The Importance of Handwashing: How to Prevent Catching the Coronavirus

Category: Healthy Living


Posted on March 25, 2020

Vanessa is a health writer and blogging expert. Her specialities are medicine, health and wellness. She is proud to call Vancouver, BC her home where she enjoys the ocean and mountains with her dog Mr. ChowChow.

the importance of handwashing

The coronavirus has been hitting headlines, scaring people into their homes or into their local stores to deplete the shelves.

More people catch this disease every day, and the death toll continues to rise.

However, there are a few things you can do to lower your risk of getting this disease. We've put together this guide to show you the importance of handwashing and other prevention tips that will help you protect yourself from the coronavirus.

Let's get started.

Understanding the Facts About Coronavirus

There is a lot of misinformation about the coronavirus out there, so before you start putting together a disaster plan, make sure you understand the actual facts about this disease.

Don't trust everything you read on the internet. Make sure you get your information from reputable sources, such as the CDC or your doctor.

Check for updates often. Diseases like the coronavirus change quickly, but that doesn't mean it changes for the worst. Medical professionals are currently working on a coronavirus vaccine and testing potential treatments.

You might even hear more good news than bad news.

Before we show you how to protect yourself from catching the coronavirus, there are some facts you should understand. Here's what you need to know.

The Risk of Catching the Coronavirus Is Low

While the coronavirus is spreading in the U.S., the risk of catching it is still low.

At this point, there is a good chance you won't catch the coronavirus at all. You only have to be concerned if you were exposed to a person (or people) who already have the coronavirus.

In this case, you should go see your doctor right away. You may not have the disease yourself, but your doctor will be able to recommend medications and/or treatments just in case.

The Coronavirus Isn't as Serious as You Think

If you do catch the coronavirus, it probably won't kill you.

In fact, you might not even realize you have the coronavirus if you catch it. You might just think you have a normal cold or flu. That said, you should still get medical attention right away if you think you have the coronavirus or are displaying symptoms, such as:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Shortness of Breath

You might not even experience shortness of breath unless your case is serious.

So, don't let yourself panic. The coronavirus, as it stands right now, isn't as dangerous as you might have thought.

How to Protect Yourself from the Coronavirus

Just because the coronavirus might not be as threatening as you previously thought doesn't mean you shouldn't take measures to protect yourself.

Here are a few things you should be doing every day to avoid contracting the coronavirus.

The Importance of Handwashing

This is one of your best defenses against the coronavirus.

Make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water several times a day. You should especially do this every time you get home from being outside the house, after you blow your nose or sneeze, or before you eat a meal. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure you remove any germs.

If you are out and about, you should also carry a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol. This shouldn't replace washing your hands, but it can help keep your hands clean in a pinch.

Stay Away from Other People, Especially Those Who Are Sick

You should keep at least a 3-foot distance between yourself and other people, especially if they are couching or sneezing.

But this doesn't mean you can't leave the house.

You can still go to work, school, or grocery shopping like normal, but you should avoid large crowds if possible. Of course, if you want to lower your risk even more, staying inside will reduce your likelihood of coming in contact with this disease.

However, you don't need to quarantine yourself to your house at this moment, unless it's recommended in your area.

Stop Touching Your Face

You touch a lot of things with your hands, so if any part of your body is likely to come in contact with the coronavirus, it's your hands. If you touch your face, you can pass the virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth. This gives the virus a way to enter your body.

So, this simple solution is to stop touching your face.

This is another reason why it's so important to wash your hands. If you do need to touch your face, such as to wash your face or put on makeup, always wash your hands first.

Cover Your Nose When You Sneeze

You should practice healthy habits when you sneeze or cough.

Always cover your nose and mouth with your elbow to prevent spreading the virus to others. You should also, again, wash your hands after you couch or sneeze.

Stop Wearing Facemasks

If you don't have the coronavirus yourself or you aren't in contact with someone who has the virus, you shouldn't wear a facemask. Wearing one won't protect you more than washing your hands and following the other prevention tips on this list.

Save the facemasks for the people who really need them, such as healthcare workers.

The Best Way to Prevent Catching the Coronavirus and Recognize the Importance of Handwashing

Don't underestimate the importance of handwashing. This is your best weapon against the coronavirus—at least right now.

If you think you have the coronavirus, you should visit a doctor right away. They may recommend picking up medications from your local pharmacy to help with the treatment.

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