On social media and your family Whatsapp groups, there’s been a lot of information (and misinformation) about what you need to do during this MCO.
Some say you need to gargle a glass of warm water when you come home from grocery shopping.
Others swear by eating a hard-boiled egg every morning.
[These have both been debunked by the way — source: WHO]
But here are our (verified by real doctors) IRL tips:
1. Gloves aren’t 100% protection
And what are the most common spots you touch with your hands? Lift buttons, door knobs, grab car seats, shopping trolley handles, your phone, and especially your face.
Some people wear gloves everywhere, but that isn’t necessary, and can even be bad.
“As soon as you touch something with your gloved hand, that contamination is on the gloves, “ says Donald Schaffner, a professor at Rutgers Uni.
I also realised I can’t use my phone with gloves on — if I touch my phone while using them, whatever surfaces I touched will be on the phone.
[This is quite time-consuming especially when the glove is sweaty]
So I’d need to wash my hands, put on the gloves, take off one glove to use my phone, put it back on to touch the shopping trolley, take it off again to check the shopping list on my phone…mafan lah.
So I switched to alcohol-based wipes.
[It might look extra, but it only takes 5 seconds to do this]
Now I bring a box of wipes everywhere.
Every time I bust it out, I feel this calming sense of zen wash over me as I wipe down shopping trolleys, lift buttons, you name it.
2. Alcohol-based wipes should be at least 75% alcohol
According to Dr. Abdullah Asad Saddiqui, alcohol content of between 70% to 75% alcohol has been found most effective in killing microbes.
“Alcohols kill the virus that lands on surfaces such as the skin and personal belongings by destroying the protein layer then getting into the cell,” said Dr. Asad.
That begs the question, why not just use 100% alcohol?
“Given that alcohol evaporates fast, too high an alcohol content may not provide enough time for the protein wall to be destroyed,” said Dr Asad.
With all the surfaces you can’t avoid coming into contact with, you might as well do yourself (and people after you) a favor and use alcohol wipes to clean after you use them.
Here’s my weekly quarantine shopping:
After I got my groceries, I went home and wiped them down with Alcosm alcohol wipes. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
I use roughly 8 sheets on a weekly shopping run and 4 sheets when I go down to 7-E, so a pack of 50 wipes would probably last me about a month.
With the MCO extended, why not add Alcosm alcohol -based wipes into your weekly online shopping list?
3. Keep your immune system at 100% with food, sleep and exercise
In the wake of any global health scare, there’s always claims of a ‘superfood’ that you absolutely MUST eat, like an all-in-one cure that also brightens your teeth, clears your skin, and heals your back pain.
But the truth is a lot more simple and boring — to keep your immune system in tip-top condition, you need a combination of everything: good sleep, healthy food, no smoking or drinking, and regular exercise.
Since my gym has closed, I’ve taken to walking down my stairs every evening. I live on the 21st floor, so you can imagine how my thighs feel after every workout:
[After this kind of workout, your thighs will be on fire for days. App used: iPhone Health app]
4. Go for the easy and convenient drive-through checkup
You’ve seen a lot of tips to prevent infection, but how do you know if you have it? Here’s how you can get tested easily and safely.
Did you know they have drive-through testing services now? Hospital Pantai, for example, has started a drive-through service.
How it works: You book an appointment, drive to their screening point, and let them take a swab sample. You will get your medical report in just a few days.
[Image via Hospital Pantai]
It seems like one of the innovations that came out of this pandemic will be here to stay — this seems a lot more convenient in general. Here’s hoping they start implementing this nationwide!
For those who don’t want to go out, you can also get a home test kit.
5. Self-medicate at home if symptoms are mild
(Disclaimer: The following advice is for those with mild symptoms. If you have pre-existing conditions (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, you’re at a much higher risk of serious complications and should see a doctor immediately.)
So you have a mild dry cough and you’re feeling a bit off — what do you do?
According to the WHO, you basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug, like bronchitis or pneumonia.
I had a slight cough and temperature in mid-March right after the MCO was implemented.
What I did was take two paracetamol at night. I drank tea infused with lemon and honey and went to bed with a sore head.
Drinking tea feels good — the steam acts as a natural decongestant.
You can have it with lemon, honey, and ginger, like so:
[When you want to feel fancy]
I felt right as rain the next day, but my case wasn’t severe — I may just have had a common sore throat.
If your symptoms are not getting better, you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high (over 39°C), it’s time to see a doctor.
Preparation is the key to having a good MCO
The alternative to no toilet paper is simply using water, but there’s no alternative to a lack of preparation except going to the hospital.
We hope the MCO is lifted soon, but we also know that the safest thing to do is to stay indoors until the virus is completely eradicated from the human race.
Stay safe and flatten the curve!
To book an appointment with Hospital Pantai, call 03 – 9145 2813/2809 and ask for Yus Atikah/Norfarhana. You can also Whatsapp them at 019 – 4749288.
To buy a pack of Alcosm 75% alcohol wipes online, check out their page. Pre-orders are available now.
This article is published by Alcosm.