how can i prevent the spread of COVID-19
the power of prevention
by Jamal Ross
While there is an array of medications in development to combat the COVID-19 virus, the strongest weapon in our arsenal is prevention. Various preventive strategies have been shown to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies.
Wearing masks in the public when social distancing is not possible can be an effective means of preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The are several indirect studies demonstrating the effectiveness of wearing a mask. Cloth masks are suitable for the public and should be worn to cover the mouth and nose. Cloths masks should be made with several layers of fabric to optimize fluid resistance and filtration efficacy. (1) When putting on or taking off a mask, one should avoid touching the nose, eyes or mouth.
Vigorous hand hygiene is also an important means of preventing the spread of the coronavirus. COVID-19 can remain on the skin for about 9 hours, but this virus is inactive within seconds when exposed to 80% alcohol. (2) Washing your hands for at least 15 seconds after touching surfaces is particularly effective, but if the hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based sanitizer is acceptable.
Other strategies include cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are frequently touched. One should also avoid contact lenses at this time as their use can led to frequent face and eye touching. Ensuring proper indoor ventilation is thought to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus. As always, social distancing, i.e. remaining at least 6 feet part from someone else, and social isolation in cases COVID-19 exposure or infection is also essential.
In all, the various medications used to treat the COVID-19 virus have modest results and are not guaranteed to prevent to the most devastating consequences of this virus. Practicing preventative measure such as social distancing, wearing a mask in public and indoors, practicing good hand hygiene and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects can prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus altogether and negate the need for medications or hospitalization.
- Petersen E, Koopmans M, Go U, Hamer DH, Petrosillo N, Castelli F, Storgaard M, Al Khalili S, Simonsen L. Comparing SARS-CoV-2 with SARS-CoV and influenza pandemics. Lancet Infect Dis. 2020 Sep;20(9):e238-e244. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30484-9. Epub 2020 Jul 3. PMID: 32628905; PMCID: PMC7333991.