Coronavirus Prevention: A 25-Point Checklist To Prevent You Bringing The Virus Home

Your biggest contribution to solving the coronavirus pandemic is to stay home, except if you are in the frontline fighting the pandemic. Your staying home is tantamount to saving lives, stopping the spread of COVID 19 and flatting the curve of infection in the process. The importance of your staying home cannot be over-emphasized enough.

As a parent, we bet you don’t need much convincing to stay home, knowing how fatal this disease is. But there are days you may run out of groceries and need to stock up or in the case, the lockdown / social distancing is not getting relaxed but extended and you need to run errands or get groceries? What would you do?

Yes, there’s an absolute need to go out and do errands and there’s also a big chance you will come in contact with the virus when you’re out, so, how do you make sure you don’t bring the coronavirus home to your spouse and kids or to your aged parents if you have them staying with you?

According to Smartparenting, Dr. Bill Griggs, the former trauma services director of The Royal Adelaide Hospital, the largest hospital in South Australia, has come up with a detailed checklist of what one must do when leaving the house to minimize the possibility of being a carrier of the virus.

He breaks it down into three parts: Leaving home, While out, and Arriving home.

Primarily, In Nigeria, it is also now compulsory to wear a facemask when going out. So put on your face non-surgical facemask, and avoid touching it until you are ready to discard it after running errands.

A. Leaving home

1. Don’t wear anything from the elbow down: Many of us prepare to go out all covered up from head to toe and dressed like a ninja, which is still a good precaution. However, Dr. Griggs says not to put on any arm wear, like a watch, wrist chain, and other jewelry, from the elbow down.

“You want to be able to wash thoroughly when you get home and you don’t want to deal with crevices in these items. Wear short sleeves so you can easily wash your hands and forearms when you get home,” he says.

2. Don’t take along a handbag or wallet: The point is to take a few items outside as possible. That said, instead of taking your entire collection of keys; just take the one you need. Any other personal belongings, like medicine or alcohol, must be placed inside a disposable paper bag.

3. Put your phone inside a resealable plastic: As much as possible, try not to take your phone outside, but if there is a need to take your phone along, put it in a resealable plastic bag such as a Ziploc bag.

4. Put your credit card, ID and cash in a resealable bag, too: Remember, Coronavirus can spread from one person to another through infected objects touched by an uninfected person. In Nigeria, we make use of cash much more than our Credit or ATM cards. Therefore, we recommend that it is better to calculate how much all your groceries will cost and place the cash in a resealable bag. That way, you won’t have to touch any other object or get any from anyone.
And you can also make use of your ATM card to reduce the probability of objects exchange as well.

5. Use closed shoes: Avoid open-toe shoes, slippers or sandals. Put on shoes that cover the entirety of your feet very well.

6. Bring your own food and drink — in a disposable bag, of course.

7. Place an empty plastic box outside your door: You will need this when you get back home to put all the personal effects you went out with after your errands for thorough cleaning.

8. Put all your personal items in another plastic box: This is the one you take with you and will occupy that one spot in the car. (So don’t move it around).

9. Plan your trip: Do all your errands at once (grocery shopping, buying medicine, or getting fuel and even withdrawing money at the ATM). Do this to maximize your trip and reduce your chances of getting infected due to constantly going out. Plan your trip ahead of time, make a list of all what you need, where you need to go, Doing this reduces your chances of forgetting anything and going back out to get it.

B. While out

10. Don’t use your phone unnecessarily: Avoid using your phone while you’re out. Discard the resealable plastic or wash it thoroughly when you get home.
“No social media. You can manage without it for a while,” says Dr. Griggs.

11. Don’t touch your face.

12. Don’t touch anything with your hands that you don’t absolutely need to.

13. Be wary of frequently-touched items: Just assume that anything other people touch is contaminated, such as doorknobs, handrails, supermarket carts, pens at the cashier, ATM keypad, etc.

14. Disinfect your hands regularly: Use liberal amounts of alcohol or hand sanitizer to decontaminate, or use soap and water if available. Dr. Griggs says, “Hand washing is the most effective.”

15. Push doors using your feet, elbow, or shoulder.

16. Resist the urge to scratch that itch: If your face itches, use your upper arm to rub it but do not use your hand to scratch or touch your face.

17. Avoid eating out: “It is almost impossible not to touch your face when you eat. No drinks unless you brought them with you.”

18. Avoid cash payments: Money gets passed around a lot so it’s highly possible that one could get the virus this way too. Use contactless payment, and if you need to push some buttons to enter your PIN, use your ring finger rather than your index finger or thumb.

C. Arriving home
Remember, no hugs or close greetings yet!

19. Bring the items you bought out of the car: Bring out your personal belongings as well (the ones in the plastic box).

20. Transfer the contents of the plastic box into the other box you prepared by the door: Just the contents — you need to throw away the bag they came in.

21. Remove your shoes and leave them outside your door.

22. Wash your hands thoroughly.

23. Clean the items in the home box one at a time: Place in another container the things you’ve finished cleaning. Then clean the plastic box.

24. Clean the car: Pay close attention to the door handle, steering wheel, gear shift, seat belt. Clean the plastic box, too.

25. Have a sanitation station outside your home: Make soap, alcohol, and disposable paper towels available by the faucet. Again, wash your hands thoroughly.

In addition, we’d like to add that you should avoid touching anything on your way inside the house. Go straight into your bathroom and place the clothes you were wearing inside a resealable bag. These should be washed and disinfected separately. Do not wash them with the other laundry.

Also, remember to take a thorough bath as well.

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What Parents Needs To Know About Coronavirus?

Coronavirus also known as the novel coronavirus or COVID 19 has been making headlines on a daily basis since the first human case was identified in December 2019 in Wuhan China. To date, over two million people have tested positive for the disease worldwide, and over 142,624 have died from having contracted coronavirus. More than 539,000 people who have had coronavirus have since recovered.

With daily reports of the coronavirus spreading, and at least over 600 cases and 21 deaths and cases rapidly spreading right here in Nigeria, how worried should you be?

With so much in the news and on social media about coronavirus, there’s clearly an over-abundance of information, some accurate and some not, making it hard for people to find the trustworthy sources and reliable guidelines. “We are not just fighting an epidemic, we are fighting an infodemic” says WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

With this in mind, we have curated information from trusted centers on what every worried parent should know about the infection also known as COVID-19

What is coronavirus?

The World Health Organization WHO describes coronavirus as ‘a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)’.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus”. It is a new strain of Coronaviruses that are common in animals. but can be transmitted between animals and people. People who get infected with these viruses which may then spread to other people say WHO. The virus is now transmissible from human to human

It was first reported to WHO on the 31st of December, 2019 in Wuhan, China.
However, the first case in Nigeria was confirmed on Friday, February 27, 2020, in Lagos in a business Italian traveler who arrived Nigeria on February 25, 2020, and became symptomatic on February 26, 2020, says Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC).

What is the source of coronavirus?

According to WHO, the source of COVID-19 is currently unknown. However, studies show that it has a natural animal origin and is not a constructed virus.

How can coronavirus be transmitted?

WHO asserts that “The virus that causes COVID-19 is transmitted mainly through the following ways;

• Droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. These droplets are too heavy to hang in the air. They quickly fall on floors or surfaces.
• You can be infected by breathing in the virus if you are within 1 meter of a person who has COVID-19,
• By touching a contaminated surface and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth before washing your hands.

What are the signs and symptoms of coronavirus?

Based on several reports the COVID 19 symptoms are likened to that of Cold and flu. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 as stated by WHO are;

• Fever,
• Tiredness
• Dry cough
• Shortness of breath

Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea

Health experts are also reporting that an early sign or symptom of coronavirus is:
• losing your sense of smell or taste.
Also referred to as ‘anosmia’ health experts are finding evidence that a sudden loss of smell (not caused by a blocked nose) or taste could be a coronavirus symptom, too.

A report from ENT UK shared in The Telegraph, said that between 30-60% of coronavirus sufferers experienced this symptom, too.

However, experts now say that people are likely to be infectious before symptoms appear. It’s thought the incubation period is anywhere between one and 14 days. Elderly people and those with underlying chronic health conditions are considered most at risk.

What’s the treatment for coronavirus?

According to the WHO, ‘oxygen therapy is the major treatment intervention for patients with severe COVID-19.’
As it’s relatively unknown and has evolved so quickly, there’s no specific cure for coronavirus, yet.

Who should self-isolate for coronavirus?
According to netmums, “If you are having symptoms, such as a cough or fever (even if they’re mild), the government is advising that you self-isolate completely for seven days.

If you live with other people, they need to self-isolate for 14 days from the first day you became ill. That’s because it could take time for their symptoms to appear.

You should also self-isolate if you’re in one of the high-risk groups identified by the National Health Service UK NHS. This includes people who:

• have had an organ transplant
• are having certain types of cancer treatment
• have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
• have a severe lung condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
• have a condition that makes you much more likely to get infections
• are taking medicine that weakens your immune system
• are pregnant and have a serious heart condition

How can parents protect their children from coronavirus?

Now that cases of Coronavirus are spreading rapidly in Nigeria, it’s only natural to worry about what to do and how to protect your children from catching it.
The most important thing is to follow the government’s advice about social distancing and stay at home as much as possible.

However, parents are advised to practice strict good hygiene and most especially good hand hygiene for both yourself and your children.

To reduce the risk of infection or spread of COVID-19, members of the public are advised by NCDC to adhere to the following hand and respiratory hygiene measures:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap under running water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizers frequently
  • Cover your mouth and nose properly with tissue paper when sneezing and/or coughing and immediately dispose of the tissue in a covered waste bin. After this, wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
  • You may also cough into your elbow if disposable tissue is not available. You are strongly advised not to re-use handkerchiefs
  • If you, your child or a family member have persistent high fevers or any difficulty breathing, then they are advised to seek medical advice
  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing
  • Avoid crowding places, doing so will reduce the risk of you or your child contracting the infection.

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