Stay safe, BUZZ fam! Tips to keep coronavirus at bay

Okay, so here’s the 411, BUZZ fam…

As scary as the news of the novel coronavirus’ (COVID-19) arrival in the Caribbean may be, there was no stopping it from reaching our shores.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) argued that assuming it wouldn’t affect every single country is possibly a fatal mistake and honestly, it’s not hard to see why.

In the age of interconnected travel, in all its forms, the virus is very potent – jumping from human to human with relative ease, which made its spread that more inevitable.

While there is no cure for COVID-19 and as scientists work around the clock to concoct a vaccine against the likely pandemic, BUZZ presents some tips to keep yourself and loved ones safe:

Avoid the infected, if possible

The age-old proverb ‘prevention is better than cure’ cannot be understated – even with the coronavirus.

Avoid close contact, when possible, with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing as water droplets from infected persons act like a ticking time bomb.

Hygiene, hygiene!

Get into a habit to practice simple everyday preventive actions to control the spread of respiratory viruses. Frequently clean hands using soap and water after using the bathroom, handling money, touching objects such as handrails, buttons, door handles etc.

If your hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand rub, however, it should be noted that most hand sanitisers are anti-bacterial in nature and don’t guarantee protection from viruses. Only use when soap and water is not readily available.

Personal responsibility

It’s easy to lose concentration if you happen to become sick but when coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.

It might not be ‘just a fever’, seek medical attention quickly

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I cannot stress this enough BUZZ fam, if you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing: Seek. Medical Care. Early! Remember medical personnel are there to help so be sure to share any previous travel history with your provider.

Are Lysol and bleach effective?

You’ve probably seen posts circulating on social media that Lysol and other household disinfectants, like bleach, having the capability to kill 99.9% of bacteria and viruses. After all, it says so right there on the label.

Checking for yourself, you might have seen human coronavirus on the label of your handy Lysol cannister and thought to yourself: would it work for this current outbreak?

Well, turns out the answer is complicated, to say the least.

The US Environmental Protection Agency has some guidance: The disinfectants are thought to be effective against the novel coronavirus. But until tests confirm this, its ability to kill the novel coronavirus has not been scientifically proven.

Bear in mind that the first clue to Lysol’s effectiveness lies in the name ‘novel coronavirus’— it’s never been encountered by humans until now. There are no vaccines or antiviral treatments that specifically target it.

Here’s the thing, though: from what we know so far, COVID-19 is spread primarily by people and their respiratory droplets; coughs, sneezes, spit.

Plus, Lysol and Clorox are disinfectants designed for surfaces in homes, not for body parts. And even hand sanitizers aren’t fool proof protections against all germs.

So, we have limited protection against the newest outbreak, but our best bet is staying safe with good ol’ hygiene.