Article by Puja Chandra Nanda
From Fear to Action:
Maintain Good Personal Hygiene:
The mantra in the fight against the novel – coronavirus is surprisingly as simple as washing hands frequently and properly with soap and water. Every day, we are reminded to this simple act to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of this highly contagious virus. If soap and water is not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol can also protect us.
Since the virus can be spread through touching contaminated surfaces, washing hands is the best bet to rid of the germs. Additionally, we must refrain from touching our faces wherein germs can transfer from your hand to your eyes, mouth or nose. At home, we should refrain from sharing towels, utensils and food with others to avoid passing on germs.
Ramp up Sanitation in House:
Along with maintaining personal hygiene, we can do our bit by keeping our homes, workplaces, schools and public places clear of litter. This would support the Government and our frontline line workers efforts in creating a safe and healthy environment for all.
We must promptly bin litter and soiled tissues and masks. At home we can use disinfectants to sanitize door knobs, door handles and other surfaces commonly touched. Floors should be mopped with alcohol based disinfectant cleaners. Clothes should be laundered regularly. The virus can be easily decimated by washing and cleaning and its worth the effort. We must switch off the air conditioner and ventilate our houses well by opening the windows and allowing fresh air and sunlight to circulate to kill the virus. NEA has released a list of disinfectants which are effective in killing the virus.
Be Socially Responsible:
This is a community fight and everyone is in it together. By looking out for our health and that of our family members, we can in turn contain the spread of the viruses and protect everyone. Being socially responsible means following the hygiene and sanitation routines, co-operating for health screenings, following the instructions of authorities in case place under a Quarantine Order or Leave of Absence (LoA). It also means seeing a doctor if unwell and not trying to hide the condition.
Finally, the last but an important tenet of being socially responsible is being “social media responsible,” by not sharing or forwarding unverified messages in chats or groups. One should follow updates at verified sources such as https://www.moh.gov.sg/.
Build Your Immunity
Finally, it is important to build your immunity. A good immunity can help your body fight the virus if you happen to catch the infection. It can also expedite your body’s recovery and healing. In contrast, people with underlying health conditions and low immunity are considered more at risk of developing complications from the infection and need focused medical care to recover. There are vitamins that you can take to build your immunity- Vitamins A, B6, C, D and E are said to enhance the body’s immune system. One may choose to take vitamins supplements or consume them naturally in the form of vitamin and mineral rich foods.
Finally, allowing yourself adequate rest and keeping yourself well hydrated are the most important boosters in your recovery if and when you fall sick.
The W-U-H-A-N test
Ask yourself these questions everyday:
- W- Did I WASH my hands with soap and water before handling food, eating, after using toilet or after returning home from work/school? Did I WEAR a mask if required?
- U- Did I USE a tissue when sneezing or coughing ?
- H- Did I do HEALTH routines such as temperature checks at home, school / workplace?
- A- Did I consciously AVOID touching my face, being in crowded places and standing next to someone with flu-like symptoms?
- N-Did I choose NOT to ignore symptoms and see a doctor when feeling unwell?