In order to inform our readers about the coronavirus, and protect them from contracting COVID-19, the disease it causes, here is a list of practical and effective “do’s and don’ts”.

Do wash your hands for at least 20 seconds many times a day, especially after using the restroom, before cooking and eating, and always after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. 

Don’t touch or rub your eyes, nose or mouth. If you have somehow had contact with the disease, touching mucus membranes around these areas can facilitate it entering your body.

Do learn the symptoms which resemble flu symptoms: fever, cough, scratchy throat, shortness of breath and body aches. A runny nose is usually not a symptom of the coronavirus. 

Don’t wear a mask unless you are sick. Masks help protect others from catching the virus if you cough or sneeze, but wearing one to keep you healthy won’t protect you much. Leave the masks for health care professionals or seriously sick people who need them.

Do consider taking simple precautions and staying away from public places if you are over 60 years of age, or have a pre-existing condition such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes. Consider asking friends or family who are young and do not have compromised immune systems to do your shopping and necessary errands.

Don’t go to work or travel if you are sick, have a fever, cough or body aches. Contact your doctor, or a health care professional as soon as possible.

Do practice social distancing at work and in public places. This means keeping  6 feet (outside the droplet zone of coughs and sneezes) from others and not making physical contact – shaking hands or hugging. If you can, avoid large gatherings and crowds in poorly ventilated spaces.

Don’t panic. Stay calm and be practical. Wash your hands. Sanitize work- spaces, door handles, gas pumps, or anything that is easily accessible and used by the general public.  

Do prioritize your health. Get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet (plenty of fresh fruit, veggies, fish, and lots of water) and make sure to stay faithful to your daily exercise and workout routines.

Don’t go to see your doctor or take a run to the emergency room if you feel sick without calling first so that they can be prepared if indeed you are a virus carrier.

Do stock up on healthy foods and natural products that can strengthen your immune system against flu, colds and free radical toxins that can wear you down. Here are some great foods rich in vitamins A, B, C, and D, antioxidants like glutathione and carnosine, and probiotics to help you keep a healthy gut: broccoli, chicken soup, garlic, ginger, low fat yogurt, miso, pomegranate juice, spinach, sweet potatoes, teas (white, black or green) and wheat germ.

Don’t resort to needless panic by stockpiling hand soap, toilet paper and bleach. These products are needed by others besides you during this time.

Tom Bonanti is a certified personal trainer and massage therapist (MA#40288) with his own one on one facility www.pumpnincgym.com in Ft. Lauderdale. Contact trainertomb@aol.com with questions or to set up an appointment.