With countless articles, reports, and tweets covering the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (also referred to as COVID-19), it can be hard to know what to do next to stay healthy. If you’re reading this, congratulations – you have successfully completed step one, which is to understand the need to stay informed! Secondly, it is important, now more than ever, to stay calm, cool, and collected by understanding the facts, and knowing where to go in your community for more information – like your local community pharmacy.
To give you a jumpstart to staying healthy, here are three important things you should keep in mind about COVID-19 to keep yourself and your community on track!
#1 What is COVID-19?
Per the CDC, the virus that causes COVID-19 is SARS-CoV-2, a novel coronavirus and manifests as a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. First identified while investigating an outbreak in Wuhan, China, the virus spreads very easily and very quickly via respiratory droplets (i.e. a cough or a sneeze) in close contact with people – distances of 6 feet or less. Therefore, the best way to sneeze is into a tissue that is then properly disposed of in a waste bin. Another way to cough or sneeze is into the upper sleeve/elbow of your arm.
#2 How to prevent the spread of COVID-19
Wash your hands often, and longer! At least 20 seconds is the recommended amount of time. An easy way to be sure you’re washing long enough? Just sing the “Happy Birthday” song – twice. When you’re done singing, you’re done washing.
Next? It’s time to sanitize – at least 60% alcohol content to kill any bacteria! But remember, using hand sanitizer alone is not an effective germ killing strategy. Rather, hand sanitizer should be used in conjunction with a steady regimen of hand washing. Also, be sure to avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth – as these are prime ports of entry for SARS-Cov-2!Lastly, the virus loves to live on surface areas for hours so make sure your patients clean and disinfect all surfaces using soap and water and then using disinfectant, preferably a diluted bleach cleaning solution (five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water).
#3 How do I get more information?
Remember that your local community pharmacist can not only assist you with medications, they can also help provide important additional resources and convenient services.
Be sure to also talk to your pharmacist about:
- Medications: as more of us begin staying home, now is the perfect time to ask for a 90 days’ supply of your medications – convenience is key!
- Emergency needs: your local pharmacist may be able to provide emergency medications without a prescription
- Delivery and drive-thru opportunities: your local community pharmacy may offer home delivery service, or pharmacy drive-thru, so that you can avoid walking into the pharmacy
- Important home supplies: in need of toilet paper, soap, and other household supplies? Your local community pharmacy may have these items, and more, in stock!
Remember to know the facts, and to stay informed. If you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, contact your doctor or local health department immediately. Your local community pharmacist is standing by to answer your questions, to ensure you remain healthy, and to provide much needed clinical support during this critical time. Find your nearby pharmacy by visiting here!