Your momma was right, wash your grubby hands.

For several weeks now the top story on almost every network newscast has been coronavirus, or COVID-19. People are voluntarily quarantining themselves, entire cities have been placed in lockdown, even the 2020 Summer Olympics organizers are monitoring the situation to see if the games will go on as scheduled.

What can we do to protect ourselves? While they won’t guarantee a season free of colds, the flu, or coronavirus, some of the simple common-sense things that our parents hammered into us as kids will go a long way.

First, wash your hands. A recent survey on YouGov indicated that only 58% of 24,000 adults they surveyed said they regularly washed their hands after going to the bathroom. Yup, we're talking about adults in the United States. And we're talking about after they go to the bathroom. And of those that actually do wash their hands not all are doing it correctly. Yikes.

When it comes to washing your hands, simply running some water over them and shaking them off or wiping them on your pants doesn’t quite cut it. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention proper hand washing involves water, soap, and at least 20 seconds of gentle scrubbing.

The water doesn’t need to be boiling hot, the soap doesn’t even need to be antibacterial, you just need to get into the habit of doing it. An alcohol based hand cleanser can be used to fight germs if your hands aren’t visibly dirty.

You should also wash your hands after taking out the garbage, touching pet food or treats, blowing your nose, and treating a cut or wound. It goes without saying that you should wash your hands before eating.

Other basic things such as sneezing into our elbows instead of our hands will also help reduce the spread of germs. This reduces the contamination caused by touching your just sneezed on hands to doorknobs, light switches, and just about everything else around us. Here's a silly video that shows just how easily that happens.

If you’re sick, you’re sick. Stay home. If you’re running a fever and feel terrible don’t bring those germs to the workplace, you coworkers would rather pick up a little slack for you than catch what you’ve got.

To get even more tips on what to do to prevent the spread of colds, flu, and other viruses just ask your mom, or go to the CDC’s website.

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