10 Ways to Stay Safe From an Epidemic


6. Clean towels immediately.

People can get into the habit of reusing the same towel or washcloth to cut back on laundry, but that’s not always safe. Towels can be a breeding ground for germs, especially when sick people are using them. It’s important for people to clean and replace the towels in their shared living spaces, like in kitchens or in bathrooms.

7. Stay hydrated.

When you are feeling unwell, your body starts using more fluids than usual, so you can become dehydrated without even realizing it. Drink around 8 cups of fluids a day, like water, broth, fruit juice, milk, or decaf coffee. Added to that, you can also suck on ice cubes, ice popsicles, or use a humidifier. Avoid sugary or caffeinated drinks.

8. Stock up on supplies.

If your area experiences an outbreak, you might find yourself unable to leave your home. To prepare for this, it might be a good idea to stock up on food and water, around 2 weeks’ worth at a time. Try finding non-perishable foods, like boxed items and canned foods, that can be stored easily. Also make sure to stock up on toilet paper, cleaning products, tissues, pet food, sanitary items, and any medical supplies you might need, like medication.


9. Wear gloves in public.

As mentioned, germs are often spread by hands. Wearing gloves and surgical masks can help, but you have to use them correctly. For gloves, it’s important to remember that you can get germs on your hands when you take off your gloves, so make sure to regularly wash your hands after taking them off, just like health care workers. In fact, it’s often a good idea to wash your hands while wearing gloves. Also, shop around to find gloves that do ward off germs. Cheaper brands might let bacteria get through the material.

10. Be careful with facemasks.

Generally, facemasks are useful, but it’s become very common for people to use them improperly. For starters, they really should be worn by people who already have signs of illness, not healthy people, to avoid spreading possible disease. They are especially important for health care workers and people who take care of others in close spaces. When a facemask comes with a colored side, it’s meant to be the external side, and it’s important to wear it properly in order to use the filter. It’s also important to regularly replace facemasks after each use, as well as cleaning your face and hands before and after each use.

Bonus: Keep up to date on information.

There are all kinds of information out there about epidemics and what they can mean for you and the world at large. But the information available might be incorrect, taken out of context, or even be politically motivated. It’s up to you to make sure you are using reliable, up to date sources that you can trust. Do your homework. For example, make sure a claim is verified by more than one source.

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