Editorial: reduce your panic with preparedness

Photo Credit: CDC on Unsplash

Photo Credit: CDC on Unsplash

Remember that midterm you had in first year that you were so panicked about because you forgot about it, so you didn’t study and weren’t prepared? But then the next midterm, you studied beforehand and you felt prepared, so you never really panicked?

While I’m not trying to compare the two things, but the fear of the coronavirus/COVID-19 could be lowered by everyone just being a bit more prepared. Please note that by prepared I do not mean to obsessively stock up on dried foods and toilet paper. I’m all for being stocked up and having what you need for a few days if you can’t get to a store, but given the low risk assessment from Health Canada I think we can all cool it on the toilet paper and hand sanitizer. With that said, there are other things you can do to lower the panic around the coronavirus.

With all of the fear spreading around about COVID-19 (previously and continuously referred to as the coronavirus) I think everyone needs a reminder that there are a lot of things you could do better that would probably help you avoid catching the virus.

I’m not a medical doctor (despite watching every season of Grey’s Anatomy), but to me, there are simple things all of us can do to stay healthy. Regardless of a virus outbreak, we all should be trying to maintain our health all the time. Having Type 1 diabetes, it’s important for me to monitor my health daily and even more so with things like COVID-19 going around.

First of all, wash your hands! If you don’t usually wash your hands and you waited for a serious virus outbreak to start doing so … that’s gross. But, it’s very simple. When you get home from work or school, wash your hands (with soap!). When you leave the washroom, wash your hands, before you eat food, wash your hands. It can’t hurt to wash your hands and it really is worth the 30 seconds to do so.

Even if you aren’t in a position where you have the time or are near a washroom, if there is hand sanitizer available or if you carry it with you, use that. All of the common places you go have bacteria all over the place — your office, your gym, your classrooms, your house.

The next major (and simple) thing is to cough and sneeze into your sleeves. I have been in a conversation with someone about the coronavirus and that person started coughing without covering their mouth right in front of me. Oh, in case you didn’t see this one coming, after you cough or sneeze it would be a really great idea if you — wait for it — wash your hands!

In addition to those things, stop touching your face. Touching your eyes or mouth or nose is unnecessary and you’re just increasing the risk of getting bacteria in your system.

Lastly, if you are hoping to reduce your chances of crossing paths with someone, who may have crossed paths with someone, who may have crossed paths with someone who has COVID-19, then stop going out when you don’t need to. Stay home and have a homemade dinner instead of going to a restaurant or fast food joint. Instead of going out to the mall ‘just for fun’ read a book or clean your house. Save the unnecessary trips or excursions for another time if you can.

So with all that said, let’s avoid the hysteria and panic and replace it with some common sense preparedness, plain and simple.

 

-Isabelle Cropper

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