Reduce Flu, Cough, Cold and Covid19 Transmission


Social Distancing

Stay at least 6 feet away from someone who is sick with a (potential) respiratory infection. No more hand shaking. Many cultures don’t hand shake anyway. No more cheek kissing.

Proper Hand Washing

Good to wash or sanitize your hands after after you come into contact with anything potentially contaminated before you touch anything else. On hard surfaces, Covid19 can be found up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. Remember never touching any area from neck up unless your hands are clean. For example if you touch a contaminated surface like a door knob, then touch your hair and then you hair contacts your mouth, nose or eyes, a respiratory virus can enter your body. This really happens. Frequent proper hand washing a necessity.

Proper hand washing.

To do this, you need to wet your hands and then rub the soap all over your hands while singing the Alphabet song or count one Mississippi up to 20 Mississippi. It takes about 20 seconds to rub soap onto back and front of both hands (3 areas) ; in between the front and back of the webs of your fingers (4), both sides of both hands (4), then to get soap each one of your digits (10), then all your nails esp the tips (2). That makes 23 areas to rub soap on. It takes about 20 seconds. Try it. The soap coats the bacteria and viruses on your skin. Rinsing with clean running water, washes them off. Note: if you have long nails, acrylic nails, or painted nails – these are difficult to clean and hence always hold some germs. Dry your hands. Turn the faucet off with the paper towel you dried your hands with. Faucets are a source of germs too. Moisturize afterwards to prevent drying of skin.

Don’t forget to wash hands properly

Use hand sanitizer if you can’t wash. Use a brand equivalent in quality to Purell and use at least a dime sized amount of the gel. This process is good to kill viruses and bacteria but not spores. If you can’t wash or sanitize your hands, eat your food like a “Banana”. This means use a wrapper to hold your food if you can’t clean your hands. Do not tough your food if your hands are not washed properly. Do not touch you face or hair unless you have just cleaned your hands. If you have to touch, use the back of your hands or wrist. How to make your own hand sanitizer:

Wear a Mask if You Are Sick or Not

You can reduce spread of Respiratory Infection by wearing a proper mask. You can reduce the spread of your own infection to other people by up to 60-80%.

I like the idea of everyone wearing masks because it prevents people spraying saliva in your face when they talk, accidentally coughing into your face, and coughing into their hands (yes people still do this). Taiwan, an island of 23 million, where they wore masks and took other precautions, had only 50 cases of Covid 19 as of March 2020, with 1 death.

Intuitively it makes sense that respiratory contagions would spread less if we all wore masks. With Covid19, the virus hangs around environment for longer than other viruses. detectable in aerosols for up to three hours.  Below is a link that shows how to make your own mask.

Looking at the diagram below, 6 feet distancing clearly is not enough unless your are wearing a proper face mask.
Screen Shot 2018-11-10 at 7.38.11 AM

Picture of woman wearing a mask

“I am wearing this mask so I don’t make you sick” is a beautiful sentiment.

Here is link to make your own non stitched mask from University of Hong Kong. In a pinch, it is better than nothing. This mask should be worn with the face shield. Paper towel does not provide much protection against viruses. is a better one but requires some sewing machine skills.

More on masks in

Coughing Technique

Coughing into Elbow

Please cough into your shoulder or elbow. Do not cough into your hands unless you sanitize or wash them immediately afterwards. I see so many people who continue to cough into their hands and then touching everything around them. They seem to be completely unaware of the germs they are spreading. When you cough into your hands, your hands are covered with germs. Hence you contaminate everything you touch and can make other people sick. If you cough into a tissue, throw tissue away and then sanitize your hands. Don’t put the tissue into your pocket or purse (!)

Now for some fun – Gloria Gaynor singing, “I will survive” while washing her hands for 20 seconds. Love it.

Gloria Gaynor singing “I Will Survive” while washing her hands
Wearing masks:

Use of face masks by ill persons: CDC might recommend the use of face masks by ill persons as a source control measure during severe, very severe, or extreme influenza pandemics when crowded community settings cannot be avoided (e.g., when adults and children with influenza symptoms seek medical attention) or when ill persons are in close contact with others (e.g., when symptomatic persons share common spaces with other household members or symptomatic postpartum women care for and nurse their infants). Some evidence indicates that face mask use by ill persons might protect others from infection.

Pro tip – you should wash your hands even when there isn’t a global virus panic

This blog is in no way meant to give any medical advice, diagnosis or treat. 

Everyone’s situation is different.

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