1. Make sure your immune system is healthy: Have adequate sleep at night (preferably 7-8 hours), eat nutritious foods with high antioxidants (fruits and vegetables), avoid undue stress, exercise regularly.
2. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds. As an alternative, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. If possible, use utensils when eating. Avoid kamayan or “boodle fights.”
4. Use clean face masks when in public and replace them regularly.
5. Doctors, nurses and other healthcare personnel should also use face masks when attending to their sick patients, especially in the emergency room.
6. Hospital personnel should also wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer after attending to one sick patient, and before seeing another patient.
7. The public should avoid close contact with people who are febrile or are obviously sick. If it’s a relative they have to take care of, they must take precautions like they were hospital personnel.
8. If you have fever, cold, cough and other flu-like symptoms—but no difficulty of breathing or shortness of breath—stay at home, rest and take meds for supportive treatment (antipyretics, cold and cough medicines). If you exhibit more severe symptoms like shortness of breath or high fever that lasts more than two days, consult a doctor.
9. When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, then throw away the tissue and sanitize hands.
10. Avoid handshakes as much as possible. Use other ways of greeting.
11. Unless necessary, avoid travels; if you have to, use face masks during the flight. Be adequately hydrated, especially during long-haul flights.
12. Keep your throat moist. Be adequately hydrated. Don’t drink fluids excessively, but take frequent sips of preferably warm or at least room-temperature water (60-80 cc for adults, 30-50 cc for children) every now and then, and whenever you feel thirsty. Those with dry throat are more susceptible to viral infection.
13. Avoid smoking, too, to prevent drying of throat. For smokers, this may be an opportune time to quit smoking, since it weakens the immune system and diminishes the integrity and defense mechanisms of the respiratory tract against the virus.
14. Sanitize cell phones and other gadgets regularly using appropriate sanitizers.
15. Take all precautions, but relax. Worrying too much about it causes undue stress which will weaken your immune system.