126,380 and 4,634. These are the numbers that respectively represent those who have been affected and those who have perished from the virus. Discovered on December of 2019, the Corona Virus Disease 2019—or also known as COVID-2019—shook the world when it made headlines last January of this year. With these staggering numbers and new cases surfacing that add to the already considerable and growing number, the World Health Organization recently declared the COVID-2019 as a pandemic.

The Corona Virus Disease 2019, much like its predecessors—the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), started from an animal that was then transmitted to a human, something that to this day is not fully understood by many. For human-to-human transmission, close contact and respiratory droplets are mainly at large to why this virus spreads like wildfire.

The question of most now is how to prevent themselves from testing positive of COVID-2019. Preventive measures are always imposed at home, in the office, or even at public spaces to ensure the safety of the people and to mitigate the severity of the outbreak. With this virus now considered a pandemic and country leaders imposing lockdowns, all the more precautions should be taken seriously.

Here are a few things to—always—remember to avoid the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (at home, at work, or anywhere):

Wash Hands
Hands often touch many things or surfaces; with this leads the possibility of the hands being contaminated by the virus. That is why it is important to wash hands as often as possible—after touching any surface or thing, after coughing or sneezing, or after having been in a public place in general—with water and soap for 20 seconds or with a hand rub that is 60% alcohol if water and soap are not readily available.

Avoid Close Contact
It is important in this climate we avoid close contact with people who are sick, because if by any chance they cough or sneeze, liquid droplets are sent into the air. These liquid droplets might bear with them the virus that causes the COVID-2019 and if you are near the person affected, there is a higher chance you might inhale the droplet with the virus. Distance yourself to about a meter or 3 feet from people especially if the virus is prevalent in your area. This should be highly regarded most especially by people who are at higher risk of getting sick.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose, and Mouth
Hands are what we use to touch, may it be any surface or any part of our body. If we are not careful this will be a reason for the virus to enter the body. If you touch any infected surface and unconsciously touched your eyes, nose, or mouth chances of getting the virus are high.

Practice Respiratory Hygiene
Practicing good respiratory hygiene is an etiquette everyone must follow and follow religiously in this crisis. It is important to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze with the inside of your elbow or with a tissue paper—the latter, to be properly disposed after use. Enforcing the practice of good respiratory hygiene keeps you and everyone around you from getting flu, virus, or worst the COVID-2019.

Seek Medical Care (If You Have Fever, Cough, and Difficulty Breathing)
It is highly recommended that at the earliest stages of the “symptoms” you seek medical care. This is so your situation can be assessed and prevented while it has not worsened.

Clean and Disinfect
With the virus being easily transmitted from human to human via close contact or droplet on a surface, panic from people is understandable. With this panic is an overwhelming amount of paranoia from all things or surfaces that are often touched i.e. doors, doorknobs, elevator buttons, etc. That is why establishments are advised to constantly clean and disinfect their buildings. This is to lessen the panic and to assure the people that they are being cared for and taken into consideration in this crisis.

Stay Informed, But Avoid Fake News
News outlets are extremely accessible nowadays, especially with social media. Just one click and the latest news about the virus is in your hands. Live updates and live videos of health conferences concerning the pandemic are being provided by reliable news and media sources. Read, listen, and take the time to know about the current progress of the virus. And while staying informed, it is also recommended to steer away from fake news—considering how rampant it is—as this will only bring unnecessary stress and panic.

Although we hear of deaths due to the COVID-2019 and day by day the number rises, we also hear of people recovering from the said virus. More than 68,000 people have been recorded to have recovered from this pandemic. As scary as the situation is now, hearing recoveries in the headlines of news is the silver lining people need. Hope is indeed not lost. Other than the imposed quarantine for those people affected and those who have a recorded travel history in areas the pandemic is prevalent, doctors are looking into other ways to quickly mitigate the problem. In a published article by NBC News, a team of doctors at Johns Hopkins University spearheaded by Dr. Arturo Casadevall, are trying to push for a passive immunotherapy i.e. convalescent serum amidst the lack of vaccines and solutions to help stop the problem of COVID-2019. Practiced hundreds of years ago—before the innovation of vaccines—during the spread of the Spanish flu in 1918 and the outbreak of polio and measles. The method is simple, doctors extract blood from a person who have recovered from the COVID-2019 and transfuse it to someone who is still trying to recover or who is in critical condition. Though, Casadevall and his team are stressing that this method is not going to fully cure the virus, this instead will slow down the outbreak and the increase of people affected.

Amidst fear, we live. Although panic and fear are inevitable, we must not forget to still live our lives. Hope should never waver in trying times like this. With medical professionals doing the best they can to normalize the situation and solve the pandemic, we should still enjoy life—but with caution. One must simply follow the preventive measures imposed by health institutions for safety and prevention of self and all.

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