Hyderabad: A video chat hosted by David Price, a critical care pulmonologist in New York City, or rather, the content of the video, which has the lung doctor telling his family and friends how to take care of themselves during these COVID times has gone quite viral.
Here are a few takeaways from how Dr. Price tells his family to protect themselves. He had four main points.
Become a Hand-Nazi
“We know that if you keep your hands clean, you’re not going to get this,” Dr. Price said.
Always be aware of your hands and what they’re touching — especially in public. Dr. Price carries his hand sanitiser everywhere. He said he touches elevator buttons and grocery carts and then cleans his hands right away.
If you don’t have a sanitiser, bump the elevator button with your elbow. You don’t need to worry about washing your clothes right away when you get home, but you should obsess about keeping your hands clean all the time.
Stop Touching Your Face
You can wear a mask, but not for the reason you think. According to researchers, all of us unconsciously touch our faces more than 20 times every hour. According to Dr. Price, the Coronavirus takes advantage of this exact behavior. Become aware of how much you’re touching your face and STOP IT.
Surprisingly, this is the one reason Dr. Price says you can wear a surgical mask. It won’t do much to shield you from the virus directly, but it will train you to stop touching your face.
You Have Zero Need for an N95 Mask
“The general community has zero need for N95 masks,” he says. Healthcare professions need them when they are going to perform what is known as an Aerosol Generating Procedure — ex. hooking someone up to a ventilator or doing anything where a patient is likely to spit, sneeze, or cough in their faces.
This is nothing that we haven’t been hearing for the last three weeks. Stay 3–6 feet away from people in general to avoid breathing their air if they cough or sneeze. Don’t hug or shake hands with someone because you don’t know if they have dirty hands. Keep your social circle small for now so you know that you’re only interacting with people that are following the same hygienic procedures that you are. Again, you don’t need to be scared of the outside world. Just keep your hands clean, avoid close sustained contact with people, and be smart.
Dr. Price says you should only go to the hospital if you are short of breath. If you get up to walk to the bathroom and find yourself out of breath — it’s time to go to the hospital. Don’t go to the hospital if you just have a fever and cough.
In case you have symptoms, here is what you should remember. If you are living with someone who is older and more at risk (hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.), you should try to find somewhere else to stay or find somewhere else for them to stay.
Stick to your own bathroom and bedroom if you can to avoid touching surfaces that your family is like to touch. Keep the 3–6 feet rule. Make sure everyone obsesses about keeping their hands and surfaces clean and avoids touching their face.
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