Precautions to Take in 2021 to Stay Safe from Coronavirus
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the globe, it has become imperative for governments as well as private individuals to consider the precautions needed for the upcoming year. Many experts expect that a vaccine will become available in the first half of 2021, with Pfizer (a reputed US-based pharmaceutical company) already administering the first dozes of their vaccine to patients.
Until the efficacy of any potential vaccine has been fully tested and determined, however, no predictions can be made with any amount of certainty. Therefore, it falls on us to be careful and take the necessary precautions to keep ourselves (and our loved ones) safe from the virus. While different sources suggest different precautionary measures, there are a few steps that we can all take to minimize the spread of the virus. These include carrying a sanitizer wherever we go, wearing a face mask when in public, and following social distancing protocols at all times.
The Importance of Personal Protective Equipment
The global demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) has soared since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is because the novel coronavirus spreads through respiratory droplets – the tiny drops of spit and phlegm released when we cough, sneeze or talk. Hence, the best way to control the spread of the virus (aside from foreswearing all human contact for the duration of the pandemic) is to wear a face mask, carry a bottle of high-quality sanitizer, and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from everyone in the vicinity to minimize contact.
PPE products like face masks can prevent you from releasing (potentially infected) respiratory droplets into the air whenever you speak or sneeze. Similarly, if the person you are speaking to is also wearing a face mask, then it is unlikely that you will contract a virus through exposure to their respiratory droplets. Hence, high-quality face masks protect the wearer as well as everyone around them. They also allow people to move freely even amidst a pandemic, minimizing the risk posed by crowded public spaces.
However, when buying a face mask, you should ensure that it is made from the highest quality materials and manufactured by a reputed brand or company. The most effective face masks are those that are comfortable, well-fitting, and multi-layered. These masks can effectively filter the air without making the wearer feel suffocated or breathless, which can be a major hindrance during a busy or hectic day. In 2021, we should all strive to ensure that wearing a mask in public is made into a common social etiquette, a matter of personal and community hygiene that everyone is responsible for. This will help reduce community transmission and allow us to move with greater freedom in the coming year.
Another PPE product that we should always carry, whenever we leave the house, is a high-quality hand-sanitizer. The best hand-sanitizers contain about 60 to 90 percent alcohol because alcohol helps destroy the outer membranes of germs, thereby killing them. Hand-sanitizers are available in the form of gel, liquid, and foam. They are an excellent alternative to soap water, which is the ideal method of maintaining hygiene and avoiding microbial transmission whenever possible.
However, soap and water may not always be available when you’re traveling, in which case a good hand-sanitizer with 60 percent-plus alcohol content is the second-best option. In 2021, make it a habit to carry a bottle of quality hand-sanitizer wherever you go, to ensure that you do not contract the virus by accidentally touching a shop counter or sitting on a subway seat recently used by an infected individual. Before choosing a hand-sanitizer, though, be sure to read the label and the list of ingredients, to check for possible allergens or other potentially harmful elements.
Immunity and Precautionary Measures
Some other types of PPE products that you might consider investing in for the upcoming year include gloves, face shields, safety goggles, etc. While these PPE products are not generally recommended for regular use, you should consider using them if you’ll be undertaking a long journey, spending time in crowded spaces, or if you happen to have a weakened immune system.
This is because people with immunodeficiency disorders are at greater risk of infection than most. Elderly people also have a greater risk of being adversely affected by the coronavirus than young, healthy persons with more robust immunity. Moreover, not everyone infected by the coronavirus might show symptoms of the disease, so there is a very real possibility that one might be infected by an asymptomatic carrier of the virus who looks perfectly healthy to an outside observer.
As such, if you’ve recently undergone surgery or suffer from any chronic conditions that have weakened your immune system, then no amount of precaution can be too much to ensure your safety in 2021 and beyond until an effective virus has been discovered and disseminated to all.