As fear of a global pandemic ebbs and flows through media outlets around the world, it’s normal to find yourself feeling anxious and distracted about the spread of COVID-19, the novel new coronavirus. But the best way to combat this emotional rollercoaster ride is to arm yourself with the facts and then take simple, easy-to-accomplish actions.
FACT: CIEE will NOT operate a program in a location deemed unsafe. So, unplug from the 24/7 media frenzy and rely on our trained and professional staff, who are monitoring the situation around the clock, to notify you if there is any cause for concern.
ACTION: Sounds simple but keeping your hands clean is your best defense. Wash for 20 seconds or more – scrub between the fingers, under your nails, and both the front and back of your hands thoroughly. Or as our friends down south like to say, “wash your hands like you just got done slicing a batch of jalapenos and now want to take your contacts out.” Hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol are also effective.
FACT: Healthy adults under the age of 30 are among the lowest at-risk group for catching coronavirus – and those that do have a 99.8% recovery rate.
ACTION: Just as simple and important as handwashing: avoid touching your face. If you need to scratch an itch or rescue a fallen eyelash, do so with a tissue. Immediately dispose of the tissue and then rewash your hands. (See ACTION above.)
FACT: The majority of severe cases of COVID-19 occur in individuals 50 years of age and older with pre-existing medical conditions that result in complications.
ACTION: Avoid close contact with individuals who are sick. Respiratory output from a sneeze or cough can travel up to three feet – so just to be safe, double that distance to six feet. Be sure to wipe down surfaces that may have been contaminated with a disinfectant wipe.
FACT: More than 80 percent of confirmed coronavirus cases are not severe. The majority of those infected experience only mild symptoms and make full recoveries.
ACTION: Your mother was right. Exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep habits are your immune system’s best friend. So, do yourself a good turn and skip the fast food and late nights and take yourself out for a brisk walk.
Have more questions about COVID-19? Stay connected with updates from CIEE. Learn more.