In light of recent novel coronavirus outbreak, here is some general guidance to help reduce your chances of contracting a virus when you're at risk. Some of these basic principles like washing your hands regularly, not touching your face, and staying healthy to maintain your immune system are good actions to take during cold and flu seasons too.
With this latest virus outbreak, people are being infected and some are losing their lives or the lives of their loved ones to the novel coronavirus. That’s tragic and horrible. However, the purpose of this message is not to stoke fear or blow things out of proportion. The countries impacted are doing a lot to contain the spread of the virus, and quite frankly it’s too soon to tell what is going to happen long-term. Most people are safe and don’t have to worry. However, our Kenzai family is large, and some of you fall squarely in the path of the virus and it’s good to be prepared and understand what can really help in an emergent viral outbreak.
Wash your hands. You want to do this frequently with hot water, soap, and a lot of friction. Washing your hands is the number one thing that will protect you from getting sick. Having clean hands that are uncontaminated protects you from how often you might mindlessly touch your face (eyes, ears, mouth, and nose). Hand sanitizer is good to have on hand for situations where you can’t wash. But it doesn’t beat regular washing.
Don’t touch your face or the face of others…even your children. This takes a lot of presence of mind, and is pretty hard to do. That’s where maintaining clean hands comes into play. If you have to touch yours or someone else’s face, do so after washing your hands and with clean gloves or at least a tissue. Then wash your hands again, immediately after.
Wear a mask. One thing to debunk here, masks (earloop versions that are either surgical or even N95 rated) do very little (if nothing) to protect you from airborne viruses. They are very effective at stopping you from spreading the disease to others. They certainly should be worn in places facing outbreaks, as anyone could be contagious and not yet showing symptoms, including yourself. The number one way they protect you from getting ill is by stopping you from mindlessly touching your face. Is it good practice to wear one in critical areas? Yes. But it’s worth understanding what role they serve, fostering the appropriate level of caution.
Wear gloves. Gloves are great, but will need to be changed frequently. If you have to travel, or work in an outbreak zone, you’ll want to wear them. Again, they would be worthless if you touch your face after touching a contaminated surface, but the simple act of wearing gloves usually triggers a warning to your brain to not mindlessly touch your face. Wearing gloves and a mask is a great twofold way to avoid that habit. You can also sanitize gloves more frequently with sanitizer than your skin.
Stay inside. Anyone who lives in areas with more serious outbreaks will already be facing travel limitations, and it’s for good reason. Viruses spread host to host, so staying to yourself while those who are sick are treated and quarantined is possibly the best way to avoid getting sick. Try to keep traveling to the essential bare minimum.
Be Healthy. One of the single best things you can do to avoid the negative consequences of illness like the coronavirus that China and the world is currently battling, is to be healthy. Almost every time the world is faced with an epidemic, people who are in the most danger are those that are already unhealthy. It's important to eat right, exercise daily, get enough rest, overall maintaining a robust, fit body with strong lungs, organs, and circulation, ready to fight off infection and disease!
We hope that this recent crisis doesn’t continue to get much worse, but being prepared is never a bad thing. Much love to our entire global Kenzai family, especially those hit the hardest by the current events. Be well and stay healthy.
By: Nate Belle Isle // Kenzai Trainer