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LETTER: There are many ways to protect ourselves, others from COVID-19

LETTER: There are many ways to protect ourselves, others from COVID-19

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In my opinion, as lay people, we don’t have all the information to protect us from contracting this virus. Yes, handwashing is critical. Social distancing of at least 6 feet is helpful, 10 feet even better. Proper face masks covering the mouth and nose is one of the main defenses. Bandanas are a poor substitute. Dirty hands pulling the bandana up and down should be avoided. Poor air circulation in a room or home could be one of your enemies. Indoor eating at a restaurant without adequate ventilation is a no-no. Air exchange should circulate air seven times per hour to minimize health risks.

What about eye protection? H. Nida Sen, MD director of the Uveitis Clinic at the National Eye Institution, Bethesda, Maryland, and a clinical investigator studying the effects of COVID-19 on the eye: “The clear tissue that covers the white of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelid, known as the conjunctiva, can be infected by other viruses, such as adenoviruses associated with the common cold and the herpes simplex virus.” It is plausible that you can contract the COVID-19 virus if the viral load is concentrated enough and deposits on the conjunctiva.

So as a lay person trying to be as safe as I can, what actions do I take? I’m going to try not to touch my face 50 times a day. Handwash as much as possible and use hand sanitizer. Wear a N95 mask properly with the added face shield to protect my eyes. Continue to avoid indoor eating in restaurants. Social distance as much as possible. Take at least 1000 IUs of vitamin D3, vitamin B12 1000 mcg, at least 11 mg of zinc and at least 90 mg of vitamin C/day. Yes, these seem like extreme sacrifices, but at my age I have a responsibility to help control the spread.

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