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COVID-19: Wash your hands, exercise social distancing.

At the time of writing this article, we’ve hit more than ten million confirmed cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and we are still counting. The experts have named this virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-Cov-2).

Among the myriad of measures put forth to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are meticulous washing of hands and social distancing. Today we discuss why you should make these two habits a daily routine.

Although the transmission risk of the novel coronavirus is partially understood, the virus was first associated with a seafood market that sold live animals in Wuhan. Most patients had visited or worked in this market. The virus has been mainly spread directly from one person to another.

Available data show that, in resemblance to influenza (common-cold/flu/coryza), the person-to-person spread of SARS-Cov-2 occurs via respiratory droplets. When a person infected with the virus sneezes, coughs, or talks, they can infect another person if the aerosols directly contact the mucous membranes. When a person touches an infected surface, they become infected if the same hand touches eyes, nose, or mouth without having it washing before. It implies that regularly washing your hands reduces the chances that you will have the virus enter your body with their help. Washing hands with soap and water or sanitizers will prevent COVID-19 spread. Do not just clean the hands – clean them for at least 20 seconds in the key for this preventive measure to be effective.

Data also shows that the respiratory droplets travel about two meters, and don’t stay in the air long enough to cause airborne spread. It means that exercising social distancing of a minimum of 4 meters puts you at minimal risk of catching the coronavirus from an infected person. Social distancing helps reduce the infection amongst people.

You don’t need any cash to wash your hands with tap or spring water and soap. You don’t lose any coin, if you stay at home, avoid crowding of any sort, and only go to work if you’re an ‘essential’ worker. These are the only tools you have – use them.
Be safe – be smart – stay home – stay safe. This novel coronavirus knows no borders.


MBChB (MUK), Graduate Fellow, Department of Physiology, Makerere University Founder and Content Creator Peer reviewer, Associate Editor

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