There is no reason to panic before a pandemic, but we can make good use of the remaining time.

The novel Coranavirus SARS-CoV-2 is a global challenge that requires  everyone to act responsibly . 

Every single citizen, but also companies, institutions and organizations can take measures to protect themselves against the virus and to be prepared for a pandemic. 

Preparations for a pandemic are concentrated in three areas

  • As few people as possible should be infected.
  • Private households should have all the essentials ready for emergencies.
  • Major social disturbances and restrictions should be minimized or prevented. 

WHAT CAN THE SINGLE DO?

What specific measures protect me and others from a droplet infection?

– Keep a distance from the sick (one to two meters).

– Wash your hands regularly and carefully (at least 20 seconds with soap up to the wrist).

– Avoid shaking hands and hugs. 

– Develop self-protection reflexes: Press the elevator buttons with the ankle instead of the fingertip. 

– Avoid busy places and events. Set priorities. 

– Touch your own face or the faces of friends and relatives less. 

– In particular, do not touch the mucous membranes of the mouth, eyes and nose with your fingers. 

– Put on gloves if necessary. Wash or change them daily. 

– Do not sneeze in your hand, but in the crook of your arm. 

– Dispose of used tissues quickly. 

– Breathing masks offer little protection to healthy people, the masks become moist due to the air we breathe, barrier protection is removed after only 20 minutes, so masks should be reserved for medical personnel

Does this help to break the infection chain?

Corona viruses are passed on by droplet infection, the virus multiplies in the throat. From there, the pathogens can be released from the body faster than from the lungs, for example by sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose. In this way, SARS-CoV-2 can get back on surfaces and get smeared on the hands on mucous membranes and infect others.

Italy Coronavirus Rome (Getty Images / AFP / A. Pizzoli)Breathing masks should be reserved for medical personnel

HOW CAN I PREPARE FOR A PANDEMIC?

In the event of an intense transmission wave, there will most likely be restrictions and supply bottlenecks. Prepare so that you can stay at home for several weeks if necessary. 

– Have important prescription medication (if necessary) ready for a month. 

– Create a sufficient supply of non-perishable food. 

– Think early on how to protect friends and relatives. Elderly and sick people with weakened immune systems in particular need your help. 

– Organize early childcare opportunities. 

– Make arrangements for taking care of sick family members without infecting yourself. 

How can I help the community?

The more people try to prepare, the more the feeling of togetherness increases. Help organize community help!

After surviving COVID-19 disease, you are immune to the pathogen. Therefore, you can leave the apartment and volunteer, for example, take over for other errands and shop.

Germany stress work study (picture-alliance / dpa / D. Naupold)If not yet available, employers should work out home and telework opportunities

WHAT EMPLOYERS CAN DO

– You can work out opportunities for home and telework. In particular, sick or vulnerable employees should stay at home in the home office where possible. 

– Employees with acute symptoms of a respiratory illness (e.g. coughing or shortness of breath) or who get sick during the day should be separated from other employees immediately and sent home. 

– Companies should provide fresh air at workplaces and in social rooms – for example, also replace filters in ventilation systems. 

– You should provide hand hygiene options – such as soap and paper towels, but also keyboard cleaning wipes and sprays. 

– You should have surfaced and the surrounding area cleaned routinely. 

– Employees who are doing well but who have a sick family member with COVID-19 at home should notify their manager. 

– Supervisors should identify particularly relevant positions in the work processes and provide substitutes. The absence of a person will not endanger or impair the functionality of the entire organization. 

What about business and other trips? 

– Employers and workers should study the latest guidelines and recommendations for each travel destination. 

– Companies should advise their employees to be examined for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before leaving and to stay at home in the event of an illness. 

– If you get sick during a trip, you should immediately inform your supervisor. 


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