As news breaks that the most recent flu, perhaps even pandemic, Coronavirus (COVID-19), is starting to spread around the globe, I can’t help but think how can we best keep ourselves, loved ones and workplace safe?
For starters, having the correct facts can help in educating us while also mitigating extreme panic:
- In looking for some real facts, I found that as of today, March 9, 2020, the number of cases of the COVID-19 worldwide is just over 114K – of this 68K of these cases are now closed with 4,026 people having succumbed to the illness, a 6% death rate, while over 64K people have recovered – a rate of 94%.
- How do people contract COVID-19? In doing research on the Word Health Organization’s website I found that this flu is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are expelled when an infected person coughs or exhales. A person can than catch the virus by breathing in or touching objects or surfaces around the infected person and subsequently touching their own eyes, nose or mouth. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.
- What are the symptoms? The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough, with the occasional cases featuring aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment, while some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms.
What I have been able to take from this is that the real threat of COVID-19 is its ability to spread so widely, so quickly, but with the proper precautions in place and measures to deal with this illness it is possible to stop its devastation, or at least minimize it.
So, what can you do to protect yourself? The most important and easiest action you can take is to wash your hands – either with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, the use of hand sanitizer, or disinfecting wipes on hard surfaces. Secondly avoid touching your face when your hands have not been recently cleaned. These simple steps will be your greatest asset in preventing the spread of infection.
When it comes to your workplace, having a proper Emergency Preparedness Plan for staff and visitors will help keep your company safe and limited the effects of business-related impact:
- Consider purchasing your own medical and supply kits including hand sanitizers, disinfecting wipes, masks and disposable gloves.
- Encourage all staff to frequently sanitize their workspace, PPE and common areas by making the needed cleaning supplies accessible to all.
- Limit face-to face-meetings with outside visitors and opt for conference calls or videos when possible
- Provide education and awareness to your employees on how to deal with an emergency situation so they know how to care for themselves at work and at home with their families
At Safety Ahead, we focus on assisting companies from every industry in developing health and safety plans that are tailored to the business’ needs, along with providing insight and preparedness for external emergencies, such as a flu pandemic. If you need assistance implementing a health and safety program contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 780-473-4772 today.
When it comes to protecting yourself from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), education and knowledge put into practise will be your greatest line of defense.
Cited: World Health Organization https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses and https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/