Everyone is seeking asylum from COVID-19. All of us are staying at home as far as possible. It’s not difficult to appreciate the sentiment, and here’s why.

How does COVID-19 spread?

This insidious bug, which has caused over 70,500 deaths worldwide, is a respiratory infection that spreads through water droplets when an infected person sneezes. Of course, these droplets can land on the surfaces in our environment.

What are the symptoms?

As you would already know, the Coronavirus causes a range of symptoms that resemble the flu. It leaves one:

  • feeling feverish
  • with a runny nose
  • with a sore throat
  • aches and pains
  • and most significantly, breathing difficulties.

Coronavirus lives for a long time on different surfaces and in the air

A new study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, reveals that COVID-19 can last on different surfaces for at least two to three days. Of course, it permeates and stays in the air too.

During the study, the researchers tried to emulate how an infected person could transmit the COVID bug. They scattered microscopic droplets on surfaces, in the same way, COVID would spread if someone sneezed.

They found that it stays on:

  • Copper for 4 hours
  • Cardboard for 24 hours
  • Plastic for two to three days

In short, it’s hardy.

Tips to Avoid COVID-19

With many countries in differing degrees lockdown, COVID-19 is keeping many of us at home. But those of us who don’t have the benefit of engaging food or other delivery services have to step out to get essentials. How do we avoid coronavirus since it lives so long on so many surfaces?

1. Wear masks

Yes, experts in the medical profession have suggested that a mask isn’t helpful as it only stops a wearer from infecting others and not vice versa.

However, consider the Czech Republic, which has implemented a mandatory face mask rule, has managed to slow the spread of the virus considerably. That’s because all wearers protect each other if they wear masks.

2. Wash your hands

You’ve probably heard this many times, but everyone can use a reminder. Wash your hands for about twenty seconds with soap or an alcohol sanitiser if you come into contact with any of the surfaces mentioned above if you go out.

3. Safe-distancing

There have been many debates and comments on this topic, and it’s not surprising. Distancing is painful, especially with loved ones. That said, stay at least a meter away from others as this does pay off, as locked down China has shown. The number if COVID-19 imports there has dropped tremendously.



4. Self-isolate

Do this if you feel sick. You’ll be showing concern for your family and friends.

5. Don’t touch your face

Again, this is difficult, as we often do so as a reflex – usually to make sure that we look sharp every day. But refrain from doing this if you go out as it increases the chances of viral droplets spreading.

Take care during this stressful time and remember – if you must go out, don’t touch.

Michelle Liew, B.A.

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