Our lives have changed so dramatically since the end of March that it’s hard to remember a time when hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing weren’t top of mind. 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 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 the COVID-19 infection rate on the rise and 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:
Spaces with a large number of people where social distancing is not possible
Example: At a funeral
Places or situations where people have close-range conversations
Example: Inside a restaurant
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.
- 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.
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.
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has caused an outbreak of fatal respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan, China. This is a completely new strain with no vaccines available. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
No country is immune to the spread of the Novel Coronavirus - officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The outbreak has reached pandemic proportions and been declared a global public health emergency.
As toddlers, we learnt to wash our hands. But, did we ever master the skill to the extent that is needed to wash pathogens off our hands, and save lives? Multiple studies show people don't wash their hands at the right times, in the right way or for the right amount of time. We contaminate the things and people we touch with the germs we carry on our hands.