Tips for Expatriates to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
By now, most of us have a routine of thoroughly cleaning up after ourselves and being mindful of what we’re touching ever since the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic. Globally, some countries have lifted restrictions and lockdowns. Malaysia, healthcare system in New Zealand, and Germany are just some of the countries that have lifted it’s mandated lockdowns, but it still sees a spike in cases. However, countries like Brazil are pretty hard hit and reportedly will surpass the USA’s toll in cases and deaths by the end of July. Hence, no matter where you are around the world, it’s more crucial than ever to stay vigilant and strictly follow the safety guidelines established in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
In this article, we’re sharing five simple but effective rules to protect yourself against the virus. Consider this as a refresher article.
1. Clean your hands often
The first thing you should do once you come home is to wash your hands with soap and water. Thoroughly washing your hands will take you 20 seconds. When you’re outside, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Be mindful of what you’re touching as well. If you’re touching your phones, keys, grocery bags, do not touch your face.
Furthermore, always carry a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. When you’re unable to wash your hands, use the hand sanitizer- rub all surfaces of your hands until they feel dry. It will be convenient, especially in public places, when you cough, sneeze or blow your nose.
2. Keep your distance
If you’re feeling sick, stay home. It includes feeling feverish, runny nose, etc. Another rule for expats in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to avoid close contact with people who are sick. Always manage the distance between yourself and someone else in public. It includes standing in line at the grocery store or even when going on a walk. Keep in mind that children and people over the age of 65 or with underlying health conditions have a higher risk of getting infected. Hence, respect the time slot set out specifically for this group of people during grocery shopping. Overall, the best way to keep your distance is to stay at home as much as possible.
3. Wear a mask when in public
The third rule for expats in preventing the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask whenever you’re in public. By now, it is very apparent that you could spread the virus even if you don’t feel sick. Hence, wearing a mask or a cloth face cover does not only protect you from infection but also protect others from getting infected by you. Even if you are wearing a face mask, you must ensure that you’re keeping six feet of distance between yourself and others. Another critical thing to remember is not to wear masks means for a healthcare worker.
4. Cover yourself when coughing and sneezing
Practice covering yourself when coughing and sneezing, especially when you’re around others. If you’re not wearing a mask, use a tissue to cover your mouth and nose. You can also sneeze or cough inside of your elbow. It’s important that you immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or clean your hands using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always throw used tissues in the trash.
5. Don’t forget to disinfect daily
When you come back home, disinfect your keys, phones, credits cards, wallets, doorknobs, light switches, desks, anything you touch daily. If you’re working from home, clean your keyboards, work desk, mouse every day. You must also disinfect your grocery items. Food items such as onions, vegetables, eggs, fruits, leave them in the refrigerator for a day before using them. Keep shopping bags away from the common area once disinfected. You can use a disinfectant wipes or use a microfiber cloth and disinfectant spray to clean your household items.
Preventing the spread of COVID-19
Following these simple rules will help you and others around you to keep the virus at bay. It’s understood that staying indoors can be very agitating and you’d like to take advantage of the summer. There are plenty of activities to do indoors with your family. If you’re going to be at any public places such as the beach and parks, plan, be vigilant and mindful of what you’re touching. If you have kids, take the time to explain to them why following simple rules like above is crucial.
Insurance That Covers COVID-19 is Critical
Finally, part of your COVID strategy as an expatriate should be to have international health insurance that fully covers an infection from COVID-19. There are still plans that exclude COVID-19 or restrict your coverage should you travel to or residing in a country with a COVID-19 pandemic or government warning – this is not necessarily a big concern for expats, but if you are wanting to get a new global health plan, we recommend you get either the Cigna or Allianz plans we offer online via our website as they do not exclude COVID coverage – of course as long as you are not infected now or still under treatment. If you recovered from COVID, then this may impact your ability to get a new policy.