Although a new year has started, one thing that should remain the same is our concern for our health and wellbeing. 2020 brought a lot of changes into our lives and all of us have been trying our best to go out as little as possible. However, it’s not always possible to stay at home. Still, you can stay safe even in public spaces if you know what you should and should not do. Here are a few key considerations to keep you safe from both the coronavirus and other threats as you venture outside.
Wear your mask
One of the most important and most effective ways to protect yourself from the coronavirus, as well as the ordinary flu, while in public is by wearing a mask. Even before COVID-19 forced all of us to cover our faces, inhabitants of Asian metropolises would often use a mask in the flu season to avoid getting infected or infecting others while in public spaces. Today, however, it is more important than ever to mask up. If you use a disposable mask, make sure you throw it away as soon as you are done using it without touching the front of the mask. If you use a cloth mask, make sure you wash it after each use.
Wash or sanitize your hands frequently
COVID-19 has made all of us more conscious of all the germs we can carry and transmit with our hands if we don’t wash them properly. So, make sure you do not touch your face or food without first thoroughly cleaning your hands. It is key that you use soap when washing your hands – regular soap will suffice. If you are in a public space and don’t have access to a bathroom, you can also use hand sanitizer to clean your hands. So, carrying hand sanitizer in your bag and using it every time you exit a store or get off public transport is recommended. Still, avoid touching surfaces such as grab bars and door handles whenever possible.
Don’t forget to dry your hands
People always talk about the importance of washing your hands, but drying them is rarely mentioned in these instances. However, you should know that drying your hands is very important in keeping them clean. In fact, wet hands are like a magnet for germs, so you should never leave the bathroom with wet hands. This is why more and more companies are equipping their bathrooms with hand dryers and protecting both their employees and customers this way. While some people believe hand dryers to be unhygienic, the fact of the matter is that drying your hands is the priority, how you do it is secondary. Still, steer clear of rubbing your hands on your clothes.
Avoid petting animals you don’t know
Most people naturally love animals and some of them can’t resist the urge to pet a cute cat or puppy they meet on the street. However, for the sake of your safety, it would be a good idea to avoid touching animals you don’t know. Not only could they be carrying pests such as fleas and ticks that might transfer to you if the animal happens to sit on your lap, but you never know if the animal will feel threatened by your approach and attack you unexpectedly. Needless to say, you cannot be sure that they aren’t carrying any diseases, and visiting the doctor for a dog bite will not be pleasant.
Keep your distance
The next piece of advice you should keep in mind is staying away from crowds as much as possible. In public spaces, make sure that you keep your distance from other people whenever you can – it is recommended to keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters in these instances. Needless to say, this is even more important if someone is coughing or sneezing, regardless of whether it is COVID-19 or not. So, pay attention to this when shopping or queueing and don’t shy away from asking people to give you some space if they are standing too close.
Stay vigilant in crowded places
Unfortunately, germs are not the only threats we might face in public. Crowded places also provide the perfect environment for thieves and if you aren’t prepared against them, you might get targeted. First of all, it’s a good idea to keep a few safety considerations in mind. These include paying attention to your surroundings at all times and never taking your eyes off your belongings. If crowds make you anxious, it might be a good idea to learn a bit of self-defense so that you can feel more confident. All in all, avoiding crowds would be the best course of action, as already mentioned.
Following the aforementioned tips will help you keep both yourself and other people safe in public spaces. Don’t forget to carry your mask and hand sanitizer wherever you go and avoid crowds if you can, and you’ll be fine.