HOW TO AVOID AND SURVIVE COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS

Ever since the Covid-19 disease causing coronavirus erupted, I have been a very worried person. I am not embarrassed to say that, at some point I really panicked as I watched people who were either oblivious or intentionally displaying their ignorance of the disaster that was on its way home. But I have worked hard to regain control of my fear.

It still makes me sad to see people taking this disease so lightly and even comparing it to other diseases that have been around for ages. Diseases that have been studied for centuries, that have medicines to cure or prolong life. It is absurd to say the least and very tiring.

First, this virus is not the normal flu virus we are used to. What makes it extremely dangerous is because It’s a new strain that nobody knows anything about. Doctors are fighting a monster they have no idea how it operates; it is such a huge mountain to surmount.

Currently, as a nation, we are in the incubation stage. This is the point where only a few cases have been detected. The government has indicated that it has contacted several people who encountered the infected individuals. This should make you feel better and safe right?  well, it shouldn’t. Instead, this should put you on high alert because it is impossible for health workers to track down every person that an infected person may have interacted with.

It’s hard for me to remember every person who might have breathed the same air as I or touched a surface that I might have touched today or yesterday. This means there are a lot of loose ends roaming amongst us probably incubating and spreading the disease unknowingly. Thus, unless God grants us a miracle from above, we may soon find ourselves in the next explosive stage.

In the explosive stage, cases emerge from everywhere and the numbers starts to climb exponentially. You also start hearing about deaths starting to occur at unfathomable rates. This is the most traumatic phase of this deadly COVID-19 disease. At this point, a city or the whole country may go on a total lock-down depending on severity of the spread. We are hoping that we shall not get there but we are watching our government taking drastic measures in preparedness. This means every individual should also follow suit and do the same to avoid being caught unawares.

So, knowing our limitations as a country, what should we do in order to protect ourselves and survive this monster ravaging humanity? There is a list of things we can do to prepare ourselves and help cope with the situation. I have listed them below and explained them further in details to help guide us.

  1. Buy enough stock of essentials.
  2. Protect yourself from infection.
  3. What to do if you become infected.

WHAT TO BUY IN PREPARATION FOR A LOCKDOWN.

To prepare for an imminent lock-down, you need to stock up on essential things to help you remain indoors without suffering. You will need to buy enough stuff to last you for at least two to three weeks. During tough times we should all learn to get by with small portions of food and other essentials. Here is a list of some of the main things I came up with.

  1. Dry good such as Rice, breads, maize flour, wheat flour, Sugar, Tea leaves, coffee, cocoa, Salt, breakfast cereal, spaghetti, porridge flour, maize, red beans, Njahi, green grams (Ndengu), Lentils (kamande) you can boil some foods now and store in the fridge/freezer to save on cooking gas during lock-down.
  2. Vegetables like sukumawiki (these can be steamed and stored in the fridge to last longer) carrots, cabbage, onions, potatoes, arrow roots, sweet potatoes, yams, cassava, plantains.
  3. Fruits that don’t go bad fast e.g. Oranges, half ripe bananas, mangoes, apples, pineapples
  4. Canned food if available or some Indomie noodles (I usually would not really recommend this but just in desperate times it would suffice especially because it’s cheap and just in case you run out of proper foods)
  5. Toiletries like bar soaps, Washing powders, bathing soaps, disinfectants (Harpic, Vim) kitchen detergents, Toilet paper, kitchen rolls, hand sanitizers, feminine care products (pads, tampons) please do not panic buy these items, be considerate of others, you are not the only one who is in need. Every household needs them.
  6. A whole month of your prescription medicines and inhalers.
  7. A thermometer for each member of the family.
  8. A whole month of baby essentials (Diapers, oils, Baby Panadol Flu/Calpol).
  9. A whole month stock of baby formula and baby food (Weetabix or others).
  10. Enough Pain relieving medicines for stomach pains, headache, joint aches.
  11. 2 filled gas cylinders, a bag of charcoal and an efficient jiko.
  12. Diced beef, chicken, fish (from a trusted butcher) to be put in a freezer.
  13. Long life milk packets.
  14. Some chocolate or a comfort snack.
  15. A few bottles or cans of your favorite Drinks.
  16. Rechargeable batteries and torches/lights for emergencies.
  17. Adequate supply of trash bags.
  18. Adequate supply of water.
  19. Reading materials and movies e.g. books, magazine and kindles.
  20. Board games or others and toys for kids and the whole family to enjoy.

HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM INFECTION

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. This is especially important after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom and before eating or preparing food. Use;
    • Soap and water: Soap and water are the best option, especially if hands are visibly dirty.
    • Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry.
  2. Avoid touching: Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  3. Stay at home: Avoid visiting public and crowded areas. If you have no good reason to expose yourself and your loved ones, then it’s better to stay at home.
  4. Protect the sick and elderly – Elderly people or people with compromised immune system are in a greater risk than everyone. You should isolate them and keep them in a separate room with no visitors. Only the care giver should go to their rooms and they should take proper precautions to avoid any infections.
  5. Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.
  6. Maintain Social distancing: If you must go out, avoid close contact with other people. Avoid groups of more than ten people and maintain a social distance of about 6 feet from each other.
  7. Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
  8. Follow health authorities’ instructions – For the world to defeat COVID-19, we must all work together for the best outcome. If your local government puts your area on lock-down or restricts social gathering. Please ensure adherence and follow the given instructions. Don’t go exposing yourself feeling invincible and later expect to be given special attention when you fall sick. 

Remember every infected person puts doctors, nurses and health providers at high risk. Some of them are staying away from their families and loved ones to protect them in case they become exposed while treating us. They have laid down their lives to be of service to humanity. Anyone refusing to protect themselves undermines and disrespects this ultimate sacrifice. If nothing else, please respect that.

WHAT TO DO INCASE OF INFECTION

  1. Call ministry of health hotline (cross your fingers) to report and ask for guidance on how to go about it.
  2. Stay at home – People who are mildly ill with COVID-19 are able to recover at home. Do not leave, except to get medical care. Do not visit public areas. Go to a hospital only if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.
  3. Quarantine/isolate yourself – You should stay in a specific “sick room” and away from other people in your home. Use a separate bathroom, if available.
  4. Cover your coughs and sneezes – Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in a lined trash can. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  5. Clean and disinfect all surfaces touched – Routinely clean high-touch surfaces in your “sick room” and bathroom. Let someone else clean and disinfect surfaces in common areas, but not your bedroom and bathroom. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables.
  6. If a caregiver or other person needs to clean and disinfect a sick person’s bedroom or bathroom, they should do so on an as-needed basis. The caregiver/other person should wear a mask and wait as long as possible after the sick person has used the bathroom.
  7. Clean and disinfect areas that may have blood, stool, or body fluids on them.
  8. Have designated household items – Avoid sharing personal household items. Set aside household items for the infected person to avoid spreading the infection.
    • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people in your home. Wash these items thoroughly after every use with soap and water.
  9. Wear a face mask – when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If the person who is sick is not able to wear a face mask because it causes trouble breathing, then people who live in the home should stay in a different room. If you are a caregiver, enter the room of the sick person, you should wear a face mask.
  10. Avoid public transportation: Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing or taxis when sick.
  11. Limit contact with pets & animals: You should restrict contact with pets and other animals, just like you would around other people.
  12. Monitor your symptoms – Keep track of your illness. Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).
    • When going to the hospital, wear a face mask before you enter the building. If you can’t put on a face mask, try to keep a safe distance from other people (at least 6 feet away). This will help protect the people in the waiting room.
    • Follow care instructions from your healthcare provider and local health department: Your local health authorities will give instructions on checking your symptoms and reporting information.

       Some information was obtained from CDC website, for more information please go to: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

(Visited 108 times, 1 visits today)

1 Comment

  1. Loise Njeru March 22, 2020 at 5:42 pm

    This is absolutely informative. Thank you

    Reply

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *