As for now, 12,170,570 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in over 210 countries. The conditions are far from satisfactory. The virus appears to spread fast from person to person. How can we stay safe during the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, which could possibly last for years? Here are some tips for you to take.
1. Wear a mask
Data has shown that the virus is mainly spread when a healthy person comes in contact with droplets expelled by someone who is infected, usually through a cough, a sneeze or a conversation for more than 5 minutes. Due to the long incubation period of SARS-CoV-2 (the median incubation period was 4 days), the infectors can transmit the virus for days before they are aware that they are actually walking virus dispensers. This is why wear a mask while having close contact with others is effective in preventing the spread.
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2. Keep physical distance
The particles of the virus generated by infectors generally do not travel more than 6 feet or 2 meters, and they fall to the ground (or onto surfaces) in a few seconds, thus they can only be inhaled or land in the mouth or nose of a person around. Therefore, it is necessary to stay a safe distance from anyone you encounter, especially those who are from hard-hit areas.
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3. Wash hands frequently
According to a letter published in the New England Journal of Medicine, SARS-CoV-2 can live on surfaces (plastic, stainless steel, copper, and cardboard) for as long as 3 days. Thus, the virus can also spread if a healthy person touches his or her mouth, nose or eyes after unexpectedly getting the virus on his or her hand from a surface with the virus on it. For this reason, wash hands frequently is also suggested by some health experts.
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Van Doremalen, N., Bushmaker, T., Morris, D. H., Holbrook, M. G., Gamble, A., Williamson, B. N., ... & Lloyd-Smith, J. O. (2020). Aerosol and surface stability of SARS-CoV-2 as compared with SARS-CoV-1. New England Journal of Medicine, 382(16), 1564-1567.
Guan, W. J., Ni, Z. Y., Hu, Y., Liang, W. H., Ou, C. Q., He, J. X., ... & Du, B. (2020). Clinical characteristics of coronavirus disease 2019 in China. New England journal of medicine, 382(18), 1708-1720.
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