Quarantine exit: how to protect yourself from coronavirus if you return to work
Some US states are beginning to gradually lift quarantine restrictions, and many people are worried about how to protect themselves from the virus after returning to work. Lifehacker offers to remember simple rules that will help you stay healthy.
1. Keep a distance
A safe distance is about one and a half meters. When you walk fast, run, ride a bicycle, it can increase to 4–20 meters.
If you keep such a distance with others, the smallest droplets of saliva that another (possibly infected) person emits during a conversation, coughing, or breathing will not reach you. And you, in turn, do not share your own.
2. Try changing your work schedule.
Your task is to make it possible to get to work and leave it before or after rush hour. In this case, you don’t have to jostle in crowded public transport or walk along crowded streets where it is difficult to maintain distance.
Talk to your boss: maybe you will meet and shift your working hours.
3. Use less public transport
If possible, get to the place of work by your car or bicycle, walk. Naturally, at a safe distance from others.
And try not to use elevators. Even if the cab comes empty, you don’t know who was riding it 10 seconds before you. The virus can still remain in the air.
4. Wear a mask on the way to work
On the street, if you are absolutely healthy, and there are few people around, you can do without it. But only if the authorities of your region do not require otherwise.
But it’s definitely not worth appearing in the subway, bus, tram or taxi without a mask: it’s dangerous, because it’s more difficult to keep the distance.
5. Wear a mask at the workplace all day
At the same time, you must wear the mask correctly. Here's what WHO recommends:
- Do not touch the mask with your hands after putting it on. If you still touch, wash your hands with soap or treat with an antiseptic gel.
- As soon as the mask becomes wet from breathing, replace it with a new one. Usually you have to do this every two hours.
- Only remove the mask by the mounts. In no case do not touch the part that is adjacent to the face. After this, the disposable medical mask should be immediately discarded, the reusable - sent to the wash.
6. Disinfect hands
The main route of transmission of coronavirus is airborne. But there is a risk of contracting by the contact way: first, touch the surface on which the coronavirus is donkey, and then touch the mucous membrane of the nose, mouth or eyes.
Therefore, it is extremely important to wash your hands regularly during a pandemic. Best of all - with warm water and soap, and at least 20 seconds. If there is no access to water, you can treat your hands with an antiseptic or alcohol wipes. Make sure that the alcohol in these products was at least 70%.
7. Try not to touch public objects
Most of the possible pathogenic agents (this applies not only to the coronavirus, but also to other viruses and bacteria) live on them - door handles, handrails, handsets of landlines, general keypads, and so on.
Unless otherwise possible, touch such objects with gloves, paper towels, or be sure to wash your hands after contact.
8. Regularly clean surfaces where the virus may be.
Door handles, switches, landline phone, desk, keyboard - wipe them several times a day with alcohol wipes or a household disinfectant spray. It is important that these products contain at least 70% alcohol.
9. Do not forget to sanitize your smartphone
On a mobile phone, as on any other surface, the coronavirus may linger. And since we attach the smartphone to the face, the risk of infection increases.
Therefore, it is extremely important to regularly disinfect the gadget. Wipe it with a solution with an alcohol content of at least 70%. If you are afraid to damage the oleophobic coating, glue a protective glass or film on the screen.
10. Avoid handshakes and friendly kisses.
In a pandemic era, such contacts are a surefire way to share the virus with others or pick it up yourself.
11. Refrain from sharing breaks or dinners
Or spend them strictly observing the distance - at least one and a half meters from each other.
However, smoking in any case should be minimized: nicotine adversely affects the lungs, which are the main target of coronavirus. Do not give them an extra load.
12. Be sure to wash your hands before lighting or eating food.
During a break or lunch, you can unknowingly touch the mucous membranes of your nose, mouth, eyes with contaminated hands. And this is one of the possible ways of infection.
13. Frequently ventilate the room.
There is no data on how long the coronavirus can remain in the air. However, WHO still advises regularly opening windows (ventilate the room at least every two hours).
14. Maintain normal indoor humidity.
Studies show that 40–60% humidity helps minimize the activity and viability of viruses (including SARS ‑ CoV ‑ 2). In addition, at the same humidity level, people feel best: their working capacity and immunity increase.
15. Normalize your sleep schedule.
During the period of self-isolation, you may be used to going to bed well after midnight and waking up closer to noon. But, returning to work, you need to rebuild again - so that you sleep at least 7-8 hours a day. It is important to maintain immunity.
So do not forget to go to bed on time. You may find it difficult to fall asleep at first. But the process can be accelerated:
- take a warm shower 1-2 hours before bedtime;
- ventilate the bedroom to lower the temperature in it;
- Do not use gadgets at least an hour before bedtime;
- at about the same time create a twilight in the apartment: instead of the upper light, use a floor lamp or a table lamp;
- drink something warm before going to bed: some chamomile tea or a drink based on lemon balm, fennel;
- Before you go to bed, turn off all the lights and close your windows as tightly as possible.
16. Watch for food
Good nutrition is another important element of normal immunity. Snack at work fast food now is not worth it.
Cook at home and take with you full lunches containing all the necessary elements of a healthy diet: vegetables, fruits, meat, dairy products, cereals, whole grain bread.
17. Drink enough fluids
This is necessary to maintain immunity.
It is enough to drink about 3,5 liters per day for men and 2,5 liters for women. It also includes the liquid that you get from liquid foods and vegetables. Therefore, in order not to make a mistake, monitor your health.
Doctors highlight two key signs that you have enough fluid: you are not thirsty, and your urine is colorless or light yellow.
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