5 Ways to Protect Yourself in Public Spaces

Working out at the gym, going to the movies, and visiting amusement parks are some of the recreational activities that are still not allowed as the country continues to fight against COVID-19. (Read: Philippines reports 2,099 new COVID-19 cases; total climbs to 46,333)

However, shopping for essentials, getting a haircut, and dining at restaurants have already been allowed with restrictions like physical distancing and mandatory wearing of face mask.

Even employees from different sectors are now going out to report for work despite the risk of contracting the virus. So, if you’re among those who wake up earlier than usual to catch any available public transportation to get to work, this list of things-to-do might be of help.

Here are five (5) ways to protect yourself in public spaces:

Wear a face mask.

According to an article published by TIME.com, studies have shown that wearing a face mask could reduce transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, by somewhere between 50% and 85%. Face masks block the spread of respiratory droplets carrying the virus.

Before you put on a face mask, make sure that you’ve washed your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Don’t have water and soap? Go for a hand sanitizer with 70% alcohol to clean your hands.

Bring a hand sanitizer.

A hand sanitizer should already be a part of your life by now. Your hand hygiene plays a vital role in protecting yourself from the virus.

From the hand rails of the public train to your smartphone, your hands are exposed to all types of dirt, germs, bacteria, etc. In fact, your smartphone is ten (10) times dirtier than most toilet seats. (Read: Here’s How Filthy Your Cell Phone Is) Can you even imagine how filthy that sounds?

If you don’t sanitize your smartphone as often as you wash your hands, then it’s the best time to start doing it.

Protecting Yourself While Outside

Practice physical distancing.

Whether it’s at the bank or grocery, always keep a distance of at least one (1) meter from others. Small group gatherings can also lead to the spreading of COVID-19, so observance of physical distancing is really important.

Based on livescience.com’s post, with physical distancing, “the chances of infection or transmission of these coronaviruses was about 3% when people kept a distance of at least 3 feet from others, compared with 13% when people kept a distance of less than that. What’s more, for every extra 3 feet (up to 10 feet, or 3 m), the risk of infection or transmission was reduced by half.”

Use wipes with alcohol on surfaces.

Unless there’s a really need to, try to avoid touching elevator buttons, escalator hand rails, and public toilet door knobs. When you have to, use a tissue or cloth with alcohol to protect your hands from touching the surface.

You can also use your elbow to open doors.

While there’s still a lot to know more about COVID-19, the World Health Organization says, “Studies have shown that the COVID-19 virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, less than 4 hours on copper and less than 24 hours on cardboard.”

Go for contactless payments.

Contactless payments or cashless transactions are highly encouraged these days to limit the person-to-person contact. With online and mobile banking apps, it’s easier and safer to make payments at retail stores, restaurants, and other establishments. (See: List of Operational Stores in Eton’s Residential Developments)

Just don’t forget to protect the details of your e-wallet, credit and debit cards. Never share important details online as scammers can use them against you.

These are just some things you can do to protect yourself while outside, but it’s best to stay at home if you can. Stay safe!