With the Spring Festival approaching and the travel rush beginning, what should we be doing to protect ourselves? Zhang Zhoubin, deputy director of the Guangzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has offered some advice on what we can do in terms of clothing, dining, living and traveling.
Clothing: First of all, we need to dress warmly, according to the weather, to protect ourselves from catching cold. This will reduce our chances of needing to go to the hospital, and allow us to avoid the fever clinic. Secondly, we need to change and launder our clothes frequently.
Dining: We should try not to eat out with others. But what if dining with our family and friends is inevitable during the Spring Festival? Then we must try to reduce the number of people getting together and stay away from big parties. There are three principles for us to observe: firstly, dine in a spacious room so that a safe distance is kept from each other. Secondly, wash our hands beforehand and use the public chopsticks and spoons to avoid cross infection. Thirdly, if we go to a buffet, keep our facemasks on while serving the food.
Living: Residences and offices should be aired and cleaned frequently and disinfected properly. The areas that are frequently touched by hands should be more carefully disinfected, including taps, door handles, toilet buttons and lift buttons, etc.
Traveling: Residents are highly recommended to stay in Guangzhou during the Spring Festival holiday. Travelers are advised to avoid long trips and to drive to their destinations. If we need to go out, we should participate more in outdoors activities instead of those held in closed spaces. In closed spaces where air is not sufficiently circulated, such as cinemas, farm produce markets, supermarkets, public washrooms and public transit vehicles, we must wear our masks properly, keep our hands clean and avoid touching our face without washing hands. When we are in a plane or on a high speed train, we should try to avoid changing seats, drinking or eating. While taking a taxi or a hailed car, we should sit in the back seat and open the window.
As for the disinfection of taxis and cars for hailing, Zhang suggests that the drivers equip themselves with a bucket with a lid that can be fixed in place, a pair of rubber gloves and a duster. Everyday before taking passengers, they can prepare a bucket of disinfectant solution and soak the duster in the bucket. When the passengers get off, they should carefully wipe the key areas, such as the door handles, seats, railings and screens with the duster with their gloves on and then put the duster into the bucket for the next time. This method is better than using a spray or a wipe in terms of both disinfection effect and cost.
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