By Sid Udata
COVID-19 has been ravaging the nation, with the United States surpassing the grim milestone of 100,000 lives lost 4 days ago. By May 15, 2020, the virus had already claimed the lives of more Americans than did the Vietnam War, Gulf War, Afghanistan War, and Iraq War combined. We are running out of comparisons to put the enormous toll into perspective. And the rapidly changing dynamics of the situation is causing widespread fear. However, what is constant is what we can do to protect ourselves and others. Here's how:
Wear a mask. Masks have been proven to curb the spread of the virus. If one comes in contact with a COVID carrier, he/she is nearly guaranteed to become infected. However, studies have shown that the infection probability can be drastically reduced if both parties wear a mask. While homemade masks have not been studied as extensively, the CDC recommends avoiding N95 and surgical masks to be reserved for medical professionals on the frontlines. Besides, any covering is better than nothing.
Practice social distancing. Studies have shown that sneezes can travel up to 27 feet. However, the particles dissipate rapidly. By staying at least 6 feet apart from others, you can stay away from a concentrated burst of airborne particles that may contain the virus. And of course, you’ll be better off wearing a mask too.
Get educated. Knowledge is power. The more you know about how the virus infects and affects the body the more prepared you are to combat it. However, make sure your sources are reputable. Your best bet is to visit the CDC and WHO websites for the most accurate information, and check with your state and city websites for most current regulations and recommendations.
The pandemic will not be over just because we decide it is. Not until we all (figuratively) join hands, follow public health guidelines, and educate ourselves and others about the severity of the disease we be able to put this pandemic in the past. Together.