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Life during COVID-19

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COVID-19 has transformed people’s lives all over the world; it has illustrated how interconnected the world is. Even though borders exist on maps, the virus has shown that they are of no consequence in real life. Those privileged enough to have access to education, grocery shops, and workplaces, are experiencing an upheaval to what we used to call normal, while others who are not as privileged, are facing even more hardships than they used to.

COVID-19 is a highly infectious virus; what makes it dangerous is that people can be asymptomatic and infectious at the same time. You might feel well and go about your life normally, and end up infecting those around you. This is why following social or physical distancing rules are key to curbing the spread of this diseases, so that those most vulnerable can be protected.

Not only do we have to adhere to the rules and regulations set by our governments, but we also have to be hyper-vigilante when it comes to personal hygiene. An infected person can emit droplets containing the virus while they talk, breathe, sneeze, or cough. If you are in close vicinity to an infected person, or in a closed space that is not well ventilated, you could easily breathe in those droplets and get infected. That is why wearing a facemask while in public is crucial.

You can also get infected by touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face, which is something we do without giving much thought. Given that the entry points of the virus are the eyes, nose, and mouth, touching your face with contaminated hands can lead to infection. What makes it tricky, is that the coronavirus can survive on surfaces for varying periods of time; that is why “high-touch” surfaces, such as door knobs and faucets in public bathrooms, could easily be contaminated. Therefore, being cautious in handling things, is just as important as keeping our distances; washing your hands with soap frequently, for at least 20 seconds, will also help you be safer.

It is fortunate that soap, ethanol alcohol, and bleach can get rid of the virus, as these items are usually easily available; but, how do they actually work? The molecules that make up soap can penetrate the outer casing of COVID-19, which is made of oily lipids. Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite, which is able to kill the virus by destroying its ribonucleic acid or the protein; ethanol alcohol works in the same way.

It is important not to forget about the clothing you wear when you venture outside the house, since they too could be contaminated. They should be carefully removed, making sure to steer away from your face while taking them of, and its best to put them in the washing machine. As for your shoes, remember that droplets land on the ground, so your shoes could be the most contaminated; therefore, it is advisable to leave them by the door and spray them down with alcohol for added safety.

Being extra cautious in these trying times is wise, and while it can get difficult to remember to take the proper precautions and adhere to them; it is after all better to be safe than sorry.

 

References

en.unesco.org

health.harvard.edu

theguardian.com

who.int

 

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