Here at GeekGirlCon, we care about the health and safety of everyone in our community. Currently, The greater Seattle area (and many other places in the world) is facing a battle with COVID-19, popularly referred to as Coronavirus. Now is a good time to review a few ways to keep yourself, your loved ones, and your community as safe as you can. When it comes to germs, sharing is not caring.
Wash Your Hands
This cannot be stressed enough, folks! WASH. YOUR. HANDS. Hand washing is the simplest and most effective way to stop the spread of disease. Follow these simple rules while washing your hands to give yourself the best shot at killing as many germs as possible:
- Use hot running water and wet your hands.
- Soap up!
- Scrub your hands for 15-20 seconds. Yeah, it seems like a long time, but that’s just how long it takes to kill the germies. A good rule is to sing Happy Birthday twice. Be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, and around your finger nails.
- Rinse well. Don’t touch the faucet when you are done! This can re-contaminate your hands.
- Get a disposable paper towel and dry your hands. Use the towel to turn off the water without touching the faucet directly.
If you can’t wash your hands, you can use hand sanitizer with a minimum 60% alcohol base, but nothing beats a good ol’ wash.
Check out this funny old video about washing your hands from the Washington Department of Health:
Cover Your Coughs and Sneezes
Believe it or not, there is actually a right way and a wrong way to cover a cough or sneeze. The best method is to cover your mouth with a tissue and throw it away. If you, like me, often find coughs and sneezes sneaking up on you and you don’t have time to get a tissue, then you should turn your head into the crook of your elbow. This will direct the germs away from your hands while also not spreading germy spittle across the room. Try not to cough and sneeze directly in your hands unless you have no other choice, and please wash your hands immediately.
Don’t Touch Your Face
This is a really, really hard one. We touch our faces all the time, every day. When your eye itches, you scratch it. If you have dry lips, you put on lip balm. Do you see where this is going? Your fingers are the parts of your body that will undoubtedly come into the most contact with germy surfaces, and your face houses the mucous membranes that give germs the easiest access into your body (eyes, nose, and mouth). It is like granting bacteria VIP access to your body. I know it is hard, but please try to not touch your face.
If You Feel Sick, Please Stay Home
Through most cold and flu seasons, we are told to stay home when sick, but are kind of pressured to go about our lives as usual. It is difficult to make the decision to stay home from work or school when there is so much to be done and people who depend on you. But please, please, please stay home if you are feeling unwell. Please keep your children home from school if they are feeling sick. Trust me, no one wants them there and they don’t want to be there.
Currently, the King County Public Health Department has put out a list of Public Health Recommendations to help combat the spread of Coronavirus. They recommend trying to work from home if you can, and to avoid large gatherings of people. We should all stay calm, but be mindful of our habits and surroundings to keep ourselves and everyone else safe.
It is important to point out that, while many people get the cold and flu every year and come out of it perfectly fine, there are also many who don’t. COVID-19 is proving to be similar. While you, a reasonably healthy adult, may just have mild symptoms and will recover on your own, there are those in our society who would not. The elderly, the very young, those who are pregnant, and the immunocompromised react much more severely to common illnesses. If we have it within our power to stop the spread of diseases that may prove fatal to the most vulnerable members of our society, then we have a moral and ethical obligation to do so. So please, protect other peoples loved ones and wash your hands.
Want a little more info? Check out our previous blog post How to Conquer Con Crud for some more tips from GeekGirlCon on how to stay happy and healthy!
And also… wash your hands!