By Parish Nurse Jill Stewart
Health experts report that we are approaching the peak of the current COVID outbreak. We will need to be careful to protect ourselves for a while. In the meantime, all aspects of the outbreak are being studied and some helpful information is emerging.
- Handwashing is still the most important way to protect yourself. The Coronavirus is destroyed by soap. Wash for about 20 seconds and make sure to get every surface of your fingers, hands and wrists. Warm water usually produces a better lather, but washing in cold water will work if that’s what is available. No soap or water? Use an alcohol gel that is at least 60% alcohol and rub briskly until dry.
- Don’t touch your face unless you’ve just washed your hands.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. If you wear a mask, put it on and take it off using the sides. Don’t touch the front of it. Then wash your hands well.
- Don’t shake your dirty laundry. If you sneezed in your sleeve, virus could be on the fabric. Shaking it can spread the virus around, so handle it as little as possible. Wash with your usual detergent using the warmest water the fabric will take. Drying in the dryer is best. Be sure to launder cloth masks after use. If you are around vulnerable people, you can wear a shirt or jacket when you go out and take it off when you come in, or wear a clean shirt over your other clothes when you are with the vulnerable person.
- About half the current cases appear to be spread by people who have the infection but no symptoms. It is possible to have the infection for a day or so without any symptoms. That means physical distancing is crucial.
Thank you everyone for demonstrating love for your neighbors by all that you are doing to help the community, health care providers and those vulnerable people who are most at risk from Coronavirus infection.