The 2019 Novel Coronavirus outbreak has triggered a lot of fears as it has been declared as a Global Health Emergency. While the coronavirus has stolen the spotlight, don’t forget that influenza remains a serious threat to public health in Malaysia.
Since January, most drugstores were running out of surgical masks. There are good reasons to wear masks — namely, to protect others. If you’re already sick, mask-wearing is good practice. Donning a mask in a crowded shopping mall or on a train can minimise the degree to which a cough or sneeze disseminates infectious fluid onto neighbours and handrails that will be grabbed throughout the day.
However, for everyone else, experts agree that the most effective way to protect yourself from viruses and influenza is regular hand-washing with warm water and soap, plus the vigilance to resist touching your nose and mouth. This reminds us of the most basic health concept, keeping appropriate personal hygiene to prevent yourself from many diseases.
Bear in mind, we’re exposed to countless germs, bacteria and viruses as we step out from home everyday. These germs, bacteria and viruses follow us back home when your day ends. To avoid your home to become the breeding ground of viruses and to protect your loved ones, let’s go extra miles to keep yourself more hygienic.
Disclaimer Alert: This is just a general guideline and reminder to keep your surroundings cleaner and safer. It is not a guaranteed way to prevent any disease.
Wash Your Hands
Keep your hands clean by washing it with clean, running water and soap. You should wash hands before and after meals, after toilets, after in contact with surfaces that might be exposed to bacteria and viruses, before preparing meals, before applying skincare products, etc.
Take A Shower As Soon As You Reach Home
Your clothes, body, and hair might carry some bacteria and viruses from outdoors. Therefore, don’t lay down on the bed straight away when you reach home. It’s better to take a shower and change your clothes before bacteria settle down on your sofa and bed.
Sanitise Your Phone
Study says that cell phones carry 10 times more bacteria than most toilet seats. If you’re holding your phone in crowded places like trains, restaurants, and public washrooms, you should sanitise your phone more often. Dip a soft microfiber cloth in some diluted rubbing alcohol and wipe it gently across your phone will remove many of the germs.
Don’t Forget Your Bag & Jacket Too
If your bag(s), jacket or scarf follow you to crowded places, they may carry germs and bacteria too. Unfortunately, these are not things that you change and wash on a daily basis. To reduce bacteria on these items, you may spray an adequate amount of anti-bacterial fabric spray on them and air-dry them in a well-ventilated place.
Don’t Panic, Get Informed
The outbreak is serious, but don’t panic and don’t be fooled by fake news. Despite rumour has it that Vitamin C is effective in preventing the coronavirus, it actually only helps to boost your immune system. Moreover, it’s also more important to obtain essential nutrients from a healthy and balanced diet. Instead of taking supplements, consuming citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, and kiwis, as well as guava, bell peppers, and broccoli not only provide you essential vitamins and minerals but also give you dietary fibres to maintain your bowel health.
Eat Well, Rest Well
Besides keeping good hygiene and a healthy diet, a regular sleep schedule is also important for your general well-being. When you’re healthy and happy, it’s less likely for you to catch the flu and other diseases.
If you develop flu symptoms, please quickly seek medical advice from your healthcare providers and avoid contact with other people.
May good health envelop you!