April 15, 2020
COVID Safety Tips
1. How long should I wash my hands?
Washing your hands is one of the simplest ways to keep yourself and others safe, and the CDC recommends we wash our hands for a full 20 seconds. A good way to stay true to the 20 seconds and not rush the process is to sing a song! Singing will help you focus on the task at hand and will bring you a moment of enjoyment while killing germs.
- Sing the ABCs 2 times
- Pick one of your favorite songs
- (i.e. “Staying Alive” by the Bee Gees, “Livin’ On a Prayer,” by Bon Jovi, “No Scrubs,” by TLC, “Jolene,” by Dolly Parton, “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo or ”Landslide,” by Fleetwood Mac)
- Check out Spotify’s handwashing playlist
- Check out my handwashing video to Beyonce’s “Love on Top.”
2. How long can the virus last in the air or on surfaces?
According to the New England Journal of Medicine- COVID-19 can remain viable in aerosol and surfaces, such as delivered package boxes, mail etc., for varying times.
- Cardboard-24 hours
- Plastic- 3 days
It is best to sanitize these surfaces with Lysol spray or antiseptic wipes and be careful not to touch it until the allotted time has passed.
3. How can I stay safe while shopping?
It’s important to minimize your trips to the grocery store and to be careful while grocery shopping! Make sure you wipe down not only the cart handles but the inner part of the shopping cart where both you and your food touch the cart. Make sure to only touch the groceries you intend to buy to minimize your exposure. Also, be sure to check out Dr Jeffrey VanWingen’s YouTube video on ways to sanitize your food when you bring it home as well as ways to ensure you have less exposure when you get fast food.
4. How do I know if I have regular allergies vs COVID-19?
Quite simply, allergies are all mostly from the neck up. Seasonal allergies include your head, ears, nose and throat system and likely that is all. COVID-19 includes more of your respiratory system.
Symptoms of seasonal allergies range from mild to severe and are not contagious. Often, common over the counter medications can help those with allergies find relief from:
- runny or stuffy nose
- watery and itchy eyes
- itchy sinuses, throat, or ear canals
- ear congestion
- postnasal drainage
- mild cough from postnasal drip
Symptoms of COVID may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
5. How can I manage my time, anxiety and stress while social distancing?
Here are some tips:
- Make sure to take time to get outside. You can still take a walk while continuing to practice social distancing,
- Plan a virtual dinner party with family and friends. In my case, I am planning a virtual baby shower to allow my family and friends to still be present during this time.
- Have game nights with your loved ones in the house to break up the monotony of daily activities.
- Regularly check-in with loved ones and neighbors by telephone or social media.
- Participate in a heart, bear or rainbow scavenger hunt: People are putting a heart, bear or a rainbow in a ‘window to allow kids to go on a hunt.