We have to learn to leave with a communicable disease like the Coronavirus until there is a vaccine to keep us safe. Since prevention is undeniably better than cure, medical experts around the world have been urging people to follow some preventive measures to keep yourself and your family safe. Also, since this is an unprecedented situation, major health insurance companies like Tata AIG have included COVID-19 in the list of ailments covered by health insurance policies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 6 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 with more than 3.7 lakh deaths spread across 216 countries. This is a severe form of respiratory illness with symptoms that resemble several seasonal illnesses making detection difficult. The typical symptoms include dry cough, fever, diarrhoea, and difficulty in breathing.
Ways to prevent Coronavirus infection
While the government had implemented severe lockdown measures, the virus has managed to spread and continues to threaten the health and well-being of you and your loved ones. Here are tips to stay safe:
- Social Distancing
Over the last few weeks, several asymptomatic COVID-19 cases have surfaced where the patients did not display any symptoms. Hence, identifying someone who is infected can be impossible. One of the best ways to prevent catching an infection is to ensure that you maintain a safe distance of at least three feet from people.
- Use a face mask
From what we already know about this virus, one of the most common ways in which COVID-19 spreads is when an infected person coughs or sneezes, and the droplets infect others. Hence, if you have any symptoms of the virus, then you must necessarily wear a face mask that fits your mouth and nose snugly. Further, even if you do not have symptoms, wearing a face mask while in a public place is recommended.
- Try to stay away from crowded places
Since social distancing is one of the best ways to avoid contracting and spreading the virus, avoiding crowded places is essential. If you are going to buy essential goods and find 4/5 people in the store already, then hold back until they are done.
- Keep your hands clean
Another known way in which this virus spreads is when an infected person touches a surface, and you come in contact with the same surface within a few hours. The virus enters your body through your mouth or eyes. Hence, whenever possible, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you are outside where washing hands is not possible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep them germ-free.
- Do not touch your face unless you have thoroughly washed your hands
Your eyes, nose, and mouth are three primary entry points of COVID-19. Many of us have a habit of scratching our eyes or touching our faces during the course of the day. To prevent catching the infection, ensure that you do not touch your face unless you have washed your hands with soap and water.
- Eat well-cooked food
The vegetables, fruits, and other food products you buy come in contact with several people before reaching you. Hence, it is important to wash food products thoroughly before using them. Also, avoid eating raw food and consume well-cooked products only.
- Avoid travel unless necessary, especially if you have any symptoms
Apart from ensuring that we do not get infected, it is also our responsibility that we do not spread the virus out of sheer ignorance or stubbornness. Hence, if you have a persistent cough or fever or any symptom listed above, then try to avoid travel unless it is necessary.
- Buy a health insurance policy
This is more of a safety net than a preventive measure. The treatment for COVID-19 can be costly (somewhere in the range of ₹5-6 lakhs in a private hospital for patients who don’t need ventilator support and ₹10-12 lakhs for those who do). Hence, it is important to protect yourself financially against hospitalization and other medical costs if you catch the virus. Look for a policy that offers Coronavirus insurance along with a cover for other ailments too. Also, ensure that you cover your dependents in the policy.
While COVID-19 might be new for us, the concept of communicable disease is not. Personal hygiene, clean hands, and social distancing need to become a way of life unless we have a vaccine or cure against this disease. Remember, you are responsible for your health and that of your near and dear ones. Follow the preventive methods mentioned above to keep you and your locality free of this infectious virus. Also, despite all precautions, if you or anyone in your family gets infected, then do not panic. Seek medical assistance immediately and have a medical insurance policy in place to cover the costs. Together, we can ensure that this pandemic becomes the shortest in history and does not disrupt our way of life. Stay Safe!