As we all don surgical masks, self-isolate and add to the frenzied stockpile shopping across the world, we are also trying to avoid airports and all unnecessary travel as the coronavirus crisis deepens.
There are however still people around the globe trying to get home, or still required to fly locally for whatever reason. And many of us still have to simply get from home to work. Here are our top tips on how to avoid being infected by the “dreaded C” while on the move.
The surgical mask debate
Do or don’t. It’s up to you at the end of the day and the debate will continue as to the panic buying and usefulness of us all walking around with masks firmly in place.
The latest update from the World Health Organisation (WHO) states that if you are healthy, you should only wear a mask if you are taking care of a person who is showing symptoms of infection or if you are coughing or sneezing. Masks on their own are not enough to protect against the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease and should be used in combination with frequent hand cleaning with an alcohol-based sanitiser or soap and water.
If you do opt to wear a mask, see the WHO website for the latest on how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Focus on your health
The best thing you can do is to stress less. In times like these, we’re all reminded to stick to the basics. Eat as much fruit and vegetables as possible, get six to eight hours sleep a night and remember that the healthier your immune system, the better your chance of not getting sick from the coronavirus in the first place.
Wash your hands
Handwashing can reduce the risk of respiratory infections hugely. Public places, such as airports, have many items that we all need to touch, from seat belt buckles to eating off tray tables.
Just think about how many other hands have also touched these same areas. Make a habit of sanitising your hands as often as possible — and especially after visiting public areas. Avoid touching your face, rubbing your eyes or biting your nails.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
It’s not just your hands that need sanitising. Remember to disinfect commonly touched high-traffic items and areas, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, door handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. Use a surgical sanitiser if possible, or one that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Ditch public transport and walk whenever possible
We know it may not always be possible, but avoiding public transport is an obvious one to limit your exposure to the coronavirus. Consider walking or cycling where possible. Also, consider private pickups with family or non-commercial drivers on arriving home from your travels.
Regular exercise of at least 150 minutes a week also protects you from heart and other vascular diseases, which will greatly contribute to your defence against developing COVID-19.