There’s been so much talk about the coronavirus, whole countries shutting down travel and concerns it may be worse than the flu. But how worried should we be? In times like this, how can you take control to keep you, your family, and your team, safe?
Yes, it is true that more people die from the flu every year, but the coronavirus is still new and if the absolute worst scenario happens, significantly more people will die from the coronavirus. That being said, all the precautions people are taking will prevent the worst from happening, and protect the vulnerable populations in our community.
The good news for most of us is that the coronavirus does not seem to be affecting young people at the same rate as elderly populations. But most of us have families, grandparents, relatives… we want to keep them safe, too. We don’t live in an isolation bubble so what we all do affects everyone.
Luckily, if everyone gets involved, preventing the spread of the coronavirus is fairly simple and something we should ALL be practicing, anyway.
Wash your hands with soap for 6x 8 counts as often as possible!
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid being in close contact when you don’t have to!
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, but also remember that the virus spreads easily before any symptoms are visible, so keep washing your hands!
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. People at high risk mean your grandparents, teammates or friends with diabetes, anyone who is immune-compromised (think of those who might be going through chemo, or dialysis).
Stay home if you’re sick, if you can.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to go to the doctor. The virus spreads easily so taking precautions and missing practice might seem the worst thing in the short term, but is a good idea long term.
Wear a facemask if necessary.
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people. If you are not able to wear a facemask, then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces, daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- It takes ALL of us to keep a community safe, so help out at home and at the gym.
At this time, no end-of-season competitions have been canceled. The International Cheer Union, USASF, IASF, and Varsity have been monitoring the situation with updates from the CDC, WHO and state and federal government. At this time, there is no need to be overly concerned, but keep up your personal and environmental hygiene and hopefully, we can all see out the end of the season healthy and happy!
For more information and latest updates, check out the CDC website.