Some enemies are invisible
Viruses and bacteria have been among the greatest threats to humanity. In the 14th century, the Plague, caused by the yersinia pestis bacterium, is believed to have killed approximately 200 million people – half of the world’s entire population at that time. The 1918 flu pandemic (H1N1 virus) was responsible for the deaths of approximately 50 million people.
Scientists and the medical profession are still learning about the most recent coronavirus, Covid-19, which has a wide range of symptoms and effects. However, we can mitigate the chances of contracting this virus.
A powerful weapon against viruses: Hygiene
While it is neither possible or desirable to eradicate every virus or bacteria – some bacteria protect us and are necessary for our health – we can take simple, yet effective, actions. For instance, washing our hands with soap. If we don’t have water and soap on hand, we can utilize antibacterial products and disinfectants, such as alcohol-based hand sanitizing agents.
Continue reading for more tips on how to protect yourself…
1. At the top of the list: Social distance!
Viruses and bacteria are transmitted between humans in four ways: Air; contact; an intermediate source (water, blood, food, etc.); and vector (intermediate carriers such as fleas or mosquitoes). The coronavirus spreads in different ways* but scientists have determined that contact is a primary cause. Contact, in this case, can be defined as direct, indirect and droplet borne. To prevent the spread of harmful organisms, paying attention to social distancing guidelines is paramount. These guidelines are straightforward: keep a distance of at least one meter between individuals, and avoid contact such as shaking hands or kissing.
*For detailed information, visit the page of Ministry of Health. in Turkish.
2. This is not how we envisioned the Cyberpunk era: The importance of wearing a mask
When someone who has the coronavirus coughs or sneezes, the droplets from those coughs or sneezes can reach as far as five to eight meters from the source. Research** indicates that the virus can remain in the air for a couple of hours. Wearing a mask is a powerful defense – for both infected and non-infected individuals. Those who are infected can reduce the chance of infecting others by wearing a mask. Those who are not infected increase their chance of remaining uninfected by wearing a mask.
When wearing a mask, keep these three guidelines in mind. Use masks that are certified by the Ministry of Health and other institutions. Cover both the nose and the mouth with the mask. And change the mask regularly, depending on the location of use and the type of the mask. Wearing a mask correctly and consistently helps reduce the chances of contracting the virus.
3. Personal protection: Disinfectant and cleaning agents
Disinfectants and cleaning agents help protect your health during outbreaks. This is why alcohol-based sanitizing gels are placed in areas of mass transit. You can protect your health by regularly cleaning your face and hands on your travels, with alcohol-based sanitizers or with soap and water. Do keep the guidance of experts in mind: excessive use of disinfectants may also destroy the useful single-cell organisms, so it is important not to use such agents above the recommended range.
4. Hold that line! The immune system and its supporters
Your immune system is key in protecting your health during a pandemic. A strong immune system may help mitigate some of the effects of the virus, should you contract it. To maintain your immune system strong, we recommend getting sufficient sleep, maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet, and exercising regularly. As well, remaining free of stress is helpful – if not always possible.
Supplements recommended by a doctor or other authority can also be helpful in maintaining your immune system. Last, but not least, keeping alcohol and tobacco consumption to a minimum – or abstaining altogether – can help boost your immune system.
5. Needless to say: Washing your hands and face
Regular hand and face washing habits are highly advisable at all times – and crucial during a pandemic, especially for anyone who is traveling. As the risk of contracting the virus does rise during travel, due to increased exposure to other people and environments, you can help reduce those risks by developing regular, effective and consistent hand and face washing habits. No wonder that cultures with these types of habits are affected less by outbreaks!
Healthy travels to everybody!