The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is now a global challenge that requires action from all parties. Not only individual citizens, but companies, institutions and organizations throughout the world can take measurable steps to protect themselves from exposure to the virus and prepare for a pandemic.
The preparation that needs to be done to deal with a pandemic focuses on three areas:
- Limit the number of people infected with the virus.
- Equipping families with essential equipment in an emergency.
- Limit yourself from places or large events that can be the location of a viral infection to spread.
What can be done to protect yourself?
The corona virus is transmitted through droplet infections – infections that are transmitted from one person to another by droplets of water released from the upper respiratory tract through sneezing or coughing.
This virus breed in the throat. From there the pathogen can be removed from the body more quickly through sneezing, coughing or just blowing air. In this way, SARS-CoV-2 spreads to the surface of the body due to contact with mucous membranes (mucous membranes) so that it can infect others by touch or direct contact through hands.
What concrete actions can individuals take to protect themselves and others from drip infections?
- Keep a distance of one or two meters from anyone infected with the virus.
- Wash your hands regularly thoroughly (at least 20 seconds using soap, including washing your wrists).
- Avoid shaking hands and hugging people.
- Develop your self-protection reflexes, for example: Press the elevator button with your knuckles, not with your fingertips.
- Avoid busy and crowded places and events. Set priorities.
- Avoid touching your face and the faces of your friends or relatives.
- Don’t touch the mucous membranes of your mouth, eyes and nose using your fingers.
- Use gloves if needed. Wash or change your gloves every day.
- Don’t sneeze by covering your face with your hands, but use your elbows or tissue instead.
- Discard your used tissue immediately.
Respiratory masks provide little protection for healthy people. When worn, the mask becomes moist due to the intake of absorbed air. After 20 minutes, the protective barrier from the mask deteriorates. Masks in particular must be provided for medical staff.
What needs to be prepared to deal with a pandemic?
If a large wave of infection appears, restrictions on movement will most likely be imposed on you. This can lead to limited food supply. You can take precautions so you can stay indoors for several weeks if needed.
- Prepare essential medical supplies (if needed) for a month.
- Save food supplies that do not rot easily.
- Make arrangements in order to protect your friends and family. Older people and sick people with weak immune systems are very at risk of exposure to the virus and depend on your help.
- Arrange for possible care for sick children.
- Make arrangements in such a way as to care for a sick family member without infecting yourself.
What can the company do?
When a virus with a high risk of transmission spreads, companies need to take precautions to protect their employees. Employees who are sick or at risk of exposure to the virus must stay at home. If possible, companies should offer employees opportunities to work from home.
- Employees with acute symptoms of respiratory illness (for example, coughing or shortness of breath) or those who suddenly get sick on that day must be immediately separated from other employees and allowed to go home.
- The company must provide an air ventilation system so that fresh air can be maintained at work and in social meeting rooms.
- The company must provide facilities for cleanliness such as clean water, soap and paper towels.
- In the office, cleaning and disinfecting wipes must be available and used regularly.
- All work areas and surrounding areas must be cleaned regularly.
- Healthy employees who have a sick family with COVID-19 must inform their supervisor.
- Superiors must identify relevant positions in the work process so that their replacements can be arranged in such a way. In this way, absent employees will not harm or affect the functioning of the entire organization.
What about business trips and vacations?
During a pandemic, your travel plans should be reviewed regularly. Companies and employees need to learn the latest guidelines and recommendations for each purpose.
Companies must encourage their employees to examine the symptoms of acute respiratory disease before traveling. If it hurts, you should be advised to stay at home.