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For the majority of us a quarantine is a totally unprecedented experience. In such a challenging and difficult situation, there are a lot of unknowns and often unanswered questions. It is essential, however, to know what you should do and what you should avoid. This information will address the 10 main things you need to avoid when quarantined. Here are some critical things to be aware of:
- Avoid contact with other people
Although this seems totally obvious I want to stress this point clearly again – you have to isolate yourself from others. Protect others from getting infected by keeping your distance and avoid being in the same room with them, as far apart as possible. We know how the Corona Virus is transmitted, so it is best that you do not share dishes, towels, eating utensils, bedding items, and other personal items with other people.
Adopting these habits will help control and prevent further infections. Clean all surfaces and frequently and your technical devices such as computers and mobile phones using an alcohol based disinfectant (70% alcohol at least!). Wipe down all door knobs, kitchen benches, cupboard handles, shower doors, shower heads, shampoo bottles, toilet seats and pretty much any surface that you observe you and others in the same household touch or use.
In some countries or states Covid 10 positive patients have been told to stay at home and only come to the hospital if their symptoms are getting severe. This means you may be stuck at home with a person carrying the infection. Because of this you need to be super-vigilant, or dare I say it – really anal – about cleaning and disinfecting all the time. Always remain alert to any of the known symptoms related to the Covid 19 infection.
- Do not entertain visitors
Avoid the risk of spreading the infection if you have been quarantined by totally stopping social visits and other close contacts. You can order groceries or ask friends to do the shopping for you, but make sure you avoid physical contact with the person delivering the order. Wipe down all items with a disinfect before you unpack or prepare food as well, you don’t know how many people touched the grocery items before you handled them. We know the Covid 19 virus can survive for days, sometimes weeks on some surfaces so best to be vigilant and disinfect any items you buy or get delivered. Protect people who help out with house chores by requesting them not to come to your home, at least during the quarantine period. Such people may include child-minders, housekeepers and dog walkers.
- Avoid physical contact with your pet
Your pet may unknowingly become a transmitter of viruses. Limiting contact with your pets when quarantined is a way of protecting yourself as well as your pet. Avoid getting licked by your pet, petting your pet, as well as sharing food with your pet.
- Avoid unnecessary traveling
Some countries are more restrictive about allowing their citizens to travel to buy essential items than others. If you are permitted to travel short distances to the grocery shop or pharmacy limit yourself to the shortest possible route. It is safer to refrain from moving outside for whatsoever reason while in quarantine. Make sure you stay at home and avoid spreading the infection to others. If your symptoms start worsening, make sure you call your doctor first and avoid showing up without any warning. Instead, head to the appropriate medical facility if they have set up a specialized zone for Covid 19 testing so they can check your symptoms, do a test and recommend the next step to you.
- Avoid coughing or sneezing without covering your mouth or nose
We know for certain transmission of the Corona virus is via droplets, cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing to help contain and prevent the spread of infections. Throw away used tissues and wash your hands thoroughly after sneezing or coughing, applying the 20 seconds rule. Wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water after going to the bathroom and avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose.
If you have access to a face mask, wear it if you are in the same room with other people, or have to go out for buying essential at the store. This will protect you, and it will protect others if you are unknowingly a carrier of the virus.
Because face masks are in high demand there may be a shortage right now for them. You may be asking yourself if it is safe to reuse the mask for several days until it becomes unusable. Doctors generally advise against that.
The CDC (Center For Disease Control) still does not recommend reusing masks, and the researchers encouraged doctors to follow guidelines in their clinics. The best way to avoid getting sick is staying at home. If you must go out, homemade cloth masks are an imperfect but better-than-nothing option, as Live Science has reported. However, a mask is much more likely to help you avoid spreading the illness if you are sick than it is to protect you from the illness.
The masks are for single use only. Various methods have been tried to disinfect masks in the hope they can be reused. NEVER ever use Bleach because it is dangerous. It will retain some of the fumes and chlorine which is in Bleach and they damage your lungs – it is so dangerous it was used as a nerve gas to kill soldiers during World War 1, so never spray it or soak your face mask in Bleach.
It appears the most effective method is ultra-violet radiation, the power of sunlight. There are small hand-held devices that can be used to disinfect items in your house and I will be reviewing one shortly for you.
Obviously you would never share the masks around, but disinfect your own mask only for your own reuse.
- Avoid handling food without washing
Always wash your hands before preparing or eating food. Avoid preparing food for others while quarantined to prevent the spread of the infection whether you show some symptoms of infection or not.
- Do not leave your health to chance
Avoid relying entirely on other people or social media hearsay for knowledge of how you can best take care of yourself as well as your loved ones while quarantined. Make sure you are well aware of what you must do once you or a loved one are self-isolating. Access official Government websites or well-known and reputable institutions only for information. Unfortunately, a lot of misinformation is spread around at this time, and because people are scared they may follow some very unhealthy advice, for example like using bleach to disinfect masks which should never be done. Have proper knowledge of the steps that need to be taken and know what are really essential items to buy if you facing a long lockdown. Make sure you have access to all the necessary items needed while quarantined. Do not hesitate to contact your health professionals when the symptoms start worsening.
- Don’t assume your kids understand what is happening
Being quarantined or being in self-isolation can cause a lot of discomfort to your loved ones. Make sure you educate your kids about the Covid 19 pandemic and the quarantines. Make sure they understand that being quarantined does not mean the presence of an infection in your home. Make sure you don’t scare them, calmly explain to them the situation and the reason for staying at home and how to keep safe at all times. Educate them on the precautions to take during that time. Limit their access to the news on TV and social media because it is likely to worry them needlessly. Children are very susceptible to emotionally charged news reports, and the sensationalist commentary and dramatic footage of worst hit areas does nothing to help them. It is okay to tell them how serious things are, but avoid exposing them to the current energy of fear and worry.
- Avoid disconnecting from your loved ones completely
Avoiding physical contact with your loved ones does not mean to be emotionally or socially disconnected. I encourage you to keep in touch using emails, calls, social media and popular chat Apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger, ICQ or Line. Seeing your relatives or friends on screen while talking to them gives an added feeling of connectedness and support, which is good for them and for your family. Maintaining this virtual contact will significantly reduce stress levels.
- Avoid self-medicating
One mistake some people make when quarantined is trying to control or get rid of the first symptoms of boredom, worry or fear by self-medicating. If you are using any medication regularly do not increase dosages if you are already under specific medication. Self-medication or the risk of overdosing will not help you fight or prevent suspected infections. Don’t hit the booze or recreational drugs hard either, consume in moderation only.
Your liver and metabolic system need to work harder to clear toxins from your system which alcohol, cigarettes and most recreational drugs are putting into your body. This weakens your immune system, which you may need functioning 100% to fight of any potential threat from the Corona Virus.
If you have children at home you are giving them the worst possible examples of a pathetic role-model if your only response to a challenge like this is to get stoned or drunk.
This is the time to be leading by example and teach them that having a clear head and making rational decisions are the only way to get safely through this pandemic.
That’s how you are a Hero-Dad or Hero-Mum, and they will remember that for the rest of their lives!