Ag Buzz

By Nikki Honosky, WVSU Extension Associate

Spring has arrived and concerns are continuing to rise concerning the spreading Coronavirus. Coronavirus or COVID-19 is everyone’s main concern at the moment. While there is currently not a vaccine to deal with the virus, there are steps that you can take to help protect yourself. The virus’s main way of spreading is from person to person. The virus can survive from up to six feet away from anyone carrying the virus. It can be spread even more through any droplets produced when any infected coughs or sneezes. These droplets can infect others through the respiratory system, so be sure to keep six feet away if you have to deal with anyone publically. Try to avoid any close contact, especially any contact from those that are sick.

One of the most important things that you can do is to wash your hands very often. Your recommended way is to wash your hands for at least twenty seconds. A way to measure it is to go through the happy birthday song twice or any other similar song that equals to about twenty seconds. Using soap is the best way to wash your hands because it only requires a small amount to kill the virus. The most basic way that it works is that while a virus is composed of multiple parts, its weakest part is its lipid (fatty) bilayer. The way soap works is that it dissolves that membrane layer and the virus basically falls apart. If there is no soap available to you, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Cover your entire hand and rub them together until it feels dry.

Try to avoid touching your face, especially if your hands are unwashed. Particularly avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, which are areas that the virus can infect you through. If you can, try to avoid going out in public. Staying home if you can will limit the risk of getting infected by the virus. This is particularly relevant to those that are older or anyone with any medical conditions. This is because they seem to be at a higher risk of complications from Coronavirus should they get infected.

Make sure if you have to go out cover any coughs or sneezes with tissues or the inside of your elbow. Dispose of any tissues once used. Then immediately wash your hands if you can. If you are sick, wear a facemask. If you have to go out when sick, wear the facemask when near any people. If you are not able to wear or have access to a facemask, do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes. When going to get medical care, make sure they themselves have a facemask if you are sick to help prevent spreading the virus. Learn about what to do if you are sick and need to go out in public. If you aren’t sick, you don’t need to wear a facemask unless dealing with someone who is sick. Due to the pandemic, facemasks may be in short supply. When you can, try to let them be saved for those in medical positions that are dealing with the outbreak.

You can easily learn more about this by doing research on the Internet or by asking your medical care provider. If you have any questions, you can contact me at the WVSU Extension Office at the Welch Armory. I am available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. Feel free to give me a call at (304) 320-5446.

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