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Things to consider should a pandemic become imminent in your region

Coronavirus Risk Reduction Tactics

Warning: The maintainer has absolutely no expertise concerning COVID-19, coronaviruses, or viruses in general. He’s just a guy who knows git who thought making a list for his friends and family might might be useful. Some of these tactics were originally inspired by this LessWrong thread. Visit here to contribute, but go here for the most readable copy.

This list is no longer maintained by the author!

Please visit and COVID Explained for more up-to-date information.


Wash your hands frequently

Any time you come into the home, before you eat, or after using the restroom:

Sources are here, here, and here.

Store enough supplies to shelter-in-place for a month

If there transmission rate near you is high, you’ll want to be able to avoid person-to-person contact as much as possible. Having your own supplies will help you eliminate the need to visit the restaurents and grocery stores. See here for more detailed advice.

Avoid touching your face

See this article from the NYT. According to the CDC:

The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including: Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth…

Wear nitrile gloves when touching public or possibly contaminated surfaces

According to the CDC:

Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces. Gloves should be discarded after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, those gloves should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection products used. Clean hands immediately after gloves are removed.

Take vitamin D supplements

Supplementing with vitamin D seems to significantly lower your risk of all kinds of respiratory infection. See here, here, and here for corroborating evidence. It doesn’t seem to help though, if you are already infected.

Make your own hand sanitizer

See here for a more thorough guide from the WHO.

Wear a mask while in crowded areas

See here for research on the use of masks to slow virus transmission.

Exercise at home, not at the gym

It seems to spread person-to-person and from contact with infected surfaces or objects. Gyms seem to put you are risk for both transmission modes.

Get enough sleep

Getting good sleep seems to reduce the likelihood of catching the cold. By analogy, it may also do so for the coronavirus.

Use less dense forms of travel

Work from home instead of going into the office

This should cut down on person-to-person transmission as well as expose you to fewer potentially infected surfaces. Of course, this assumes you are regularly disinfecting your home work area and the others in your household are also following good hygiene.

Batch trips to the store

Visiting the store fewer times means encountering fewer people means less chances to get the virus person-to-person.

Wrap commonly touched items with copper tape

Copper seems to have antimicrobial efficacy, so covering surfaces with it may help sanitize infected surfaces.