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How to Protect Yourself Against the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

This week, the CDC has told Americans that we need to be prepared for an outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The virus has been spreading across the globe with outbreaks in China, Korea, Japan, Italy and Iran. As of today, the US has only seen 56 cases of the disease and most of those are from people who returned from the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship. Currently, 8,400 people in California are being monitored for the coronavirus.

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Here are some tips for staying healthy and preventing the virus from spreading:

  • Don't Panic.
  • Frequently wash your hands or use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.

  • Don't touch your eyes, mouth or nose.

  • Clean and sanitize surfaces in your home regularly. The virus will live on surfaces for over 2 hours.

  • Practice social distancing. Don't get too close to people, especially if they seem sick. If someone is coughing on the bus near you, move away.

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow and dispose of used tissues.

  • If you are sick, stay home, wear a mask around family members, and clean things you have touched.

  • If you have a fever, cough, and/or difficulty breathing, call your doctor before going in so they can tell you how to proceed.

Most people get better on their own. There is currently no vaccine or cure to the virus but symptoms can be managed.

Both the WHO and the CDC have great information about COVID-19 check out these links for more information:

WHO - COVID-19 Advice for Public

CDC - About the Coronavirus

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12 More Solutions

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It has been reported that as many as 25% of people with COVID-19 might be asymptomatic. This is why it is important to wear a mask. Wearing a masks helps stop the spread of the disease by containing respiratory droplets of people who might be sick. Wearing a mask also helps people remember to not touch their face.

An illustration of many different people wearing face masks.

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Since our daughter retired and moved in with us, until her house next door is finished, we have enjoyed getting outside and walking together. In our community, we have some nice farm paths to walk. This has been fun and has kept my mind off the troubles of the world.

Get Outside and Exercise - picking up litter

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Everyone is sharing advice about washing your hands to decrease the spread of coronavirus. Many people have been using hand sanitizer instead but this can be less effective over time. My husband and I recently watched a video by Alton Brown that spells out exactly why.

A person thoroughly washing their hands.

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Bleach can be used effectively to clean and disinfect surfaces if prepared following the instructions on the CDC website.

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Right now it's very important to wipe down everything we use especially our phones. For my phone I either use a Clorox disinfectant wipe or 70% isopropyl with a cotton ball.

Wipe Down Electronics - bottle of alcohol and cotton balls on top of a cell phone

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While sitting home with my doggy Brody, my nose is running and I'm sneezing. The reason I'm telling everyone is that we are in allergy season. If you're not in high danger areas or don't have a fever, don't get scared. Everyone's afraid it's the virus. It isn't but panic is not good for your health either.

A dog resting on his back with a blanket over him.

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New information is coming out about coronavirus treatment that recommends using acetaminophen (Tylenol) instead of NSAIDS like ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen (Aleve) or asprin. The reason is that these anti-inflammatory drugs can suppress the immune system, preventing your body from effectively fighting off the virus.

Two pills in a hand.

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Use extra protection when using your masks. You can do many things to create double protection. You can use a piece of paper towel inside your mask or double your mask, but, masks are getting scarce.

A coffee filter to use as a extra face mask filter.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

December 3, 2020

I am wondering if anyone has come up with other methods or ideas to help protect ourselves personally against COVID-19 while out running necessary errands or going to appointments. I need to go into the DMV to renew my license in person and it is often overloaded with other people.

The usual mask, gloves, hand sanitizers, and antibacterial spray cleaners work well, but I really would appreciate some more tricks of what could be helpful. Any ideas are welcome.

Answers

December 3, 20200 found this helpful

We think we got it from spray in the air when we were in the middle of an emergency situation with our dog who was ill and we were in unusual settings where we were forced to use a public toilet while we waited for him to be admitted to the hospital. We had masks on and used lots of sanitizer throughout the situation, however, the only thing we did not have/do was to be wearing a plastic face shield to protect our eyes.

With the exception of that day, we did every other precaution possible and we still got it.

Other things we thought we did right were to:

1. Never touch our eyes, face, or mouth (as much as is humanly possible)
2. Take the mask off and wash it immediately if washable--if disposable, throw it away immediately upon entering the house
3. Wash our hands after touching the mask (if touched during the day and definitely after removal)
4. If you wear gloves, use hospital techniques to remove the gloves--which I can't describe--there are good YouTube videos to show it--but it means your skin never touches the gloves and they go right into the trash. Gloves were a false sense of security and you don't realize how many things you touch with the gloves that then had to be sanitized when you were done. It became easier to just wear them for high impact things like the few times we had to use a bank machine or pump gas.


Prayers that you and yours do not have to go through this. It is a devastating illness.

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December 3, 20200 found this helpful

Have you checked to see if your state is offering to renew online. Our state is allowing to renew online. There are several things that DMV is allowing because of Covid. This alone will give you more protection , never having to enter the building. Look into this option, if no, protection is key (mask, sanitizer/washing ,distance ).

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December 3, 20200 found this helpful

You say you have to go to the DMV in person so that lets out the online renewal (which is a good thing but our state is charging a very high fee to do this which I'm filing a complaint against) so I would suggest before you go to the DMV or any other public place that requires an appointment, call and talk to a supervisor about when is the least busiest time. They should be able to tell the days and the times and if there is more than one DMV office in your area check all of them. You can also go to the door and the 'door person' should be able to give you a number and let you wait outside (weather permitting) or in your car and have them call you (have your name and number on a piece of paper before going to the door).
Wear a good mask that covers your full face above your nose and fits snugly against your nose. I use plastic gloves and change them several times while I'm on any errand. Use plenty of hand cleaner and let it dry before putting on new gloves.
I immediately change my mask when I leave any place of business and place the 'dirty' one in a zip lock baggie until I get home where I empty the baggie straight into the washing machine (even if I'm not ready to wash them).
I have canceled all of my 'regular' doctor appointments and if necessary we use teleconferencing which is a really good thing that has happened due to the virus restrictions.
My son takes me when I have to go on any errand so I have a helper with all of these 'little' precautions but I'm very thankful that no one in my family has been infected but I believe one of the problems with society is that everyone is not accustomed to be responsible for their own safety and well being and with this virus, I believe that is what it is going to take or we will have to live like this for a long time.
The problem with trying to be responsible is that not everyone is really taking this serious enough so you have be overly careful and look out for all the people who are taking almost no precautions and making it dangerous for anyone in their area.
I know there are people who take all of the precautions and still get infected so there must be some things that we just do not know about how this virus is being spread.

Please think about everything before you make a trip and hopefully you will be safe.

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December 4, 20200 found this helpful

I carry a sanitizing kit with me in my truck. In a basket I have soap, water, paper towels, trash bags, extra masks, hand sanitizer and wipes. I wash my hands every errand I run. I then use the hand sanitizer. I also carry wipes with me in the stores. I have extra in my purse to. I wipe down everything that I touch and put in my cart.
I keep a stylus with me to use at the register. I keep that sanitized also between uses.
Carry items you will need in a plastic sandwich bag, or recycled bag for your appointments. For example any items you need to take to the DMV. Keep that bag separate from your purse or tote you take with you.
A lot of my precautions could be considered over the top. I rather be safe than sorry.

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February 29, 2020

This is our official recommended recipe to make your own hand sanitizer at home. This recipe follows WHO guidelines for maximum cleaning power.

A man applying hand sanitizer to his bare hands.

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April 29, 2018

You can save money using coffee filters or paper towels to make your own handy disinfecting wipes. This is a page about making your own disinfectant wipes.

Hand holding a home name disinfectant wipe

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