Nobody is in the safe zone as far as coronavirus is concerned – adults, children, the elderly – all are susceptible to infection. It is a novel virus of the coronavirus family (the novel coronavirus – 2019-nCoV). The elderly (older people) are at increased risk; individuals with pre-existing medical conditions – diabetes, asthma, heart disease, pneumonia, kidney disease, and individuals with a compromised immune system are at risk. People with pre-existing medical conditions are vulnerable as they become severely ill.

Coronavirus disease has become a pandemic. It is creating havoc in the entire globe. Medical experts are striving hard with the available resources to fight its spread and prevent infection. World Health Organization has released several guidelines, protocols and do’s and don’ts including the best hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene practices. In this regard, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has also released several best practices and precautionary measures in the public interest. Virologists, medical practitioners, infectious disease specialists and pulmonologists have formulated certain best practices in accordance with the WHO best practices; the most prominent among such practices are the following:

Hand Washing can save your life and the life of your loved ones: Proper handwashing is very essential. It involves washing your hands frequently with soap and water. It is better to carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands after you touch any surface. Soap and water or hand rub kill viruses on your hands.

Sanitize objects or items that you use frequently: You should clean and disinfect your personal accessories like keychains, pens, cell phones, glasses and other objects that you use and touch frequently.

Sanitize surfaces that you touch frequently: The surfaces that are used frequently must be cleaned and wiped with a disinfectant – table tops, computer desks, chair handles, doorknobs, door handles, laptop platform, keyboards, mouse, computer switches and electrical switches should be cleaned and sanitized. Toilet doorknobs, faucets, basins and taps should also be sanitized.

Don’t touch your hands to your mouth, eyes and nose. Contaminated hands transfer coronavirus to your mouth, eyes and nose and make you sick.

What Else You Should Do?

  • Don’t go to public places unless it’s required
  • Avoid public transport as much as possible
  • Avoid outside foods and soft drinks
  • Stay away from large gatherings
  • Avoid going to shopping malls
  • Avoid handshakes
  • Eat healthy food, sleep well and get involved yourself in physical activity
  • Stock up on daily requirements and supplies

Protect Your Children from Coronavirus Disease

Children are vulnerable to coronavirus as they usually don’t practice personal hygiene and respiratory hygiene. Adults must teach them both personal and respiratory hygiene and etiquettes. The following are some of the best practices that if taught to children, can minimize the risk of infection.

  • Teach children about the importance of hand hygiene in day to day life
  • Teach all the best practices and measures that help in keeping them healthy
  • Ensure that children are washing their hands frequently
  • Teach them respiratory hygiene – how should they sneeze and cough and cover their mouth
  • Make them carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer and teach them how to use and when to use.
  • Sanitize all the surfaces in your home which your children touch regularly
  • Sanitize all the toys with which they play regularly
  • Clean and sanitize TV remotes, AC remotes, switches and desks
  • Don’t allow them to play with a sick child
  • Never take them near sick people with flu-like symptoms
  • Launder the items used by children and dry them completely

Elderly people must take diligent measures to ensure their safety. The following measures can minimize the risk of coronavirus infection in the elderly.

  • Older people with any underlying health condition should avoid unnecessary visits
  • They should avoid visits with their grandchildren
  • They should make themselves confined to their homes
  • The elderly should avoid travel
  • Any non-essential doctor’s appointment, which can be postponed, can be avoided
  • Diabetic and heart disease patients should take extra precautions
  • Elderly should avoid visiting parks, ceremonies, family functions, shopping malls, and gatherings
  • Whenever an elderly patient visits a therapist, they should see that the therapist has wiped down the equipment with disinfectant
  • They should also see that the therapist washes their hands
  • To avoid unwanted visits to a medical shop, elderly people should stockpile their prescription medicines.
  • Elderly people should talk to their health care specialist about personal hygiene and additional protective cover.