Now wash your hands

This is a general post about the need for personal hygiene. Wash your hands. Properly. Keep your hands to yourself as well. I mean it.

The Covid19 virus outbreak is now a global pandemic in all but name and we should try not to further the spread. Official current status here.

Covid19 is a nasty bug, it is worse than its sister coronoviruses, which are responsible for the common cold and a variety of other influenzas, but it’s not the black death. The death rate is much higher than common Influenza and will speed the demise of those who are already chronically ill with heart disease, diabetes etc. However, and this is a big however, it is not as bad as some might have you think. In it’s worst form it will hit the hygienically careless individual like a sledgehammer, but there are ways of limiting the spread. As any fule should kno, when even medical staff are dying of it, you can bet your ickle pink bootees that it’s a bad ‘un. So, best to avoid catching it in the first place.

That established, what do we do to minimise the spread? To do this, first you have to understand the major modes of transmission.

Droplet;
Ah yes, the old ‘coughs and sneezes spread diseases’ meme. If you’re going to sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or you will spread whatever lurgi you have, and even some you don’t know you have at around thirty five metres per second (Yikes! Just under 80mph). In the case of flu or a cold, the video below will fill in a few fun facts.

In the case of Covid19, that specific nasty little bug has demonstrated a two week window(!) in which simply touching a contaminated surface will likely spread the infection. Even after that, it might be a good idea to give the surface a quick (but thorough) wipe with a concentrated bleach solution or a good hard dose of UV radiation. Or both.

Interpersonal;
Hugs and kisses are a great way of passing on any given micro-organism. Diseases of all types agree that this is the easiest way to get around in their daily commute between hosts. Even simply shaking hands is an avenue of possible infection if one or the other party has been a little careless with their personal handwashing. So if like me, you aren’t a hugger to start with, this is a brilliant excuse to politely fend off those who seem to like doing limpet impersonations with every single social interaction. Might also be a good idea to go for a vigorous stroll instead of relying on public transport for one’s daily commute. If at all practicable.

Faecal;
This is one most people do not even think they are doing and why it is important to wash your hands properly after they have been anywhere near your toilet bits. See below for an approved method. Learn it.

This is because Covid19 can be transmitted via faecal matter. It should be noted that those from cultures who wash their toilet parts with only water and their left hand are especially prone to spreading the disease via this route, especially if washing hands after a visit to the smallest room is a bit rushed. Better still not to let your digits anywhere near those areas unless they are going to get at least a sixty second antiseptic scrub afterwards. Iran being a case in point. Their infection / death rates are much higher than the norm for this bug and they have no one to blame but themselves.

Sexual;
Covid19 is a tenacious little bugger, and appears to be able to spread via the exchange of bodily fluids, especially if the bits involved have not been washed properly prior to getting down and dirty, so to speak. Think of it like popping a breath mint before getting up close and personal. A courtesy. Besides, it’s a gesture of respect, showing you care about your chosen bedmate by ensuring your pleasure parts are all bright and sparkly.

To conclude;
Decent personal hygiene, such as frequent and thorough washing of hands will reduce the risk of contracting and passing on this nasty bug, thus a reduced risk of premature clog popping, which any sensible individual will want to avoid. Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing likewise. No need for mask or gloves, you’re not in operating theatre, just small sensible precautions may help save you from a possible very nasty bout of illness.

Let’s all be careful out there.

This has been a public service announcement.

Update:
You know the old piece of folk wisdom about the best treatment for colds and flu being fresh fruit, fresh air and moderate exercise? Well, all of these assist with vitamin D conversion in the body. A brisk early morning stroll and a modest dose of cod liver oil or vitamin D supplement could reduce your suffering, should you be unfortunate enough to contract even a seasonal cold or flu, never mind Covid19, by over half. See the video below for dosing information and where and when vitamin D supplements can be useful.

Taking my own advice and that included in the above video, I’m ensuring that my vitamin D levels are kept up to snuff by a modest daily dose of 500mg (two capsules) of cod liver oil, the occasional snack of sardines on toast, while Mrs S goes for a canned tuna melt a couple of times a week. We both try to get out for a stroll, or at least outside as often as possible and are hoping that this will be enough to fend off the worst of cold and flu season, regardless of any other virulence.