Amidst fears about the Coronavirus outbreak, it is important for people to be aware of basic health tips for staying healthy and avoiding disease, or other health complications. Some of this might sound like common sense, but we don't see enough resources out there that are all inclusive, or cover the basics. So we will provide a health guide below.

Keep in mind that diseases like the flu, if not treated correctly, can be very deadly. In 1918, the Spanish flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people (a third of the world's population), and killed 20-50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans (History). That means that more Americans died from the flu in 1918 than they did in World War I.

And with the modern day pandemic, over 180,000 Americans have died so far. And almost a million people have died worldwide. (Worldometer). There is no vaccine so far. So all an individual can do is know when it's time to get their symptoms checked and what they can do on a basic level to stay healthy.

It's important to be vigilant and follow key safety tips.

DISCLAIMER - We don't claim to be medical professionals or doctors. These are just some basic health tips we found based on our own research. If you are sick or require medical attention contact a doctor. If you are extremely sick, go to an emergency room.


The symptoms of COVID-19 are the following: fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, fatigue, chills, body aches, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nausea and diarrhea. (WebMD)

Infections range from mild to serious. The virus can turn deadly if it leads to pneumonia, respiratory failure, or septic shock. Those most at risk of death are the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. (WebMD) We would recommend people in the listed categories try to stay away from public areas and avoid sick people.



According to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the virus can survive in the air for up to 3 hours. (The Hill)

Symptoms can show up anywhere from 2-14 days after exposure. (WebMD) (NCBI)



Wearing a mask is important when it comes to protecting one's self, and others from the virus. Everyone should be wearing a mask when in public crowded areas to prevent the spread of the virus. Though if you are outside, this is not as much of a concern, as long as there is space between you and other people.

How to put on a mask correctly:

This may seem obvious, but some people get this wrong. When putting on the mask, make sure it is facing the correct direction and do not put your fingers on the inside of the mask. Also, try not to re-use disposable surgical masks. They are not meant for re-use.

The following study shows that the filtering provided by surgical masks is better than nothing.

However, you must be careful in what masks you choose to wear, because new studies have shown that certain types of masks are actually worse than nothing.

A new study was released by Duke's Physics Department on August 7th, 2020, which studied the effectiveness of various face-masks.

The most effective mask was the N95 mask (but do not frequently re-use them). Three-layer surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well.

Neck fleeces, also called gaiter masks and often used by runners, were the least effective. In fact, wearing a fleece mask resulted in a higher number of respiratory droplets because the material seemed to break down larger droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air.

Folded bandannas and knitted masks also performed poorly and did not offer much protection.

Further resources on masks:

Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Face masks (CDC)

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 (CDC)

N95 Respirators, Surgical Masks, and Face Masks (FDA)

Can I Wear A Mask More Than Once? (Web MD)


 Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.  This can bring germs into your body.   Only do so if you have washed your hands

Wash your hands:

The top tip is to wash your hands. Be sure to use antibacterial soap. You would think washing hands would be a no brainer, but a surprising amount of people don't wash their hands properly. (Medical Xpress). And yet a look around the world shows that washing the hands with water and soap leads to a 30% reduction in respiratory infections. (Tropical Medicine and International Health).

At Home:

When you first come home, do not touch common household objects like the computer, remote or phone until you wash your hands.

According to the CDC, people should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the bathroom, before eating, after blowing the nose, and after coughing or sneezing.

When You Unpack Your Groceries:

You should wipe down your refrigerator and your outside and inside front door handle.

Out and About:

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. We recommend Purell. (Purell products on Amazon)

You can also use wet wipes. We recommend Wet Ones.

Hand cream

In the winter time, you might also want to get some kind of hand cream, since frequent washing could lead to dry skin.

Avoid Contact With Germs And Sick People

The CDC has some good guidelines for avoiding disease. While the linked page refers to the Coronavirus, it has good tips for disease prevention in general.

In addition to washing the hands, here are some other guidelines.

- Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Their breath can contain disease, even with a mask. So it is best to stay away from them. Do not shake hands with them.

- Stay home when you are sick.

- Wear a mask if you are sick and must be around other people.

- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Don't Share Personal Effects With Other People:

Personal objects like toothbrushes and towels should not be shared with other people.

Clean and Disinfect Household Objects:

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipes. Clorox wipes are useful.

Keep in mind that germs can survive on a surface anywhere from only a few minutes to several days. But most are no longer dangerous after 24 hours. (PBS)

Also clean your phone. How to properly clean your phone.

Food safety:

At Home:

If you buy takeout, you can kill germs by putting your food in the oven. In a traditional oven, we recommend around 2-4 minutes at about 200 degrees. We can't guarantee this will kill all the germs, but it's a start. Now a microwave itself won't kill germs, but the heat could.

For takeout salads, or any cold food, if you're worried about germs, you can try waiting for about 24 hours. Once again, we don't guarantee all the germs will die in that time, but it should help.

With raw vegetables and raw fruits without a peal, be sure to wash them, to get rid of germs and chemicals.

At a Restaurant:

We also warn people to be cautious about restaurants, since you never know who is sick or coughing when they're preparing the food. Also, many restaurants have problems with pests. There's a limit to how cautious a person can be, before it starts becoming inconvenient. But if you are at a restaurant and see a sanitation issue, we would recommend discussing it with a manager.


Eat as healthy as you can.

Nutrition is a complicated science and we don't have all the answers. We would recommend you check out the following sites: MyPlate



Get enough sleep at night. 7-9 hours are recommended. "The quality of your sleep directly affects your mental and physical health and the quality of your waking life, including your productivity, emotional balance, brain and heart health, immune system, creativity, vitality, and even your weight." (Help Guide). is a good resource for calculating when you should go to bed if you want to be well rested by a certain time.

There are also recommendations for getting a better quality of sleep. These usually involve not doing exciting activities right before bed (like watching an action packed movie). It is better to do a quiet, relaxing activity that doesn't involve too much light, like reading, taking a bath, yoga, general relaxing.


The perfect is the enemy of the good. Some exercise is better than none at all. In fact, no exercise at all, sitting around all day, is terrible for health.

The Mayo Clinic says the following: Don't spend too much time inactive. In the same way that exercise is good for your health, too much sitting around and being inactive can be terrible for your health. "Research has linked sitting for long periods of time with a number of health concerns. They include obesity and a cluster of conditions — increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels." (Mayo Clinic).

For people who are busy at an office job (or similar type of sitting job) and don't have much time to exercise, we would recommend that they at least try to get up from time to time and walk around. People should also take breaks from staring at their screens, as this can cause eye strain.

In terms of the ideal amount of exercise, the Mayo Clinic recommends 75 minutes of vigorous exercise a week or 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. 30 minutes a day is a good goal, but as we mentioned above, even if all you can do is 5 minutes of walking around, that is much better than nothing at all.

The benefits of exercise according to Medicine Line Plus are that it can help you control your weight, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, help your body manage sugar and insulin levels, help you quit smoking, improve your mental health and mood, and boost your immune system.

Some people stuck in quarantine at home think they might not be able to exercise because they cannot go to the gym. But there are still many great ways to get a work out in despite this limitation. Going outside, walking around, and getting fresh air can be great for your health as well as your lungs (as long as you are avoiding public areas with lots of people). Finding work out videos on YouTube and doing them at home can also be a great way to get in some basic exercises.

Managing Stress:

Stress is also a major cause of disease. We understand that with a global pandemic stress for many is going to be inevitable. However, health experts recommend certain techniques to keep stress to manageable levels, so it does not overwhelm your life and damage your health.

Webmd advises keeping a positive attitude, accepting that there are events you cannot control, practicing relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation, exercising regularly (as we mentioned above), eating healthy (as we also mentioned above), avoiding stressful events and people, making time for hobbies and enjoyable activities, seeking out social support, avoiding depressants (like drugs and alcohol), and seeking therapy or some other type of mental health professional if your stress is starting to become too overwhelming.

Helping Others:

Finding ways to help others during hard times is also a good way to manage and limit stress. People in general become stressed out when they feel like events are beyond their control. So finding a positive way to make a difference (no matter how small) can help manage feelings like stress, despair and depression.

Activities to help other people at this time can include donating food to the needy, donating money to a worthy cause (definitely do your research first charity navigator), helping the elderly and the sick (at a safe social distance), and offering support to a person who may feel isolated or lonely.


Wide spread hysteria and panic over disease can sometimes be as dangerous as the disease itself. As we mentioned, it is understandable that people would be stressed and upset at a time like this, but reacting with panic usually makes things worse.

So instead of panicking, we suggest being prepared.

Keep your medicine cabinet stocked with the basics: thermometer, alcohol wipes (like wet ones), disinfectants, gauze, band-aids, rubbing alcohol, painkillers, etc.


Need for Single Payer Health Insurance

Links on National Health Insurance

Cancer Care Crisis in Northern Virginia

Life and Death in Virginia

Restore Social Security Cuts


Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (CDC)

What is the Coronavirus? (WebMD)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak (WHO)