As many areas begin to resume their normal activities, colleges, schools, and training facilities are getting ready to welcome their beloved students back into classrooms. While it’s definitely an exciting prospect, many students and faculty are worried about protecting themselves and the people in their households from COVID-19. Luckily, there are a variety of measures students can take to keep themselves and the people around them safer. Here are some of our top suggestions for minimizing your risk.
When going back into classrooms, you will likely find some new protocols to follow. It can be tempting to go and take a seat next to your buddies, but social distancing is key right now. Try to choose a desk or seat farther away from the rest of the class. The more seats classes can put in between each student, the better. Some classes might be doing more limited capacities for this very reason.
Social distancing should also be practiced in all hallways, cafeterias, and other common areas to the best of your ability. Try to limit the time you spend in these crowded areas. Your school might have new protocols about the usage of these types of areas, so make sure to abide carefully by your school’s guidelines. Additionally, extracurriculars that don’t lend themselves to social distancing should be postponed until it's safer to be in such close contact.
When going to class, wearing a mask is an absolute must. Try getting a reusable fabric mask to wear every day. If you can, have multiple so you can wash them in between each use. While fabric masks aren’t necessarily as effective as medical-grade options, they can still help to contain droplets that spread the COVID-19 virus. If the majority of students go back to school with this type of protection, risk levels will significantly drop.
Along with a face covering, try to limit the amount you touch your face while in class. This should be easier since your mouth and nose will be covered by the mask, but it’s still important to keep in mind. As soon as you leave the public space, wash your hands, or use hand sanitizer.
If you live with family, a partner, or roommates, you are likely concerned about potentially exposing them to the virus if you were to come in contact with it outside of the home. It’s important to take precautions before you arrive home after class. As we established earlier, you should definitely wash your hands or use hand sanitizer as soon as possible; but if you're really concerned, other measures can be taken.
Keep disinfectant wipes in your car to wipe down your phone and other personal belongings before you bring them inside. Along with this procedure, wipe down the interior of your car frequently to catch any potential germs that may have slipped in with you.
If you live with someone who is particularly vulnerable or immunocompromised, you might want to consider disinfecting yourself more thoroughly. Change out of the clothes you went to class in as soon as you get home, and as an additional precaution, take a shower upon arrival.
While this virus is still a threat, it’s generally a good idea to amp up your cleaning schedule. Frequently disinfect commonly touched surfaces throughout the home to minimize any potential cross-contamination.
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