After retired local physician Dr. John Henningsen shared suggestions for preventative hygiene for those delivering Meals On Wheels, he realized the general public could benefit from the reminder as well.
“These suggestions are based on hygiene principles that may seem extreme, but the more diligent we are, the greater the protection,” Dr. Henningsen said.
“So many want to do what is right but do not have the background to know how to practice hygiene in everyday activities,” he said. “They tell me, and I observe it all the time. This is regardless of their educational background.
“These suggestions are not earthshaking, and many people will perhaps find only a couple suggestions that they can comply with. Prevention is not something the public is excited about as it expects people to often change their lifestyle that they like. I’ve worked my entire professional life trying to get people to stop smoking or lose weight. Immediate gratification is desired by all of us. Prevention efforts commonly do not give this gratification even if we know it is best.”
• Wash your hands before leaving home and whenever possible avoid skin to skin contact and public surfaces.
• Use the retractable end of a ball point pen to push buttons like door bells. Better yet, avoid door bells and door handles as much as possible or use a disposable glove. Use your feet or body instead of hands if possible.
• Avoid standing in front of people, keep a social distance of 6 feet and gather with no more than 10 people, even fewer if possible.
• Upon returning home from being in public, wash hands with soap and water.
• Do not go into public places if you have any personal health condition that would lend you to be significantly immune compromised or if you feel ill.
The doctor added, “Use of masks may help but are lower on the priority list than washing and some of the other things.
Dr. Henningsen said, “Every authority has agreed that prevention is far and away the best thing we can do to hold the COVID-19 in check. We will never know if by following a simple suggestion it saved a life. We will never know the money, anxiety and heartbreak it will save for one or many of us. We will never know if our efforts were worth it—but what do you think the probabilities are?”
He said, “The epidemic is so much a chance for all of us to work together for the common good, so that’s the positive note. If we can prevent that one case from coming in here, that would be a huge step in our community health.”