panic/ do not stockpile
We know that the constant churn of new COVID-19 related information can be overwhelming. Always consult legitimate and reliable authorities when accessing information and do not believe internet-hearsay. There is no need to panic because panic creates further havoc and weakens the immunity. Panic makes markets get swooped by people who try to stockpile sanitizers, face masks, medicines and food supplies. That burdens the already troubled government services and efforts, so make your contribution by easing the situation all around you.
8. Do donate plasma
If you have had COVID-19 and recovered successfully, donate your plasma to your local health authorities (if they have the means to use it therapeutically). What your body has is called Convalescent Plasma that contains antibodies against the coronavirus. The FDA has issued an emergency use authorization to use such plasma as a treatment measure for patients hospitalized with the disease.
9. Do volunteer for clinical trials
The Center For Disease Control’s motto is ‘join the fight.’ You can make your contribution by participating in:
- A vaccine clinical trial
- A treatment clinical trial
For more details on how to get involved as a volunteer, see details here.
10. Do show empathy
Empathy is the essence of humanity. The ensuing pandemic crisis has tested every one of us to our cores in one way or the other. Be empathetic and support each other in any way you can. Rest assured, your name will be recorded, if not anywhere, but with your conscience for making a sincere effort in combating COVID-19, the trial of our millennium.