Editor’s note: the information presented in this article is based on both scientific evidence and the opinion of Suave Kajko, the publisher of NOVO
We’re living through unprecedented times. As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread rapidly around the globe, countries are closing their borders, nearly all public events have all been cancelled and people are asked – in some parts of the world forced – to stay at home.
But it’s important to keep our heads up! Just as we endured all past global crises we will weather through this current storm – we just have to be smart about it and take matters into our hands. The world has arguably never relied more on our personal behavior more than today.
While we strongly recommend that you listen to the suggestions of your local government, we urge you to go a step further: make your own best decisions by educating yourself on the unfolding crisis based on news from different parts of the world. In some parts of the world, the governments have failed us remarkably. The US and the UK governments for example, acted against sound scientific evidence, and have been mind-numbingly slow to respond with preventative measures that could have significantly slowed down the spread of COVID-19.
Today, every individual plays an equally important role in “flattening the curve”. As the diagram at the top of this page shows, we need to take every possible measure to slow down the spread of the virus in order to not completely overwhelm global healthcare systems, systems which usually operate close to their limits in the best of times.
We’ve assembled tips from different experts that will help you reduce the chances of contracting COVID-19 and help you stay healthy and entertained as we temporarily put our lives on pause. Why are we talking about how to entertain yourself? Since we’re all going to be spending a lot more time at home, we need to find something to do with all the extra time and make sure that we maintain our mental well-being.
How to reduce the chances of acquiring and spreading COVID-19
- STAY AT HOME: All evidence shows that this is the most effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. You should leave your home only if you have to go to work (if working from home is not an option), go to the grocery or drug store.
- Don’t touch your face: studies show that everyone touches their face much more frequently than we are aware of it. If your hands pick up the virus from a contaminated surface, you can easily get sick by touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Social distancing: When you absolutely have to leave the house, keep a distance of 6 feet (or 2 meters) away from everyone else. For the next several weeks, avoid socializing with friends and family in person. People may be asymptomatic but still be infected.
- Eat and drink at home: We recommend staying out of restaurants, coffee shops and bars. If any of the establishments are still open in your area – stay away from them. There are just too many ways for the virus to spread in these environments. Instead, make as much of your food as you can at home. If you enjoy cooking, try out some new recipes!
- Wash your hands: Soap and water absolutely destroy the coronavirus but you have to wash your hands properly for 20 seconds. Make sure to carefully clean under your fingernails and between all your fingers. If you have to work outside your home, wash your hands every chance you get after touching any shared / public surfaces. Also, be sure to wash your hands as soon as you arrive at home – before touching anything else, including your pets. Check out this vid if you’d like to learn the science behind washing your hands.
- Sanitize items and surfaces in your home: if you have to leave your house, play it safe when you come back home so that you don’t bring the virus into your home. Wash your hands as soon as you get inside and then use a disinfectant spray or wipe from companies like Clorox to clean items like your phone, wallet and keys. It’s also a good idea to sanitize the kitchen and bathroom counters, door handles and light switches on a regular basis – especially if you have to go out frequently. How long do various surfaces stay contaminated? The New England Journal of Medicine published a study on March 17th about the aerosol and surface stability of the COVID-19 virus on various surfaces.
How to keep yourself entertained during the COVID-19 crisis
- Listen to lots of music: tons of studies have shown that music offers a wide range of mental health benefits. So put on your favorite playlist, play air guitar and dance around your home!
- Catch up on TV watching: we all lead very busy lives and it’s hard to keep up with all the movies and TV series that we’d like to watch. Spending a lot more time at home is the perfect time to catch up on everything you’ve missed.
- Go for walks and hikes: a daily walk or two around your neighborhood will definitely do your body good. Walking is not only positive for your physical health, it’s just as important for your mental well-being. We suggest taking a hike at a local part once every few days – or perhaps even taking a drive to a proper hiking trail out of town.
- Hobbies: just like music, hobbies and well known to offer many mental health benefits. If you already have a hobby or two, you’ll probably be happy to have more time to spend on them. And if you don’t have a hobby don’t be afraid to try something new. There are lots of items and materials you have at home that can be turned into a hobby. Get inspired by looking up hobby topics that are of interest to you on YouTube. For example, try some simple origami!
- Reading: whether you’re into fiction, graphic novels or science books, having extra time to read is a fantastic way to keep yourself entertained and expand your knowledge horizon. Safe way to get your books during the crisis? Order online from places like Chapters, Indigo and Amazon.
- Play video games: if you play games regularly this is a no-brainer – you’ll just have more time to play. But we encourage non-gamers to try some gaming as well. Today, more casual games that are very easy to pick-up exist more than ever before.
So keep safe and well entertained my friends and together hopefully we’ll come out of this stronger than ever!
Suave Kajko – Publisher