We are finding ourselves in a situation we have never experienced before in our generation. A global pandemic. The last time Earth and the people on it experienced a pandemic like this was back in 1918 when the Spanish flu was in full swing killing almost 50 million people. Luckily the 3 W’s have been put in full effect to reduce your chances of infection against the spread of COVID-19.
The difference between Coronavirus and COVID-19
Coronavirus is part of a large group of viruses that are known to cause respiratory illnesses that differs from the common cold to more serious diseases we have come to know as MERS and SARS. Coronaviruses are known and popular to be transmitted between animal and humans.
COVID-19 is a new form of Coronavirus that scientists and doctors never discovered in a human before. The first detection of the virus was found in Wuhan, China, which spread and caused a worldwide outbreak in December 2019. This disease triggers what doctors call respiratory tract infection. It mainly spreads like any other Coronaviruses through person to person contact, respiratory droplets, meaning droplets in the air caused by coughing or sneezing without properly covering it and recent studies show it can be spread airborne.
How can I prevent COVID-19?
By making use of the 3 W’s:
W- Wash your hands.
W- Watch your distance.
W-Wear a mask.
Why must I wash my hands and for how long?
During a global pandemic, the best, easiest and cheapest way to prevent possible infection is to wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (same amount of time as singing “Happy birthday” twice while washing). By washing your hands, the soap kills and wash off any viruses or bacteria that are left behind on your hands which can cause possible infection when you touch with unwashed hands any part of your face especially your mouth, nose or eyes. The same goes to hand sanitizer. Use an alcohol-based sanitizer of at least 60% and up and rub it into your hands for at least 20 seconds to ensure full coverage.
In general, washing your hands regularly isn’t something new to do but something that has to be part of your daily health routine.
Why must I social distance in public?
Social distancing is known by keeping a safe distance between you and the person in front or behind you. By practising social distancing, you have to at least be 1.5m apart from the other person to successfully achieve social distancing. COVID-19 mainly spreads by close contact with another person. By enforcing social distancing, it decreases your risk to get infected by the virus caused by droplets through coughing, sneezing and speech. Droplets can only travel a certain length to cause infection.
Why must I wear a mask in public?
The biggest controversy now is, why must I wear a mask?
Think of it this way, when you hold a candle in front of you and you try to blow it out without a mask, it goes out almost immediately and sometimes a few drops of spit goes out along with it. When you try to blow out a candle by wearing a mask, the candle doesn’t go out, it stays lit (if it does go out, your mask is not that effective and likely will need a better mask). Imagine this scenario in public. When a person cough, sneeze or even talk near you it shows you how easy droplets can be spread if you are not wearing a mask, making the risk even more high to spread the virus or high to get infected by the virus. If you are wearing a mask you are decreasing the chances of spreading the virus and receiving the virus making it safer for everyone around you because even though you do not show any signs or symptoms for COVID-19 you can be a risk of carrying the virus and infecting others along the way if you are not tested. The same goes when you only start to feel symptoms only on a later stage.
Wearing a mask helps you decrease the chances of spreading the virus making everyone around you safe from any contact with the virus. There is no ‘this mask is better than this mask’ myth. The fact is any mask, whether it is a cotton-based mask, surgical mask, or any type of mask, if you do the candle test and the candle stays lit, it gives you a pretty good indication on the safety of the mask. Masks that are fitted properly offers adequate airflow while safely covering your mouth and nose.
Remember to be safe, and practice the 3 W’s when leaving your home to help prevent the spread of COVID-19!