Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 7

How To: Stay Safe from COVID-19

by Katelyn To

With so many people saying so many different things, it’s hard to tell right from wrong when it comes to information. Besides the obvious and constantly repeated instruction of washing your hands and distancing yourself from others, many loose ends of a simple question still remain: what should you actually do to stay safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19? 

Before diving into the small yet crucial details, it must be clear that it is extremely important to participate in social distancing. Some may think that it won’t matter if one person doesn’t social distance, however, everyone must follow this step in order to ensure that the spread of the coronavirus is slowed. Sarah Connolly, an Associate Professor at DePaul University, advised, “Stay six feet away from others. Do not touch surfaces if you don’t need to. Do not touch your face until you have washed your hands.”

Now that social distancing has been addressed, there are various other things everyone should do to protect him or herself from COVID-19 and slow its spread within the community. “Both social distancing and handwashing are very important. But so is cough etiquette, coughing into your elbow area rather than your hand so that you don’t contaminate your hand, which is likely to contaminate surfaces within your environment,” said Dean Blumberg, Associate Professor at UC Davis Children’s Hospital. 

Additionally, Connolly said, “Do not spread thoughts on social media that have not been fact-checked. Check in with older people in your lives. Offer to bring groceries and other necessities to older people in your lives to protect them.”

Another thing that has been very unclear is whether or not people should be wearing masks. According to the CDC, only those who are sick should wear a facemask, and those who are not sick should only wear one if they are caring for a sick person, such as family or hospital personnel. Connolly explained that this instruction is partially due to the fact that masks are very scarce: “We need to preserve [masks]–even donate them–to the medical staff that will get us through this as a community.  You do not need to wear a mask if you stay home as much as possible and stay away from other people as much as possible.” Blumberg also said, “Masks may be effective [in] preventing infection. However…they need to be worn almost all the time to be effective.”