Coronavirus Safety in Education

The world is flooded with news on the coronavirus right now. People are scared and confused, and there is much uncertainty in how the coming days, weeks, and months will play out. The best way to move through this pandemic is with education, confidence in your knowledge, and as much preparation and proactivity as possible.

Awareness

Everyone is aware of the virus that’s going around as it has affected just about every facet of everyday life, from school to work to stores and extracurriculars. It’s important to be aware of the changes that are taking place with the virus, business closings, health recommendations, and so on. However, you should be cautious not to overindulge in media consumption, as it can cause unnecessary fear, anxiety, and stress. Remember that not everything you hear on the news is completely true and you should be cautious about who and where you get your information from. Stick to news outlets that give you direct facts, such as local news stations, local health authorities, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO). Be aware and informed, but know when to turn off the TV, set down your devices, and simply embrace the opportunity to slow down for a bit.

Prevention Tips

As with most sicknesses, prevention is absolutely the best course of action. Preventing the spread of the disease is the entire point behind all of the quarantines and social distancing that has been put into effect across the globe. If you can avoid getting the coronavirus in the first place, you’ll minimize spreading it and keep those around you healthy. Take care to practice these prevention tips to keep yourself and others as healthy as possible.

  • If you feel sick, stay home. Even if you suspect allergies, a cold, or something entirely unrelated, there is no need to spread germs of any kind during this time. Don’t run errands, take public transportation, or even go to a playground with your kids. Stay inside your house or in your yard and avoid contact with others. Remember, even if you get the coronavirus and have minimal symptoms, you could put someone else who is high-risk in a very dangerous situation by not following prevention protocol.
  • Wash your hands. You’ve probably heard this a thousand times in the past week, but it’s because it’s extremely effective. Use soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds, and avoid touching your face.
  • Disinfect surfaces and high-touch objects. Germs transfer primarily with direct contact, but the second most common way to pass along germs is through surfaces and objects. Door handles, light switches, sink faucets, phones, tablets, remotes, and so on can harbor germs and be a breeding ground for sickness. Be diligent about disinfecting them all regularly with a disinfectant spray, wipe, or solution. Traditional cleaners will likely do the trick, as will 70% isopropyl alcohol. Be sure to wash your hands again after disinfecting!

Safety Tips if You Do Get Sick

If you begin feeling sick, don’t panic. Remember that the majority of cases are extremely mild and feel like the flu or a bad cold. However, it’s important to take action quickly to prevent spreading sickness to others, whether it is the coronavirus or not. Here are a few tips if you start feeling sick.

  • Isolate yourself from family members as well as you can. This can be hard if you have young kids or if it’s one of your children who is sick. But keeping the germs contained to one person and one area of the house is ideal.
  • Call your doctor first. Don’t jump in your car and run straight to the doctor’s office, urgent care, or emergency room. Chances are, even if it is the coronavirus, the symptoms will be mild and the best way to recover is at home with plenty of fluids and rest. You don’t want to put others at risk by going to the doctor if you don’t need to, and hospitals need as much space as possible for those who are seriously ill and need round-the-clock care by medical personnel.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing. Use a tissue, ideally. If that’s not possible, cough or sneeze into your elbow or arm rather than your hands.
  • Wear a facemask when you’re sick if you have to be around others.
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly.
  • Be aware of the incubation period of coronavirus. While studies are not completely conclusive, doctors believe that the time from exposure of germs to the appearance of symptoms can be as short as one day and as long as 14 days. That means that others around you may have the virus as well but haven’t shown symptoms yet, so be diligent to continue hand washing, disinfecting, and other preventative measures.

Be Prepared & Stay Positive

It’s important to be prepared both physically and mentally for long-term social distancing and quarantining. You should have plenty of school supplies for kids to do distance or digital assignments, plenty of food for a long-term stint without grocery shopping, and plenty of household supplies to avoid going out for a while. This is not to say you should be hoarding supplies or panicking if you don’t have a small stockpile of supplies, but being prepared is ideal, especially for families with young children and the elderly.

And of course, stay as positive as possible. This is not an ideal situation and we all know that, but being upset or frustrated or super negative about it isn’t going to help anything or change the situation. Begin preparing yourself for being at home for the long haul, and do what you can to keep spirits up amongst your kids and your other family members. Do your best to stay busy and entertained, but also try to enjoy a bit of a break from the norm and embrace some extra time with your family.