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This list is no longer maintained by the author!
- Wash your hands frequently
- Store enough supplies to shelter-in-place for a month
- Avoid touching your face
- Wear nitrile gloves when touching public or possibly contaminated surfaces
- Take vitamin D supplements
- Make your own hand sanitizer
- Wear a mask while in crowded areas
- Exercise at home, not at the gym
- Get enough sleep
- Use less dense forms of travel
- Work from home instead of going into the office
- Batch trips to the store
- Wrap commonly touched items with copper tape
Wash your hands frequently
Any time you come into the home, before you eat, or after using the restroom:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Store enough supplies to shelter-in-place for a month
- Obtain staples that will last a while such as rice or beans (and don’t forget that fat is a necessary macronutrient)
- Stick to foods you know if possible to reduce the likelihood of stomach issues
- Ask your doctor for a larger than normal supply of any any necessary medications (they should be flexible if you explain the reasoning)
- Stock up on “toilet paper, feminine hygiene products, soap, detergent, and everything else you need to keep your body and your home clean”
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
- Keep tissues near by, so you can use those instead of your fingers
- Identify triggers (for example, if you are rubbing your eyes because they are dry, use eye-drops)
- Wear a mask to remind yourself not to touch your face
- Keep your hands busy (a stress ball could work for this)
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
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
- Buy vitamin D3 capsules
- For an adult, take 5,000 IU each morning
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
- Obtain Isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol, distilled water, and a container that’ll hold at least 10L
- Add 7515 ml isopropyl alcohol 99.8%
- Add 417 ml hydrogen peroxide 3%
- Add 145 ml glycerol 98%
- Add distilled water until the total amount of liquid is 10L
See here for a more thorough guide from the WHO.
Wear a mask while in crowded areas
- Obtain a respirator or N95 mask (and any necessary consumables like extra filters)
- A surgeon’s mask is far inferior, but better than nothing since it can still protect others if you are infected
- Make sure you know how to wear it properly or it won’t do much good (N95, respirator)
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
- Set an alarm to remind yourself to get ready for bed
- Avoid caffeine in the 2nd half of your awake-hours
- Keep your bedroom dark (use blackout curtains or tinfoil over windows if you have to)
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
- Prefer driving or biking yourself to taking an Uber, bus, or train
- Avoid airtravel if possible, but if you do fly:
- Wear nitrile gloves and a respirator or N95 mask
- Wipe down any surfaces (seat, tray table, etc…) with lysol wipes before you touch them
- Bring hand sanitizer in a bottle that is 100ml (3.4 ounces) or less and use it regularly
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
- Obtain copper tape
- Cover any items that are touched very frequently such as lightswitches, door handles, etc…
Copper seems to have antimicrobial efficacy, so covering surfaces with it may help sanitize infected surfaces.