By Kathy Falconer, [email protected]
With a biology background, being licensed for 14 years to prepare and serve food to the public at my bed and breakfast, and listening to the advice provided by experts, I have prepared a list of ways one can protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19. My friends and I are in the vulnerable age group, some with chronic health issues. Every time I venture out to the public, I have tried to follow basic preventative measures. However, because it has taken so long to educate the public, I may not have started these practices soon enough.
Important Practices to Follow to Stop the Spread of COViD-19
- Wash hands several times throughout the day for 20 seconds with soap and water, each time washing palms, tops of hands, between the fingers and above the wrist .
- When you do have to go out, carry a small container of sanitizer to apply to your hands regularly. Once you get to your car, sanitize every surface you touch to prevent from transferring the virus. Wipe down counters in the kitchen and bathrooms regularly, using a bleach solution.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth or any part of your face. If you must, make certain you washed your hands first.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth or cup your face in the inside arm surface. If blowing your nose, be certain to drop Kleenex into a trash can immediately so that others are protected.
- When introduced or connecting with a friend, refrain from hugging and shaking hands. Best to elbow greet.
- Try to eliminate all gatherings of people. If you must, stay at least 6 feet away from other people when standing in lines, dining, or gathering for a meeting.
- For important meetings, suggest using a computer program such as Zoom to observe computerized presentations and for face to face conversations with people.
- At home where one member is contagious whether with COVID-19 or the flu, or if a member has contact with the general public, soak silverware in a bleach solution before loading into a dishwasher. Rims of cups and glasses can be dipped in the same type of solution before they too are loaded into the dishwasher. For this important period, use the hottest drying cycle provided on your DW appliance.
- All produce used should be washed thoroughly with soap and water BEFORE peeling or cutting up. Whenever possible and whether eating out or at home, try to cook at higher temperatures, trying to cook by boiling or simmering for a period. Eating out, cooked foods may be safer than non-cooked.
- And manâ€™s best friends. A dogâ€™s nasal swab proved positive for the COVID-19, as well as swabs from dogâ€™s hair. If you have contact with your animals, be certain to wash your hands well and avoid kissing. It might be a good idea to wash pets regularly with soap and water and wipe their paws with sanitizer sheets when coming in to prevent the virus from reaching the floor surface. Remove your shoes when entering the home is also beneficial.
- If groceries or supplies are needed, reach out to those healthier than yourself. When delivered, wipe down the items before stocking your shelves and also the counter they touched.
- Hunker down in your home and refrain from contact with others.