Did you know that you encounter millions of germs every single day? When you sneeze or cough, you send germs onto your hands, arm or into the air for others to inhale. When you go to the grocery store, there are germs on the grocery carts, counters and food products you pick up. There are even illness-causing germs on your doorknobs, kitchen counters and tables.
Germs are literally everywhere, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to contract an infectious disease. In fact, following easy personal hygiene practices regularly throughout the day can help you protect yourself from infectious diseases and viruses like the coronavirus (COVID-19).
How Do Germs and Infectious Diseases Spread?
Infectious diseases, like the flu, have the ability to spread like wildfire. One day, only a single person from your office or community center is sick, then the next there’s another dozen people with the flu. This is what we’ve also seen with COVID-19. On March 1, New York only had one reported case of COVID-19, but in just four weeks, that amount spiked to over 100,000.
How do infectious diseases like this spread so quickly? The answer is that we pick up and spread germs without realizing or thinking about it. Germs and infectious diseases can spread by:
- Sneezing, coughing or rubbing your eyes. These actions can send germs into the air that people close to you breathe in and pass along to others.
- Touching items after sneezing or coughing into your hands. The germs on your hands spread to whatever you touch next and get passed to the next person that touches the item you did.
- Petting animals. While we love our pets, they also can pass along germs that can get you sick.
- Preparing or eating foods before washing your hands.
Hygiene Practices to Help Prevent Illnesses and Diseases
While germs are inevitable, there are easy ways to protect against illnesses and diseases. During a time when we’re all working extra hard to try to stay healthy, these 5 tips can help you avoid infectious diseases and keep you healthier for longer:
- Wash Your Hands: This sounds like a no brainer, but washing your hands is one of the most powerful actions you can take to protect yourself from germs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should wash your hands before, during and after eating and preparing food, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose and after taking out the trash.
- Use Sanitizer Wipes When You Go Out: Besides using sanitizer wipes at home and on all your electronic devices, you should also keep them on hand whenever you run out to the store. Are you sitting down in the car to go somewhere? Use Purell on your hands and wipe the steering wheel with a sanitizer wipe. Need a grocery cart or basket for your shopping items? Wipe down the handles before you touch them. Wherever you go, be sure to wipe down anything you plan to come into contact with.
- Maintain Your Oral Care: Keeping your mouth, gums and teeth healthy and clean can also protect you from infectious diseases. Bacterial build-up in your mouth can actually be inhaled into your lungs, which can lead to pneumonia. Remember to brush and floss your teeth twice a day and top off your oral hygiene care with mouth wash and regular visits to your dentist.
- Clean Your House Daily: As we mentioned earlier, germs can live on your countertops, tables, and doorknobs just to name a few. Germs are all over your house, so the best way to protect yourself is to clean your home on a regular basis. For places like your kitchen and bathrooms, try to wipe down all the counters and appliances with disinfectant sprays and wipes after use. This can help limit the spread of germs between you and your loved ones.
- Drink Plenty of Water During the Day: Have you ever been told to drink a lot of fluids when you’re sick or fighting a cold? That’s because staying hydrated can help you recover from illnesses. Water can also help protect you from getting sick, because it boosts an immune response in your body for fighting viruses. Be sure to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to help you stay hydrated and healthy.
Fellowship Senior Living Puts Your Health and Safety First
At Fellowship Senior Living , the health and safety of our residents, staff and families is our top priority. Given the world-wide outbreak of COVID-19, we are following serious safety measures and implementing protocols in line with CDC recommendations to help prevent anyone in our community from contracting and spreading COVID-19.
Despite social distancing measures, we are hard at work to ensure all our residents continue to live as active and normal of lifestyles as possible. At our life plan community where we emphasize activity and exercise, all our residents are able to continue staying active by following exercise programs on our local community TV channel.
To learn more about how we are helping our residents maintain an independent, active lifestyle during this time and to find out more about our approach to health and wellness, contact us at 908-580-3840