My Top 5 Tips on how to stay safe during the COVID-19 info-demic

This article originally appeared published by the Surfcoast Times 2 April 2020 

Hi I’m Sarah Fardy, I know stuff about science.

I did my PhD studies on pandemic H5N1 avian influenza virus at CSIRO. My project investigated “cytokine storm” in response to virus infection and investigated ways to ameliorate the impacts of disease.

I recently started a live streaming channel via Facebook to help people filter through the myriad of COVID-19 facts on the internet and in the media. On my 8 pm nightly stream, “FARDY FACTS” followers can ask science and virus-related questions and get evidenced based answers – reliving worries and concerns during the COVID-19 info-demic.

This week, I’ll be helping you, by sharing My Top 5 “FARDY FACTS” Tips to keep your loved ones safe in the coming months. 

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS

It’s simple, cheap and takes longer than you think. Without a vaccine or therapeutic drugs, it is the best way to protect yourself and others from infection with COVID-19.

Wash for 20 seconds with a foaming soap and water. Soap dissolves the layer of fat that encapsulates COVID-19 and causes the virus to fall apart. Scrub mechanically to create friction as this action of washing, physically removes the virus from your skin.

  1. DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE

We are creatures of intrigue and habit. We are constantly rubbing our eyes, scratching our noses and putting fingers near our mouths. We have to unlearn this ingrained behaviour because we are now unwillingly putting ourselves in danger.

The COVID-19 virus isn’t airborne in the typical way other viruses are. The number one cause of infection in people, is when we touch a contaminated surface, the virus then sticks to our skin and we inoculate ourselves by touching our face. Old habits die hard, wash your hands.

  1. ENACT SOCIAL DISTANCING

We are only as strong as our weakest link. Stay in your “bubble”, with your “bubble people” and only leave when it’s essential – To get food, work-if you are deemed an essential service and to exercise (a quick surf, run or swim etc). Don’t linger and get home as soon as you can. It may seem trivial, but it absolutely is not.

Our behaviour right now is key to “flattening the curve” and slowing down the rate of virus spread. This will take time and I’m talking 6, 12 or even 18 months. Flattening the curve through social distancing gives time for our healthcare system to cope with patients requiring critical care, and valuable research time for scientists working to make a vaccine and develop therapeutic interventions.

  1. CLEAN SURFACES WITH APPROPRIATE CLEANERS

Not all cleaners are equal. Clean high traffic zones like door handles, rails and light switches with normal household products such as a foaming detergent or a disinfectant with 70% or more alcohol (recipe on my website below). Be sure to let alcohol-based products air dry on surfaces. Stronger cleaners work too, but its best to stick to the basics. Check my website for more info on this if you need.

Just like hand washing, foaming detergents on surfaces need a little contact time for the detergents to dissolve the fat layer around the virus and you’ll need elbow grease to scrub them away.

  1. STAY HEALTHY, ACTIVE AND POSITIVE

More than ever, it’s important to look after yourself. The number one tip for a strong immune system is to get plenty of sleep, so why not take a nap?

It’s also important to monitor your temperature daily in order to work out your average. If your temperature goes over 38 degrees, it’s a sign you may have a virus infection.

You need to be healthy to fight the virus and look after your loved ones. Eat lots of whole foods and minimise processed foods. Keep a regular routine and ensure you get in at least 30 minutes of physical activity for kids per day, and 1 hour for adults to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Lastly, be positive – we are all in this together and it won’t last forever. Everything we are doing now is a temporary measure to save lives.

Stay safe, go for a surf, have a nap and wash your hands.

– Fardy

Contact Details —

Sarah Fardy

I’m LIVE every night from 8pm for COVID-19 Q&As – Join me!

(https://www.facebook.com/FardyFacts/)

Web: https://fardy-facts.com.au/

Insta: @sjfar | @fardy_facts https://www.instagram.com/fardy_facts/

Linkedin: Sarah Fardy https://www.linkedin.com/in/sarahfardy/

Sarah’s work are very supportive of the FARDY FACTS initiative