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What Can I Do to Protect Myself from COVID-19? by Spencer Countiss, MD

March 25th, 2020 | Provider Blog

What Can I Do to Protect Myself from Covid-19?

We’re all being faced with responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is known to be in Josephine County and it will get a lot worse before it gets better. So what can each of us do to protect himself or herself?

Stay away from other people. Covid-19 spreads mainly through droplets in the air passed from one person to another. These droplets don’t go very far, so keeping your distance from other people is very effective. It appears that the virus is spread by sick people and those who don’t look or feel ill, so keep away from as many people as possible. This means staying mostly at home with your immediate family. It means not bringing visitors into your home, even though they may be family members who live elsewhere. It means working from home if you can. And when you must go to the store, go when it’s quietest. At Grants Pass Clinic we’re trying to minimize traffic within our building by postponing a lot of appointments for routine care.

Wash your hands. A lot. It’s simple but it’s effective. When those infected droplets get on other surfaces (counters, door handles, other people’s hands, etc) and you touch those surfaces, you’re at risk of getting the disease. Washing your hands really works. Soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best, alcohol based hand sanitizer is an OK alternative. And then try to keep your hands away from your face. (Good luck on that one!)

Don’t bother with a mask. Wearing a lightweight mask doesn’t help a healthy person. If you’re sick and coughing, a mask (or just facial tissue or an old fashioned handkerchief) will help contain those droplets and keep them to yourself rather than spreading them around. So leave the masks for the sick people.

Get some fresh air. Sheltering at home can get pretty dull. If you can get outside a little it will be good for you. Just remember to keep away from other people, so the time outside needs to be in your own space.

If you’re sick, call us. We’ve created a special screening process to identify who should be cared for at home and who needs more evaluation. You may get asked the same questions several times by several different people, but it’s our way of trying to make Grants Pass Clinic safe for those who need to be here.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Cutting down on the spread of this disease is the best way to limit the harm to ourselves, our families, and our community.