Prevention and safety tips against COVID-19

By Star Dragon, Reporter

There have been over 300 deaths in Washington State due to COVID-19. Currently, 34% of cases in Washington are from the 40-59 year old age group but 55% of the deaths are from people 80 and older, according to the Washington State Department of Health (WSDOH). 

The virus does not discriminate by age, race, sex or career. This virus affects us all, and taking the following precautions may save lives. 

The term social distancing has been used often in the past couple of weeks when talking about how to stay safe, but what does it mean?

 Social distancing is keeping space between the self and others to prevent the spread of the virus. This includes staying at least six feet apart from other people, not gathering in groups and staying out of crowded places to avoid mass gatherings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

“COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact”, says the CDC.

Even if people do not feel sick, they may still have the virus. They may be asymptomatic and just be a carrier of the virus. 

“People can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others when possible, even if you have no symptoms,” according to the CDC.  “Social distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.”

 The CDC is also now advising to wear a homemade cloth face mask, not surgical masks because those should be saved for medical professionals. 

According to NBC News, it is best to make a mask constructed of “heavyweight quilters cotton with a thread count of at least 180.”

People who don’t know how to sew can watch to learn a few ways on how to make face masks easily at home. 

Another important way for people to stop themselves from contracting the virus is washing your hands anytime you touch a surface outside of your home. According to the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER) follow these steps in order:

  1. Wet hands
  2. Apply soap
  3. Rub your hands together vigorously for at least 20 seconds while scrubbing all parts of your hands
  4. Rinse well
  5. Dry 

One way to avoid getting supplies in person is ordering online. Depending on location, some grocery stores and restaurants are providing “no contact” deliveries. According to the Food and Drug Administration, there is currently no evidence that COVID-19 can live on food. 

Currently curbside pickup or delivery services are considered safe. People may want to consider sanitizing food containers, depending on the surface material. 

“A new analysis found that the virus can remain viable in the air for up to 3 hours, on copper for up to 4 hours, on cardboard up to 24 hours and on plastic and stainless steel up to 72 hours,” according to Live Science. 

Staying safe can be summarized with this: stay home and sanitize. The following resources offer more information: