People of all ages are equally susceptible to coronavirus (children, adults and the elderly). However, the risk of severe infection increases with underlying and pre-existing health conditions – heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, asthma and other respiratory diseases. In addition to individuals with pre-existing conditions, older people are more vulnerable (susceptible) to infection by coronavirus and the infection in them is severe.
Owing to the severity of infection and mortality associated with coronavirus infection, WHO (World Health Organization) published and released some guidelines and preventive measures – and the most significant and prominent among those are good personal hygiene (hand hygiene) and respiratory hygiene. Medical practitioners and experts including virologists, medical microbiologists, infectious disease specialists and pulmonologists also advise people to follow the recommendations given by WHO and CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) for preventing coronavirus infection. In this regard, they have released several preventive measures and best practices – and the most prominent measures among those include the following:
Washing hands properly with soap and water can prevent many diseases including the ones that cause life-threatening infections. Coronavirus is one such infection. If you wash your hands irrespective of whether they look visibly dirty or not, then you will stop coronavirus reaching to your mouth, nose and eyes. If you don’t have access to water then use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as an alternative. Always carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you. If you do this frequently, coronaviruses on your hands get killed by soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub.
Next, break the next route of virus. The accessories you carry with you and the items that are always there with you like your cell phone, keychains, keys, pens and the other objects that you carry or use them frequently (you touch them frequently). Clean and disinfect such items with a disinfectant with at least 60 to 70% alcohol.
Next focus your attention on the platforms and surfaces with which you are associated for doing your work including your working table, laptop desk or computer desk, doorknobs, door handles, electrical switches, computer mouse, keyboards, chair handles, table tops, sinks, faucets and taps. Clean and disinfect these surfaces.
We as a human being have an ingrained habit of touching our face, eyes and mouth. We often do it subconsciously without even noticing that we did it. Just think for a moment, if we have contaminated our hands and touched eyes, nose and mouth – coronavirus could easily make its way into our body. Therefore, make it a habit of avoiding touching hands to your eyes, mouth and nose.
What Else You Should Do?
Don’t go to public places
Avoid large gathering
Avoid going to cinema halls, auditoriums and shopping malls
Don’t use public transport
Say no to outside foods and drinks
Avoid hand shakes
Avoid travel unless it is an emergency
Don’t go to railway stations, bus stations, parks and airports
Stock up on daily requirements and supplies
Boost Your immunity – Eat healthy, Do some physical activity and Sleep well
If it is necessary to visit any hospital or public place wherein you come in
close contact with others, wear a mask
The Elderly are the most affected among the coronavirus cases
Coronavirus has taken the position of a pandemic as almost 100 countries have already come under its fold and the number could be more in the future. When we see the death statistics and mortality rate associated with coronavirus infection, it is highest among the elderly. For instance, in China alone, those who succumbed to corona disease, were around 70 and 80 years of age (20% people who died were 80 years and above) and those who were around 50 years and above, the death rate or mortality rate was quite lower ( which was around 1 percent or lower). This leaves older people and their families wondering what extra precautions they should take.
The vulnerability or susceptibility of older people to coronavirus infection can be attributed to several factors including associated health conditions, underlying medical conditions, previous illness, weak immune system, and other old age-related medical issues.
Infections in old people are often associated with chronic and severe illness – owing to which there is a huge risk of multi-organ failure and life-threatening infection. Even healthy-looking body and good physical health cannot guarantee less severe infection in older people. The risk increases further if they have any underlying medical conditions. The reason could be due to a weakening immune system and fragile body.
However, there is no need to worry if you are an older person because you can lower your risk of infection manifold provided you follow the following simple measures:
Avoid non-essential visits with your grandchildren
Stockpile your essential and prescription medicines
Stay at home
Take extra-precautions if you are diabetic – talk to your doctor in this regard.
Talk to your pulmonologist if you already have any respiratory disease
Avoid going to public places and gatherings
Avoid non-essential doctor’s appointment
Ensure that the instrument that you are using at home is properly sanitized and disinfected.
If you are taking any rehabilitation and physiotherapy services ensure that the physiotherapist has washed their hands prior to touching you.
Ask the physiotherapist whether they have sanitized the equipment
(wiped down the equipment with disinfectant)
Have a discussion with your healthcare provider regarding additional protective cover according to your health status. It could be a better approach to personal hygiene.
Take Care of Your Children
Children too are vulnerable partly due to their careless attitude and lack of understanding and importance about personal hygiene – especially hand hygiene and respiratory etiquettes. However, you can ensure their safety by minimizing the risk of infection if you teach them proper hand and respiratory hygiene and adopt the following measures:
Teach them the importance of personal hygiene and respiratory hygiene and explain them why it is very important in the circumstances prevailing now – coronavirus pandemic.
Teach them what they should do to ensure their safety and safety of others
Teach them proper hand washing routine and make them carry an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Children have a tendency to touch many surfaces including sinks, washbasins, doorknobs, TV remotes, AC remotes, all their toys and other items. Sanitize all such items and surfaces.
Keep children away from sick people
Launder items used by children and dry them completely