13 things you can do right now to help yourself and community amid coronavirus

To help slow the spread of coronavirus, it takes a community. Here are some things individuals can do to help

Here are five ways you can assist others during the coronavirus outbreak.

The coronavirus pandemic has touched everyone’s lives. So, despite isolation, everyone is in this together.

While public health and government officials lead the charge in disseminating information, rules and stay-at-home orders, a lot of the responsibility on slowing the spread is up to individuals.

Here are 13 ways to help yourself and your community amid the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Wash your hands often and correctly

How you wash your hands is just as important as when you do it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. Here is what the CDC recommends:

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Rinse you hands well under clean, running water.
  • Air dry hands or use a clean towel.
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2. Stop touching your face

By now, you have surely heard that experts recommend not touching your face to help limit the spread of coronavirus. However, it's not quite as easy as it sounds. It may help if you instead hold a stress ball or fidget spinner — something to keep your hands busy. Experts also say sitting on your hands or wearing gloves can help break your face-touching habit. See more tips here.

3. Clean your house regularly 

The CDC recommends on its website regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces like tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remotes, handles, desks, toilets and sinks.

If someone in your household is sick or believed to have been exposed to the virus, the CDC recommends disinfecting every day.

4. Clean your phone

You should also wash that extension of your hand and breeding ground for germs — your phone. Tests done by scientists show that the virus can live for two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. The CDC recommendations for cleaning “high-touch” surfaces includes phones, keyboards and tablet computers.

5. Practice social distancing 

By now, social distancing is far more than a buzzword. It’s a way of life. In practice, it means staying at least six-feet away from others at all times and avoiding group gatherings of any kind.

6. Follow shelter-in-place guidelines

This week, Gov. Brian Kemp issued a shelter-in-place order for the "medically fragile." However, across the state, local municipalities have taken the orders a step further. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms signed a 14-day stay-at-home order. Although, it comes with a variety of exceptions for "essential" services and businesses.

Georgia cities large and small — Savannah, Chamblee and Smyrna, among others — have also adopted shelter-at-home requirements.

7. Stock up, but don’t hoard supplies

Amid the outbreak, essential supplies like food and toilet paper have quickly flown off the shelves at stores across Atlanta. While it's important to be prepared, officials have called upon Americans to only take their fair share and not hoard supplies.

8. Stay active at home

Being inside for long periods of time or feeling isolated can be stressful — and boring. Consider some ways to remain physically active from the comfort of your living room.

9. Check in with your friends 

It's important to take care of your mental health as well as your physical health, experts note. Taking time to check in on your friends can help them — and you — feel better.

You can also gather a group for a virtual happy hour. Here are some tips on making it a success.

10. Create a daily routine when working from home

A lot of people are being thrown into working from home for the first time. And there are some tips that may make the transition easier. Consider things like changing out of your pajamas in the morning, setting up a dedicated work space and trying to stick to regular hours.

You can more find tips here.

11. Find ways to support each other

There are a lot of people in need right now. And while it can be overwhelming to think about, there are a lot of local organizations that have set up ways to help people in the Atlanta community. Consider these five ways to help others amid the coronavirus.

13. Be aware of the symptoms of COVID-19

To help protect yourself and the people around you, make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the symptoms of the coronavirus.

The most common symptoms, according to WHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, are fever, dry cough, and tiredness or shortness of breath.

13. Call your doctor before going in

If you suspect that you might be sick, call your doctor or provider before just showing up.

The advice remains to contact a healthcare provider if you have coronavirus symptoms or believe you were exposed to someone with the virus. In no case should you just show up at the emergency room or a coronavirus testing location.