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5 tips to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

1. Stay 2 metres away from anyone you meet.

The main modes of transmission of the novel coronavirus seem to be via droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. That means that people get mainly infected by large droplets coming from someone that is infected with the disease. These droplets are produced when someone speaks, sneezes or cough.

People can transmit the disease even if they have no symptoms.

2. Wash your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and water.

Our hands touch thousands of surfaces during the day and it is estimated that the average adult touches his face hundreds of times per hour. SARS-CoV2 which is the name of the virus cause COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) can live on surfaces from multiple hours to multiple days. That means that if you touch a surface infected by the virus and then touch your face you will potentially infect yourself. The solution to that is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds multiple times a day. It is especially important to do so if you need to leave the house, you need to touch your face or live with other people.

3. Avoid any necessary public places.

Public places are areas where the risk of virus transmission is high. Such places include; any stores, SAQ, coffee shops and restaurants. Many grocery stores offer delivery or curb-side pickup. Asking a family member, a friend or a neighbour to do the groceries for you will limit your chances of getting infected

4. Disinfect frequently touched areas.

In the same line of thoughts as washing your hands often, disinfecting frequently touched surfaces every day is important. Especially if you live with other people or someone is sick. Surfaces to disinfect include door handles, light switches, tap handles, soap distributors, counters and tables. In order to disinfect, commercial products branded as disinfectants such as lysol, clorox are easy and safe to use. A cheap and effective alternative to these store bought products is to use a diluted bleach solution. You can make such a solution by mixing 4 teaspoons of bleach in a quart (approx. 1 litre) of water. Bleach solutions are effective for 24 hour, should only be used on hard non-porous surfaces, in well ventilated areas and should never be mixed with other cleaners.

5. Wear a handmade mask if you absolutely have to visit public places

Handmade masks seem to provide an added level of protection if we respect the 2m distance between each other and limit our time spent in public areas. They mostly work by containing the droplets you produce but can also help to filter the small particules in the air you breathe. Such masks can be bought online or you can make them yourself.

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