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Everyone is worried about germs. The social isolation we face right now is geared toward ensuring that people stop spreading this viral infection. However, there are times when you have to go to the bank, the grocery store, or the doctor's office. When taking these essential trips, you should practice respiratory hygiene.
How can you be safe around tiny germs that invade your airways and can be deadly? Here's a list of the dos and don'ts from the experts you should follow.
METHODS OF RESPIRATORY HYGIENE
The Center for Disease Control or the CDC issued many guidelines on how a person can stay safe. While there is no foolproof method, there are ways to reduce the spread of deadly germs and bacteria. The following methods should be observed for proper respiratory hygiene.
1. ALWAYS WEAR A FACIAL MASK
There is a lot of confusion about who should wear a face mask. A person who is sick or has seasonal allergies will sneeze and cough a lot. These people should always wear a mask when they are away from home or even at home for proper respiratory hygiene.
As for others who are not sick, it is always advisable to wear something to cover your mouth and nose when you are around the sick. Remember, it can't hurt. Although many people have been so attentive and have made masks due to the shortage, they may not provide adequate protection.
Doctors wear N95 quality masks to prevent the entry of germs and to provide adequate breathing.
But if you use a homemade variety, remove it by the ties and wash it before the next use. Wash your hands after removing it.
Also, if you are using a disposable mask, put on a new one for each use. These are not reusable and their germs and bacteria get trapped in the fibers.
2. DISPOSE OF FABRICS AFTER EACH USE
You probably have tissue boxes during this cold and allergy season. When using facial tissues, you should throw them away quickly. Do not place them on a side table or other surface to spread germs.
Throw them in the nearest trash can and make sure they get to the receptacle. You do not want to infect anyone who can collect them on your behalf. If you like cost-cutting measures and want to wear a tissue, resist the urge as your respiratory hygiene depends on it.
A tissue seems like an inexpensive option, but it will spread germs throughout your home until it is properly washed. Do you want to infect your family in case your condition is bacterial instead of viral?
3. ALWAYS SNEEZING AND COUGH IN YOUR ELBOW
You've probably heard that you should cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. The theory behind this is that microscopic droplets from the nasal cavity and mouth spread into the air and onto nearby surfaces. These droplets are infected with bacteria that you harbor inside your body.
While putting your hand over your mouth seems like the logical choice, it's best to cough into your elbow. The elbow is a larger surface and does not have small spaces like the fingers. You have a better chance of containing the mist when you place your elbow firmly around your mouth.
4. WASHING YOUR HANDS IS ESSENTIAL
First, you need to know that you can never over-wash your hands, especially with current flu and viruses. However, what many people don't know is how to do this routine ritual correctly. Your hands should be under the warmest water that you can tolerate.
It is not advisable to wash your hands with cold water as you are not effectively killing germs. You want the water to be hot enough to get rid of any bacteria on your hands. Then give yourself a squirt of soap the size of a fifty cent piece.
Rub your hands together vigorously for about 20 seconds. If it's helpful, then you should sing a song that lasts for about that length of time to make sure everything is clean. Always use soap as the foam separates germs from your skin and carries them down the drain.
When rubbing your hands underwater, be sure to get between your fingers and palms. Many of the areas on your hands are not properly cleaned in a rush. Teach your children the correct way to wash from a young age, and this will help their immunity throughout life.
Also, when you are standing in front of the sink, thinking that it is a waste of time, remember that a surgeon washes thoroughly before undergoing surgery. They are washed up to the elbows and for several minutes to ensure that there is no risk of contamination.
With the rise in viral infections globally, you can't risk any bacteria remaining. If you prefer the use of hand sanitizer, you should use a formula that contains 90 percent alcohol. Although nothing is as good as soap and water, it can come in handy when you can't get to the sink.
5. TAKE ADDITIONAL PRECAUTIONS
Viral infections can cause complications in those who have compromised immune systems, are elderly, have diabetes, heart disease, or other risk factors. If you are elderly or have delicate health problems, then you should not go out at all.
Your respiratory hygiene can only protect you so much. You should ask someone to bring you food or medicine. Only go out when necessary. The more exposed you are to people and germs, the greater the chances of infection.
WHAT SHOULD NOT BE DONE ABOUT RESPIRATORY HYGIENE
Now that you know all the things you need to do to protect yourself from bacterial and viral invaders, here is a list of things you should not do.
1. MULTITUDE PERSONAL SPACE OF OTHERS
Social distancing guidelines suggest staying at least five feet from the person next to you. While this may not be possible in all situations, the key is to put distance between people. For example, you cannot pay for your purchases without giving your money to the cashier. If you are at least a meter away, you can offer some protection.
Remember, cough drops can travel up to 8 meters, so you don't want to be around someone who is sick.
2. DO NOT LEAVE HOME, ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE SICK
If you are sick or have been away recently, you should not go out and risk infecting others. Before you go out, make sure you are fever-free for at least 72 hours, are not coughing or have difficulty breathing, and have had no symptoms for at least seven days.
While it is difficult to isolate yourself from your family, you should quarantine in a room until you are free. It can still be contagious if you are coughing, so practice safety to avoid infecting the one you love.
3. DO NOT TAKE ANTIBIOTICS
People assume that the moment they get sick they need to take antibiotics. The problem is that these drugs do not work on a viral infection. Another problem is that people develop immunity to these drugs, making them less likely to work in the future.
Nature offers many great options that have no side effects. Did you know that garlic is one of the most powerful natural forms of antibiotics? It has been used for thousands of years to cure many conditions, and it is beneficial.
4. DON'T FORGET YOUR PETS
It sounds strange to say that you should also practice respiratory hygiene around your pets, but you should also practice good habits with them. Even if you have a virus that cannot be spread to your furry friend, the droplets can cling to his fur for some time.
Since very little is known about this current viral threat, therefore, according to the University of Illinois Veterinary Medicine team, it is best to keep your pets at a safe distance when sick. They also state that there is no current evidence that dogs or cats can transmit this disease. If your pet is older or has respiratory health problems, then it is especially important. It is the same as when you are with people. Be sure to cover your cough and remove your tissues after cleaning your nose to keep them safe.
5. DO NOT TRAVEL
Many people do not take their health seriously enough. If you have a vacation planned soon, consider canceling it. Even if you go to an area that is not heavily affected by outbreaks of viral infections, the chances of meeting someone sick increase.
It only takes a fraction of a second to become infected with bacterial or viral germs.
FINAL THOUGHTS: KEEP CALM AND PRACTICE GOOD HYGIENE TO STOP VIRAL INFECTIONS
It's hard to stay calm when everyone is in a panic about being infected with a virus or bacterial infection. However, your chances of getting infected decrease if you follow the orders of the CDC and other medical professionals.
Practicing good respiratory hygiene is not difficult. Remember to cover your cough so you don't spread germs to other people. Better yet, don't leave the house unless absolutely necessary. Try to use telehealth services instead of rushing to your doctor and book in-person doctor visits for when it's an emergency.
Remember that when cleaning your nose or coughing, be sure to get rid of any tissues or masks you have used. Also, don't touch your face without washing your hands afterward. Many diseases can cause disease and wreak havoc, but our nation will get through this difficult time.