As Cal Poly Pomona’s instruction is now online for the remainder of spring semester as a precautionary measure, it is important to remember how to stay safe from COVID-19.
COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, is the cause of a pandemic that has caused many societies around the world to instate a policy known as “social distancing,” which is defined by Merriam-Webster as, “The practice of maintaining a greater than usual physical distance from other people … in public places during the outbreak of a contagious disease in order to minimize exposure and reduce the transmission of infection.”
There are many ways to exercise social distancing. Four ways explained by Dr. Lisa Lockerd Maragakis on the Johns Hopkins Medicine website include working from home, “closing schools or switching to online classes,” visiting loved ones electronically and “canceling or postponing conferences and large meetings.”
The most common safety methods advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) are as follows:
1. Wash your hands frequently
“Make sure you’re washing your hands for more than 20 seconds or carry some kind of hand sanitizer on you,” said Mona Neri, clinical assistant at CPP Student Health Services.
People’s hands gather germs no matter what they do, no matter what they touch and no matter whether they’re touching something at any given moment.
According to the WHO, both hand soap and alcohol-based sanitizers can remove viruses from the hands.
2. Practice respiratory hygiene
According to the WHO, droplets released by coughing and sneezing can spread viruses.
This spreads common colds and flus, and now it’s a method of spreading COVID-19. Coughing into the crook of the elbow is most advised because that part of the body doesn’t touch as many things as hands do.
3. Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
The face has the most openings into the body’s innards of any other part of the outer body. Pathogens of all kinds seek any entrance into the inner body.
Once there, they can get to work on infecting the inner body, which causes problems for the entire body.
“Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses,” stated the WHO’s “COVID-19 Advice for the Public” section. “Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth.”
By avoiding touching one’s face, the probability of contracting illness can go down significantly.
4. Maintain social distancing
Neri also advises that it’s best to stay away from public places where more than 200 people can gather and California Gov. Gavin Newsom advised not to gather with 10 or more people.
The WHO explains that being so close to people puts them within range of breathing in infected droplets. Staying further away from people keeps the droplets away.
5. Seek medical care early
Being out in public with an illness worsens one’s own condition and risks passing it onto others. The WHO advises people to call their health centers if they have symptoms of COVID-19 to be directed to a health facility that will help them, protecting them and mitigating further germ spread.
By exercising these safety tips and obeying the stay-at-home mandate, COVID-19 can be slowed down.
Students are advised to go to the Student Health Center for treatment if they suspect they contracted COVID-19. Appointments currently cannot be made online; all appointments must be made by phone.
Business hours are between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. every weekday.
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