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How to Protect Yourself

Do and Don’t Do points during Covid-19 Crisis

  • Postpone travel abroad for 2 years.
  • Do not eat outside food for 1 year.
  • Do not go to unnecessary marriage or other similar ceremony.
  • Do not take unnecessary travel trips.
  • Do not go to a crowded place for at least 1 year.
  • Completely follow social distancing norms.
  • Stay away from a person who has cough.Take body temperature every day.
  • Keep the face mask on.
  • Do not let there be any mess around you.
  • Prefer vegetarian food and avoid fast food.
  • Don’t use your computer at home all day for work only. Take a break and use it for sports and other entertainments
  • In the dining table, don’t sit face to face, sit side by side.
  • Do not go to the Cinema, Mall, Crowded Market for 6 Months now. If possible, Park, Party, etc. should also be avoided.
  • Increase immunity.
  • Be very careful while at Barber shop or at beauty Salon parlor.
  • Avoid Unnecessary Meetings, Always keep in mind Social Distancing.

The threat of *CORONA* is not going to end soon.

Take steps to protect yourself

Take steps to protect yourself

Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19
(Abstracted from WHO COVID-19 INTRIM GUIDANCE)

Certain respiratory viral diseases, including COVID-19 spread can be prevented to some extent by wearing a medical mask. However, the use of a mask alone is not adequate to provide an effective level of protection, and other measures should also be adopted. Whether or not masks are used, maximum conformity with hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control(IPC) measures is crucial to prevent human-to-human transmission of COVID-19. WHO has developed guidance on IPC strategies for home care and health care settings for use when COVID-19 is suspected.

Community settings

Studies of influenza, influenza-like illness, and human coronaviruses provide evidence that the use of a medical mask can prevent the spread of infectious droplets from an infected person to someone else and potential contamination of the environment by these droplets. There is limited evidence that wearing a medical mask by healthy individuals in the households or among contacts of a sick patient, or among attendees of mass gatherings may be beneficial as a preventive measure. However, there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers. The use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security, with neglect of other essential measures, such as hand hygiene practices and physical distancing, and may lead to touching the face under the masks and under the eyes, result in unnecessary costs, and takemasks away from those in health care who need them most, especially when masks are in short supply.

Persons with symptoms should:
  • wear a medical mask, self-isolate, and seek medical advice as soon as they start to feel unwell. Symptoms can include fever, fatigue, cough, sore throat, and difficulty breathing. It is important to note that early symptoms for some people infected with COVID-19 may be very mild;
  • follow instructions on how to put on, take off, and dispose of medical masks;
  • follow all additional preventive measures, in particular, hand hygiene and maintaining physical distance from other persons.
All persons should:
  • avoid groups of people and enclosed, crowded spaces;
  • maintain physical distance of at least 1 m from other persons, in particular from those with respiratory symptoms (e.g., coughing, sneezing);
  • perform hand hygiene frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty or soap and water when hands are visibly dirty;
  • cover their nose and mouth with a bent elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing, dispose of the tissue immediately after use, and perform hand hygiene;
  • refrain from touching their mouth, nose, and eyes.

In some countries masks are worn in accordance with local customs or in accordance with advice by national authorities in the context of COVID-19. In these situations, best practices should be followed about how to wear, remove, and dispose of them, and for hand hygiene after removal.

Advice to decision makers on the use of masks for healthy people in community settings

As described above, the wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks. WHO offers the following advice to decision makers so they apply a risk-based approach.

Decisions makers should consider the following:

  1. Purpose of mask use: the rationale and reason for mask use should be clear– whether it is to be used for source control (used by infected persons) or prevention of COVID-19 (used by healthy persons)
  2. Risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus in the local context: ¬ The population: current epidemiology about how widely the virus is circulating (e.g., clusters of cases versus community transmission), as well as local surveillance and testing capacity (e.g., contact tracing and follow up, ability to carry out testing). ¬ The individual: working in close contact with public (e.g., community health worker, cashier)
  3. Vulnerability of the person/population to develop severe disease or be at higher risk of death, e.g. people with comorbidities, such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes mellitus, and older people
  4. Setting in which the population lives in terms of population density, the ability to carry out physical distancing (e.g. on a crowded bus), and risk of rapid spread (e.g. closed settings, slums, camps/camp-like settings).
  5. Feasibility: availability and costs of the mask, and tolerability by individuals
  6. Type of mask: medical mask versus nonmedical mask (see below)

In addition to these factors, potential advantages of the use of mask by healthy people in the community setting include reducing potential exposure risk from infected person during the “pre-symptomatic” period and stigmatization of individuals wearing mask for source control.

However, the following potential risks should be carefully taken into account in any decision-making process:

  • self-contamination that can occur by touching and reusing contaminated mask
  • depending on type of mask used, potential breathing difficulties
  • false sense of security, leading to potentially less adherence to other preventive measures such as physical distancing and hand hygiene
  • diversion of mask supplies and consequent shortage of mask for health care workers
  • diversion of resources from effective public health measures, such as hand hygiene

Whatever approach is taken, it is important to develop a strong communication strategy to explain to the population the circumstances, criteria, and reasons for decisions.

Type of Mask

WHO stresses that it is critical that medical masks and respirators be prioritized for health care workers.

The use of masks made of other materials (e.g., cotton fabric), also known as nonmedical masks, in the community setting has not been well evaluated. There is no current evidence to make a recommendation for or against their use in this setting.

In the interim, decision makers may be moving ahead with advising the use of nonmedical masks. Where this is the case, the following features related to nonmedical masks should be taken into consideration:

  • Numbers of layers of fabric/tissue
  • Breathability of material used
  • Water repellence/hydrophobic qualities
  • Shape of mask
  • Fit of mask
Home Care

For COVID-19 patients with mild illness, hospitalization may not be required. All patients cared for outside hospital (i.e. at home or non-traditional settings) should be instructed to follow local/regional public health protocols for home isolation and return to designated COVID-19 hospital if they develop any worsening of illness.Home care may also be considered when inpatient care is unavailable or unsafe. Specific IPC guidance for home care should be followed.

Persons with suspected COVID-19 or mild symptoms should:

  • Self-isolate if isolation in a medical facility is not indicated or not possible
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty or soap and water when hands are visibly dirty;
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 m from other people;
  • Wear a medical mask as much as possible; the mask should be changed at least once daily. Persons who cannot tolerate a medical mask should rigorously apply respiratory hygiene (i.e. cover mouth and nose with a disposable paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of it immediately after use or use a bent elbow procedure and then perform hand hygiene.)
  • Avoid contaminating surfaces with saliva, phlegm, or respiratory secretions.
  • Improve airflow and ventilation in their living space by opening windows and doors as much as possible.

Caregivers or those sharing living space with persons suspected of COVID-19 or with mild symptoms should:

  • Perform hand hygiene frequently, using an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly dirty or soap and water when hands are visibly dirty;
  • Keep a distance of at least 1 meter from the affected person when possible;
  • Wear a medical mask when in the same room as the affected person;
  • Dispose of any material contaminated with respiratory secretions (disposable tissues) immediately after use and then perform hand hygiene.
  • Improve airflow and ventilation in the living space by opening windows as much as possible.
Health care settings

WHO provides guidance for the use of PPE, including masks, by health care workers in the guidance document: Rational use of PPE in the context of COVID-19. Here we provide advice for people visiting a health care setting:

Symptomatic people visiting a health care setting should:
  • Wear a medical mask while waiting in triage or other areas and during transportation within the facility;
  • Not wear a medical mask when isolated in a single room, but cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing with disposable paper tissues. Tissues must be disposed of appropriately, and hand hygiene should be performed immediately afterwards.
Health care workers should:
  • Wear a medical mask when entering a room where patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are admitted.
  • Use a particulate respirator at least as protective as a US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Healthcertified N95, European Union standard FFP2, or equivalent, when performing or working in settings where aerosol-generating procedures, such as tracheal intubation, non-invasive ventilation, tracheotomy, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, manual ventilation before intubation, and bronchoscopy are performed.
  • Full infection prevention and control guidance for health care workers is provided here.

One study that evaluated the use of cloth masks in a health care facility found that health care workers using cotton cloth masks were at increased risk of infection compared with those who wore medical masks. Therefore, cotton cloth masks are not considered appropriate for health care workers.

Mask management
For any type of mask, appropriate use and disposal are essential to ensure that they are effective and to avoid any increase in transmission. The following information on the correct use of masks is derived from practices in health care settings.
  • Place the mask carefully, ensuring it covers the mouth and nose, and tie it securely to minimize any gaps between the face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while wearing it.
  • Remove the mask using the appropriate technique: do not touch the front of the mask but untie it from behind.
  • After removal or whenever a used mask is inadvertently touched, clean hands using an alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • Replace masks as soon as they become damp with a new clean, dry mask.
  • Do not re-use single-use masks.
  • Discard single-use masks after each use and dispose of them immediately upon removal.

Reference: WHO reference number: WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC_Masks/2020.3

Written by:
Dr.Laxminarayana K Bairy
Dean and Chairperson, Pharmacology
RAK College of Medical Sciences
RAK Medical and Health Sciences University
Ras Al Khaimah. UAE

Finally something practical and honest from the :
Head of the Infectious Disease Clinic, University of Maryland,USA:
How to live with Corona

  1. We may have to live with C19 for months or years. Let's not deny it or panic. Let's not make our lives useless. Let's learn to live with this fact.
  2. You can't destroy C19 viruses that have penetrated cell walls, drinking gallons of hot water - you'll just go to the bathroom more often.
  3. Washing hands and maintaining a two-meter physical distance is the best method for your protection.
  4. If you don't have a C19 patient at home, there's no need to disinfect the surfaces at your house.
  5. Packaged cargo, gas pumps, shopping carts and ATMs do not cause infection.Wash your hands, live your life as usual.
  6. C19 is not a food infection. It is associated with drops of infection like the ‘flu. There is no demonstrated risk that C19 is transmitted by ordering food.
  7. You can lose your sense of smell with a lot of allergies and viral infections. This is only a non-specific symptom of C19.
  8. Once at home, you don't need to change your clothes urgently and go shower! Purity is a virtue, paranoia is not!
  9. The C19 virus doesn't hang in the air. This is a respiratory droplet infection that requires close contact.
  10. The air is clean, you can walk through the gardens (just keeping your physical protection distance), through parks.
  11. It is sufficient to use normal soap against C19, not antibacterial soap. This is a virus, not a bacteria.
  12. You don't have to worry about your food orders. But you can heat it all up in the microwave, if you wish.
  13. The chances of bringing C19 home with your shoes is like being struck by lightning twice in a day. I've been working against viruses for 20 years - drop infections don't spread like that!
  14. You can't be protected from the virus by taking vinegar, sugarcane juice and ginger! These are for immunity not a cure.
  15. Wearing a mask for long periods interferes with your breathing and oxygen levels. Wear it only in crowds.
  16. Wearing gloves is also a bad idea; the virus can accumulate into the glove and be easily transmitted if you touch your face. Better just to wash your hands regularly.
  17. Immunity is greatly weakened by always staying in a sterile environment. Even if you eat immunity boosting foods, please go out of your house regularly to any park/beach.
    Immunity is increased by EXPOSURE TO PATHOGENS, not by sitting at home and consuming fried/spicy/sugary food and aerated drinks.