Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Compiled by the Editors at MVP PARENT
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is relatively new to the world, but has taken center stage in American life in a way that is unprecedented for many sports parents. Isolation and quarantine can be frightening, but many Baby Boomers may remember a time before the advent of vaccines when similar steps were taken to stem the spread of polio, diphtheria (whooping cough), and measles. The very survival of some members of the population who are now geriatric is evidence that public health measures work!
Today, unlike during those earlier quarantine times, there are countless Internet websites that can be scoured for information. We encourage you to look to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the arm of the US government designed to deal with all kinds of public health emergencies, for the facts, and your state and local county/city health departments for details specific to your location.
While the facts of the pandemic are changing daily—and will continue to do so for a while—CDC has issued basic guidance for all Americans to follow. And it comes down to the basics of good hygiene and common courtesy.
- Wash your hands thoroughly—that’s soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before preparing meals or eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Any soap will do, just be sure to wash your entire hand, including the outside of the thumb, the back of the hand, and between all of your fingers.
If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue.
- Avoid those who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care.
As for cleaning your home, a quick primer:
Cleaning refers to removing germs, dirt and impurities from surfaces. Cleaning doesn’t kill germs but lowers their number, reducing the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting refers to using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. This does not necessarily mean surfaces are cleaned or germs removed. But risk is lowered by killing germs after cleaning a surface.
- Clean and disinfect daily high-touch surfaces within common areas. This includes tables, hard-backed chairs, doorknobs, light switches, remote controls, handles, desks, toilets, counters and sinks.
- Clean with household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Always follow label instructions. Wear gloves and make sure the room is well ventilated.
- Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and discard them after each cleaning. If reusable gloves are used, they should be dedicated to cleaning and disinfecting for COVID-19 only. Clean hands immediately after removing gloves.
- Clean surfaces with detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting.
- For disinfection, use diluted household bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol or common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and ventilation. Make sure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Prepare a bleach solution by mixing 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup of bleach per gallon of water or 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of water.
- For soft surfaces such as carpets, rugs, and drapes, remove any visible contamination and clean with appropriate cleaners. After cleaning, launder at warmest appropriate water settings and dry completely.
- If no gloves are used when handling dirty laundry be sure to wash hands afterward.
- Avoid shaking dirty laundry to keep from dispersing virus through the air.
- For all laundry, wash using the warmest possible setting and dry completely.
- Clean and disinfect clothes hampers just as you would other surfaces. Consider using a bag liner that can be tossed or laundered.
- Be sure to wash hands immediately after removing gloves.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (cdc.gov) is the arm of the US federal government designed to track and address the public health of the American public.
Beating the Boredom
Social distancing—keeping 6 feet or more away from others—doesn’t have to be a socially isolating experience. Given today’s technology and old-fashioned nature watching, there are plenty of opportunities to keep kids engaged during the school closures. Some suggestions from Crystal Watson of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Gregory Ramshaw, associate professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at Clemson University:
Read. Download e-books and audiobooks about a favorite sport, or maybe a new one—read books on how to play, about famous games or matches, historic players’ biographies.
Go outside. Breathe fresh air, preferably at least once a day.
Start bird watching. How many can be seen from the kitchen window, or a hike in the neighborhood or local park? Make it a family competition. Download a bird-watching map or listen to audio recordings of bird calls and see how many can be heard in the neighborhood.
Read up on healthy snacks…and then try making some.
Watch old games on YouTube, or on a sports-specific streaming service if you have one.
Watch sports documentaries about the history of the sport you love. You’ll learn its history as well as the controversies to led to various rules changes and safety guidances in effect today.