Since the first cases of COVID-19 were detected over a year ago, researchers and health experts have made great strides in understanding the once mysterious virus, including why some people get sicker than others, the fact that people are contagious long before they are symptomatic, and how to efficiently treat those with serious infections.
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Young woman with face mask working indoors in cafe, disinfecting counter.
Another game-changing breakthrough has involved how the virus is primarily spread. Initially, it was thought that COVID was transmitted via contaminated surfaces. However, now that we know that it is mainly spread via respiratory droplets, there is one time consuming activity you can stop doing to keep yourself and your family safe. Read on to see what it is—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
You Can Now Sanitize Differently
"At the beginning of the pandemic, it was important to take as many precautions as we could. There was very little known about the disease and how it spread," Dr. Abe Malkin, MD, Founder and Medical Director of Concierge MD LA, a home-based concierge medical practice, tells Eat This, Not That! Health. "This included wiping down surfaces like countertops, door handles, and high touch areas, as well as wiping down items like groceries, mail, and packages."
For several months, disinfectants, wipes, and cleaning supplies were the hottest commodities at the grocery store, as Americans diligently disinfected everything they came into contact with. If you haven't noticed, they are a little easier to find these days.
"As we've learned more about this disease, recent studies have shown that the infectious material responsible for spreading COVID decays very quickly and there is a low chance of getting infected this way," he says.
While you still need to wash your hands or sanitize them when that's not an option, he suggests reprioritizing your prevention measures, thinking more about the air that you are breathing versus every single item you are touching.
"You'd be better off focusing energy on better quality ventilation, air purifiers with HEPA filters or UV lighting technology which is being proven to inactivate airborne viruses," Dr. Malkin urges.
RELATED: 7 Tips You Must Follow to Avoid COVID, Say Doctors
How to Survive This Pandemic
As for yourself, follow Dr. Anthony Fauci's fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don't go indoors with people you're not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.