Prevent COVID-19 with the three C’s


Our lives have changed so dramatically since the end of March 2020 that it’s hard to remember a time when hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing weren’t part of our daily routine. These important science-proven behaviours will help keep you and your loved ones safe so we need to keep doing them. Even if we’re feeling corona fatigue. Here’s how we can continue to fight the spread of COVID-19 together.


By now we all know how COVID-19 is spread – through droplets in the air from infected people (whether they show symptoms or not) or from touching your face, eyes or mouth after coming into contact with a contaminated surface. With COVID-19 continuing to spread rapidly amid the second wave of infections in South Africa and with South Africa ranking high on the list of most confirmed cases globally, the need to prioritise non-pharmaceutical interventions to fight the pandemic is becoming more and more important – every day.

DID YOU KNOW that by simply talking out loud for 1 minute, you create over 1 000 droplets that stay airborne for up to 14 minutes?

While we wait for a vaccine for this virus, the World Health Organization recommends avoiding the 3 Cs and continuing to practise healthy habits:

"The 3C's"

Crowded places

Spaces with a large number of people where social distancing is not possible
Example: At a funeral

Close-contact settings

Places or situations where people have close-range conversations
Example: Inside a restaurant

Confined spaces

Spaces with poor ventilation, regardless of the size of the area
Example: In an elevator

Practising healthy habits

Building these simple, yet powerful healthy habits is key to protecting yourself, your loved ones and even your fellow South Africans:

  • Practise social distancing

Deliberately maintain a distance of at least 1.5 metres away from others to protect against liquid droplets that may contain the virus if someone coughs, sneezes or speaks near you. Here’s everything you need to know about social distancing.

TOP TIP: Teach your children about social distancing. Need something fun to remember to social distance yourself? Picture a distance of 4 hadeda birds OR 4 penguins OR 1 small shark or 1 cow between you and the next person.

  • Keep washing those hands

Wash your hands throughout the day for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. This helps reduce the chance of the virus being transmitted. Read these tips on how to wash your hands the right way.

TOP TIP: Hum the ‘Happy birthday’ song (with the tap turned off!) while you’re washing your hands to time the 20 seconds right.

  • Never leave home without your face mask

Treat your face mask as you do your favourite underwear. You want them clean, without holes and fitting you snugly without the need to constantly readjust them. Find out the dos and don’ts of wearing a face mask.

TOP TIP: Keep your masks right by the entrance to your home so that you can’t open the door to leave without seeing them.

We know what to do.

We know how to do it.

Keep reminding yourself that we have the power to prevent COVID-19 through healthy and responsible behaviours. Your family, friends, community, colleagues, and country is counting on you. Stay home, stay healthy and help save lives.

For more information, visit the Discovery COVID-19 information hub

All medical information found on this website including content, graphics and images, is for educational and informational objectives only. Discovery Health publishes this content to help to protect and empower all South Africans by promoting a better understanding of COVID-19.

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