20 Do’s and don’ts to prevent coronavirus from spreading

1- Do: Avoid large crowds. The best way to slow the spread of the virus and protect those at risk of serious illness is social distancing, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. That means it’s important to avoid crowded spaces, community gatherings and other events that could speed up the spread of the virus.

3- Don’t: Hoard paper and hygiene products so that there’s none left. “Panic buying is a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Karan Girotra, professor of operations at Cornell University, told USA Today. “If everyone thinks things are going to run out, they go and buy out things and they do run out.”

3- Do: Call your doctor if you’re displaying symptoms of the illness. Fever, cough and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.

4- Don’t: Panic. The CDC still considers the general public’s risk as “low.” But seniors and those with compromised immune symptoms face a higher risk of serious illness, so it’s important to follow the CDC and local officials’ instructions. It’s unlikely that the virus is transmitted through food or sex, so there’s little reason to worry about either of those things.

5- Do: Care for your pets like normal. It’s highly unlikely that dogs and cats can pass coronavirus to people, the Associated Press recently reported. Experts from two universities in Hong Kong and the World Organisation for Animal Health agreed that “human-to-animal” transmission would be more common, but only low-levels of infection have been reported so far.

6- Don’t: Kiss your dog or cat. Although the risk of catching the infection is low, Hong Kong’s Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department still suggest pet owners not kiss their cat or dog for the sake of good hygiene, the Associated Press recently reported.

7- Do: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best defense against the virus is washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating, after using the bathroom and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.

8- Don’t: Touch your face. Coronavirus begins in the eyes, nose or mouth, The Washington Post recently reported. The more you touch your face, the more you increase your risk of exposure to the virus.

 

9- Do: Use hand sanitizer when soap and water isn’t available. The CDC recommends that the hand sanitizer contain at least 60% alcohol.

10- Don’t: Leave used tissues on the couch, nightstand or anywhere but a garbage can. The virus is spread through respiratory droplets that can survive on hard surfaces.

11- Do: Regularly clean hard surfaces, including TV remotes, cellphones, light switches and doorknobs. The CDC recommends wearing gloves and only using disinfectants registered with the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently released a list of products that kill coronavirus from surfaces.

12- Don’t: Leave your purse on the ground. A 2013 study from Initial Washroom Hygiene, a UK-based hygiene and washroom services company, showed that handbags have more bacteria than a toilet seat. Putting your purse on the ground of a public restroom or the floor of a bus increases your exposure to not only bacteria but also viruses.

13- Do: Wear a face mask if you’re a health care provider or caregiver. The World Health Organization recommends washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face or the mask and throwing them away in a closed garbage bin.

14- Don’t: Buy face masks if you’re not in the health care industry. Not only could a mask shortage be detrimental to health care professionals but also masks could increase residents’ chance of infection because they’re often worn improperly.

15- Do: Be careful while continuing to use public transportation. Several agencies, including SMART and San Francisco’s BART, are cleaning and disinfecting their trains more frequently to prevent the virus from spreading. Other safety measures include standing or sitting away from others, limiting contact with train and bus poles, carrying hand sanitizer, keeping your purse off the ground and avoiding eating, drinking or using your phone, according to Business Insider.

16- Don’t: Use Lyft, Uber or public transportation if you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which includes coughing, difficulty breathing and fever, to prevent the virus from spreading.

17- Do: Choose a window seat if you’re traveling on an airplane. You’re the least likely to come into contact with someone affected by any virus, according to National Geographic, although washing your hands and avoiding coughing passengers also is recommended.

18- Don’t: Travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran unless absolutely necessary. The CDC issued a Level 3 warning, the most extreme included in its guidelines, for US residents to avoid all nonessential travel to these countries because of the virus

19- Do: Be cautious, but continue to support local restaurants. The wine and beverage industry may take a hit from the coronavirus. Because the CDC is urging people across the country to distance themselves from others and avoid crowded places, the best way to support local restaurants is buying gift cards or ordering takeout. The New York Times recently reported that food likely cannot carry the coronavirus, but it’s important to be mindful of menus and serving utensils that others may have touched.

20- Do: Have two weeks of groceries on hand in case you’re quarantined for two weeks. Dry goods such as rice, pasta, beans and oats, along with canned goods such as tomatoes and beans, are recommended, according to Business Insider. Other items include pet food, prescriptions and diapers if you have children.