By Emily Pham
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continuing to spread, many people are constantly worried about their own health and loved ones. As this outbreak affects nearly every aspect of one’s life, from virtual online classes to staying cautious to surroundings, it may feel like things are out of one’s control. However, there are a variety of simple steps that one can partake in aside from social distancing and washing their hands with soap to protect their health and well-being.
For many people, staying safe during the struggling time means staying at home. However, germs and viruses can live in one’s home as well. In order to stay physically healthy, many students are finding ways to limit their contact with germs in order to keep their immune systems strong. Simple things like regularly wiping down and disinfecting surfaces that are frequently touched can be an important step to protect themselves and others around them. With the outbreak causing panic around the world, most cleaning products have been short in supply. However, one can make their own homemade disinfectant by mixing chlorine bleach with water. There is also no doubt that hand sanitizers are flying off shelves during this health crisis; Therefore, these can simply be made with isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel, and tea tree oil. In addition, one can also open a window for fresh air which can help detox the indoor contaminants, including bacteria in the air. Recent studies have also shown that humidifiers that keep indoor humidity up to sixty percent can reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and clear the body from any existing pathogens. Most have access to these simple strategies which can, in fact, help the body and mind as well. As a way to slow the spread of the virus and protect their health, some students have created their own self-care tactics and daily routines. Junior Kaylie Fukumoto explained, “To prevent the spread of the disease or getting it, students should wash their hands frequently, not touch their faces, practice social distancing, sleep, exercise, and drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated. Occasionally, I will take a walk outside on a trail to boost my immune system.” These tactics not only prevent the spread of the virus, but also clear the mind from the crisis.
As people around the world are urged to stay at home, many may also find themselves worrying about how to protect themselves when outside for essential needs during these unsettling times. Whether they are buying groceries or other essentials online or in stores, there are a few ways to limit exposure to the virus. As public settings can be difficult to maintain social distancing, it is recommended to wear cloth, non-medical face coverings when outside. Junior Aspen Payne stated, “I try to protect myself and others by wearing a mask and making sure that I know my surroundings.” One can make their very own face mask with tightly woven cotton material and elastic bands. They can start by laying out the fabric against a flat surface measuring it to about seven to eight inches. Once finished, they can fold it from the bottom to the middle, and the top to the middle and looping an elastic band on each side. Others are trying to avoid the public, by turning to food and grocery delivery services such as DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats, and much more. Although there is no evidence of the virus transmitting through food or food packaging, one should wipe down containers and reheat food out of caution. Overall, there are plenty of ways that one can use to stay clear of the virus during this struggling time.
Whether one stays indoors or goes out into the public, these simple steps can make a big difference in protecting themselves and others around them. Thus, it is recommended to wear face coverings when outside and regularly disinfect surfaces. For those who have any concerns or questions regarding the pandemic, it is recommended for them to talk to friends and families for advice and other tactics.