Since late 2019 the Novel Corona Virus, Covid 19, has spread across the world infecting many in its wake. This can feel quite terrifying, but there are some basic things you can do to help protect your family.
The first thing you can do to protect your family is to protect yourself and reduce the risk of them getting it from you. Covid 19 is mainly spread through droplets of water from your lungs, so keeping a distance of 6 ft. from other people should stop the droplets from their breath reaching you.
COVID-19 can live for a number of hours, even days, on many materials so it’s best to avoid touching anything that a lot of people touch, like handrails, cash money, chip and pin machine buttons or public touch screens. If you need to touch them then it might be a good idea to sanitize or wash your hands afterwards.
Avoid touching your face, including your mouth, nose, and eyes. These are the main entry points into the body for the virus and our hands touch a lot of things without us thinking about it. Us avoiding touching our faces should reduce the risk of contracting COVID-19 dramatically.
Sneeze into your (clothed) elbow or into a tissue. This should stop the virus from coming into contact with other people and with your hands. If you have children you could teach them to do this too.
It is currently unknown what effect the virus can have on pregnant women, but it is a good idea to protect any pregnant people in your family as much as you can. If you are worried about the health of your pregnant family member, then contact a medical professional according to your local guidance.
Even though COVID-19 has been reported to have started by being passed from wild animals to humans, there is no evidence that COVID-19 can affect companion animals. There is also no evidence that the virus can be passed on to humans by companion animals. There is no reason to get rid of your animals or to have them put down. It may, however, be a good idea not to let people stroke your dog while taking it out for walks as you can’t tell what’s on the hands of the person stroking your dog.
There are many things you can do to protect your children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Educate your children on what the virus is, how it spreads and how to protect themselves. It may seem tempting to shield your children from the scary things in the world, but the more they know the more they can protect themselves. There is a variety of information for children online.
Try and keep your children at least 6 ft. away from other people not in your household. This, unfortunately, means not taking them on play dates or letting them play with other children.
Children aren’t necessarily particularly good at regulating their behavior, so it might be a good idea to protect them by making sure high touch areas are cleaned every day. Clean and disinfect any surfaces they come into contact with and any toys they regularly play with. Surfaces include door handles and counter tops among others.
Try and maintain good mental health in your family. This is a very stressful time, so doing whatever you can to reduce the impact on your family’s mental health will go a long way towards protecting them. If it is necessary to be shut indoors with your family then it will be much easier to do if everyone gets along.
This article is accurate at the time of writing but is subject to change. Always follow advice from the CDC, check cdc.gov for updates regularly.