Coronavirus facts: Common sense and compliance


Dr Alexandra Bernhardi

Health Columnist

Email Dr. Alexandra
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Regardless of your personal opinion towards the coronavirus pandemic and the political response, it is just very important right now to follow public health advice and official directions.

Back to the basic facts:

1. How is coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus is mostly spread through saliva, coughing and sneezing. The droplets that contain the virus then need to have the chance to enter your body through your mouth, nose and possibly eyes. The virus within the droplets can survive on the floor and other surfaces for different amounts of times depending on the circumstances.

So, theoretically, if everybody would stay at home for a couple of weeks, the virus could not continue to spread and the pandemic would be under control after a short time. But, because we do need to go shopping, and some of us need to continue to go to work ( e.g. healthcare workers, policemen, food suppliers etc) it is just not possible and we need to do anything to reduce the chances for the virus to spread from one person to another.

2. How to prevent spreading?

  • Social distancing: If you keep a distance of around 1.5metres from each other accidental contact with the virus is unlikely. If you see somebody sneezing, double the distance.

    The government is changing its regulations daily in regards to the sharing of public places. Please stay up to date and follow any new rules.

    Please do not make the mistake to simply transfer all activities that are now restricted in public places to indoors. Spend the time with your immediate family or household members only and use social media and Skype to stay in touch with your wider social net. 

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  • Extra good hygiene: Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap under tap water frequently, but especially after blowing your nose, touching surfaces such as door handles, before and after food preparation and eating. Do this even if you are staying indoors and teach and supervise your children to do the same.

    Do not share cutlery or glasses with each other. Think about the little things like not dipping your finger into the food you prepare for tasting. Clean any surfaces more regular than usual and wash your bedding and towels more often. Think especially about children’s toys, mobile phones, keyboards etc. If you have a garden and the sun shines, put your clothes out there and let the UV rays help to kill the virus.

If everybody in our society - even if it feels as if our personal freedom is temporarily invaded -  follows the rules, the effects will be more efficient and the duration of restrictions will be shorter.


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