How to Protect Yourself & Others from COVID-19


As disheartening as it may sound, we are today witnessing the greatest Coronavirus pandemic in human history.  Hand soap, face masks, sanitizers, and gloves are now regarded as life-saving supplies.

This article is a complete guide to help you learn about how you can protect yourself, your family, and others from catching the novel Coronavirus.

Here’s what experts have to say!


1.   Practice Proper Social Distancing

Social distancing means keeping a safe distance between yourself and others around you to prevent transmission of the virus. Interestingly, during a recent study, the farthest distance at which the virus was detected was at 4 meters away.

To learn more about this research, click here!  

To practice proper social distancing, the CDC recommends the following measures [1]:

☑  Keep a safe distance of at least 6 feet (2 meters) from other people.
☑ Avoid crowded places.
☑ Avoid group gatherings.

What You Can Do Instead

☑   Opt for home deliveries instead of going to the grocery store.

☑  Consult your healthcare practitioner over the phone or via video conferencing.

☑  Subscribe to an online fitness club instead of heading to the gym.

☑  Regrow your vegetables from scraps.

☑  Wave from afar to a friend instead of handshaking.

☑  Work from your home.


2.   Wash Your Hands Regularly

To keep yourself safe, you should keep your hands clean by washing them regularly.

You can either opt for soap or a waterless alcohol-based hand rub.

Soap and Water: How Do They Work?

Nothing beats our good old soap and water.  Soap molecules form tiny sacs called micelles that envelop germs and carry them away with the help of the pressure exerted by water. Soap molecules also dissolve the outer protective coat that surrounds most viruses.

wash hands with soap or sanitiser coronavirus covid


☑ Wash your hands with soap and clean water for at least 20 seconds. Follow the recommended steps for proper handwashing.


Click here to read our article on how to wash your hands properly.


Hand Sanitizers Kill Germs Effectively

Hand sanitizers are the best option if you hate regular handwashing or don’t have access to clean water.  Using hand sanitizers can be very handy, especially in the healthcare setting.

The advantages of using hand sanitizers are listed below: [2]

  • Hand sanitizers do not require access to clean water.
  • They kill germs quickly and effectively.
  • They are portable.
  • They are less irritating to the skin than soap.
☑ Clean your hands with a hand sanitizer containing a combination of at least 60% of alcohol and an emollient [3]. . Emollients help keep your skin hydrated and healthy-looking.

3.   Wear Masks in Public Places

The CDC, the Ministry of Health of Singapore, and other health authorities firmly recommend everyone to wear a face mask in public. This is now a compulsory measure being taken in several countries currently affected by the Coronavirus.

Leaving the house without a mask is even considered an offense punishable by the law. Recent research suggests that if everyone starts wearing a face mask, the transmission of COVID-19 will slow down [4].

wear a face mask icon graphic doctor

☑ If you are a healthy person and you will not be in direct contact with patients having tested positive for Coronavirus, you can consider wearing a cloth mask in public.

☑ If you have comorbidities like cardiovascular, respiratory, immune, or other medical conditions, you can consider wearing a more reliable mask like the 3ply mask.

☑ If you will be taking care of a sick patient at home or in a healthcare facility, you should wear a more reliable mask, for example, N95 respirators.

☑ All sick patients should wear a mask.

☑ All essential workers should wear a mask at workplace premises [5].

NOTE: Essential supplies like N95, KN95, N99, FFP, and surgical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers.


How to Wear a Mask the Right Way

  1. First, clean your hands with soap and water, or hand sanitizer.
  2. Inspect the mask for any tears or holes.
  3. Place it over your mouth and nose, making sure there are no gaps left in between your face and the mask. The colored side should face outwards.
  4. Secure the loops around your ears.
  5. Apply pressure on the nose strip to help the mask take the shape of your nose.


How to Take Off a Mask the Right Way

  1. Hold the mask by its ear loops.
  2. Slowly pull it off, making sure that you don’t touch the front part of the mask. If you mistakenly touch the mask, clean your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
  3. Dispose of the soiled mask immediately in a closed bin.
  4. Finally, wash your hands with soap and water or a sanitizer containing at least 60% of alcohol.


4.   Protect Your Eyes and Face with Face Shields

Face masks do part of the job by covering the nose and the mouth, but the eyes are also a portal of entry for the virus. Face shields are designed to protect your face and eyes from splashes, spits, and respiratory secretions.

If you work in the healthcare sector, wearing a face shield could be life-saving! The job of a frontliner involves taking nasopharyngeal swabs from the nose and throat of a patient, suctioning respiratory secretions, intubating COVID-19 patients, and just taking care of the patient as a whole. These tasks demand very close contact with the patient. Experts state that wearing both a mask and a face shield provides better protection against COVID-19.

☑ As a healthcare worker, you should wear a face shield to protect your face from splashes, spits, and respiratory secretions.


Face shields should be reserved for health care practitioners, however, if you can make your own DIY face shield out of plastic book covers or bottles, then go ahead and make it!

5.   Protect Your Hands with Gloves

Wearing gloves provide a protective layer to prevent germs from sticking onto your hands. Most of us are now wearing gloves to go to the grocery store, to the bank, or to other essential facilities. While hand gloves can provide protection, it is a must to learn how to use them and dispose of them properly. One can still wear a pair of gloves and catch the Coronavirus if not properly used.

Protect your hands with gloves icon doctor wearing gloves graphic

☑ Wearing gloves can protect you from picking up viruses. However, it is worth noting that gloves are only effective when used correctly, disposed of correctly, and combined with other protective measures.

How to Discard Your Gloves Safely

To discard your gloves safely, follow the steps below: [6]

  1. Hold the outside of your left glove with your right gloved hand, making sure you do not touch your skin.
  2. Peel off the left glove, pulling it inside out.
  3. Hold the left glove with your right hand.
  4. Slide the fingers of your left hand underneath your right glove and pull your right glove inside out. The right glove should wrap around the first glove.
  5. Discard the gloves in a safely closed bin. Do not reuse gloves.
  6. Wash your hands properly.


6.   Eat Immunity-Boosting Foods

To protect yourself from infections, you should consume foods that can boost your body’s ability to fight germs. This includes eating plenty of vitamins and minerals. Since COVID-19 is a novel virus, there are still no studies pertaining to the use of nutrients against it. However, it is understandable that immunity-boosting foods can help in the fight against infections.

Immunity boosting foods to eat during COVID Coronavirus

The top immune-boosters are listed below:


Vitamin C

Taking vitamin C for immunity is no rocket science. Vitamin C is well-known for its protective effects against a myriad of infections. Its antiviral properties have been documented as far back as 80 years ago. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Research has shown that vitamin C increases the production of anti-inflammatory agents, which scientists refer to as interferons. They also boost the immune system to produce more antibodies and send more immune cells to eliminate germs inside the body [7] [8].

Vitamin C to increase immunity against COVID Coronavirus

• The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin C in healthy adults in Singapore is 85 mg for women and 105mg for men [9].

• The recommended nutrient intake of Vitamin C for healthy adults in Malaysia is 70 mg per day [10].


☑ Eating fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C helps boost the immune system. Good sources of vitamin C include bell peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, and broccoli.



Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of the body’s most important nutrients. It helps the body absorb calcium to keep our bones healthy. However, what is less well-known is its ability to reinforce our immune system. Several studies clearly depict how vitamin D can reinforce the cells that build up the immune system, namely macrophages and T cells. Interestingly, scientists also found that a lack of vitamin D can make you more susceptible to infections [11].

Vitamin D to boost immune system COVID Coronavirus foods

• The recommended dietary allowance for Vitamin D in healthy adults living in Singapore is 2.5 mcg [9].
• The recommended nutrient intake of Vitamin D in healthy adults in Malaysia is 5-15mg per day.


☑ Eat foods rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D boosts your immune system and helps your body fight infections effectively. Foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, herring, egg yolks, mushrooms, and milk.



Zinc is a mineral used by the body in various biological processes. It is well-known for its anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. Zinc acts as an immune booster by modulating immune cells called lymphocytes and neutrophils. The primary job of these cells is to detect and eliminate germs inside the body. Thus, a deficiency in zinc can cause severe immunity-related problems [12], [13].

Foods containing zinc oatmeal image for COVID Coronavirus

Medical research has shown that Zinc can reduce the duration and symptoms of colds. Interestingly, a paper published in 2010 showed how zinc could efficiently inactivate and block the proliferation of the SARS-CoV, another strain of the Coronavirus [14].

The daily value (DV) of Zinc in healthy adults recommended by the USFDA is 15mg [15].


☑ Eat foods rich in Zinc. The foods that are high in zinc include meat, oysters, nuts, eggs, firm tofu, lentils, oatmeal, and dark chocolate.


7.   Keep Yourself Well-hydrated

While there is no evidence yet that drinking water and keeping your body well-hydrated can prevent you from catching the novel Coronavirus, it can definitely help keep you healthy. Your overall state of health is important to keep your body strong enough to fight against infections. Water keeps your heart, kidneys, brain, and other organ systems in good health.

Woman drinking a glass of water


Studies have shown that dehydration precipitates headaches, mood changes, fatigue, impaired brain function, and constipation [16].

☑ Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day to keep your body well-hydrated.


8.   Practice Regular Moderate Exercises

The intensity of exercise greatly impacts on the immune system. Practicing moderate exercises daily enhances immunity while intensive training lowers it. This is because exercise mediates several anti-inflammatory and immune pathways inside the body.  During moderate exercise sessions, the body regenerates white blood cells, thus improving the level of surveillance they offer against harmful germs. However, during intense sessions of exercise, the body’s physiological ability is outweighed. This causes the number of immune cells and inflammatory particles to increase to an unhealthy level [17].

So, should you keep up with your exercise regimen during this COVID-19 crisis? Absolutely, but you have to maintain the intensity to a moderate level and not overdo.

☑ Doctors recommend practicing at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily to help support your immune system and keep you in good health.


Exercises You Can Do at Home

Here are some exercises you can do in the comfort of your home:

Exercises that don’t need equipments:

  • Marching on the spot or walking around your house
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Dancing
  • Taking standing breaks after every 30-45mins of sitting
  • Squatting
  • Plank
  • Bridge
  • Child’s Pose

Exercises to Keep You Fit & Productive:

  • Cleaning the house
  • Gardening

NOTE: If you have any medical condition especially cardiovascular and respiratory problems, it is advisable to consult your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen. Certain exercises can trigger symptoms in patients with medical conditions.


9.   Clean and Disinfect Your House

The novel Coronavirus is transmitted through respiratory droplets that are expelled when a person coughs, sneezes, or talks.  The virus can be deposited in the eyes, mouth, nose, and throat of another person.  It can also settle on a surface, dry up and leave residual particles known as droplet nuclei.  These droplet nuclei can stay on certain surfaces for hours to even days.

Major health authorities also recommend cleaning and disinfecting your household routinely to eliminate germs on surfaces that are touched frequently.  You should ensure good ventilation during the use of disinfectants and consider using gloves to protect your hands from skin damage.


Here are some of the most touched surfaces around the house:

  • Tables
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Handrails
  • Desks
  • Toilets
  • Sinks
  • Phones, Tablets, Remote Control

Best Products to Kill Germs

COVID-19 is a very recent virus. Very few studies have been carried out on the efficacy of particular products against COVID-19. However, we still need to disinfect surfaces properly. Hence, scientists suggest that the products that are effective against other Coronaviruses should be effective against COVID-19.

Recommended Ingredients

The best products that kill germs effectively are those that contain bleach, at least 60 % alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Products such as vinegar are not recommended.
Click here to view a list of disinfectants recommended by the National Environment Agency of Singapore

Steps to Clean & Disinfect Your House

Step 1: Wear a pair of gloves, a mask, and open the windows to allow proper ventilation.

Step 2: Prepare the disinfectant or bleach solution according to the instructions on the product. Note that hydrogen peroxide should be allowed to react for 1 minute before wiping it off. Alcohol should be left on the surface for at least 30 seconds.

Step 3: Mop the floor with the solution. Disinfect commonly touched surfaces.

Step 4: Soak rugs and possibly infected porous materials in detergents. Wash bed sheets, linens, pillowcases, and clothes with detergent in a washing machine.

Step 5: Discard the gloves and cloths properly, wash your hands, take a shower, and change your clothes.

☑ Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your household with products containing bleach, at least 60% of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

Precaution: Bleach, 60% alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide are skin irritants. They should not be used without wearing protective gloves.


10. Ingenious Anti-COVID Hacks

  • Use your elbow to open doors instead.
  • Wrap your mobile phone in a ziplock bag before heading to the store.
  • Keep groceries outside the house for a few hours. You can consider unboxing certain products and throwing away the boxes.
  • Live inside a camping tent in your garage if you have been working at the hospital and have been in direct contact with COVID-19 patients. You don’t want to infect your dear ones, don’t you?
  • Drop your keys in a glass filled with disinfectant once you get back home.
  • Install plastic shields on check stands and receptions.


Bottom Line

”Prevention is always better than cure”

The COVID-19 pandemic can be stopped if we take the right precautions.

This article highlights the following key points:

• You should keep at least 6 feet away from others.
• Practice proper hand hygiene using soap and water or a hand sanitizer.
• You should maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating immunity-boosting foods, exercising daily for at least 30 minutes, and keeping yourself well-hydrated.
 Disinfect your household with products containing effective ingredients like alcohol, bleach, or hydrogen peroxide.
 Masks, face shields, and gloves reduce your exposure and the risk of being infected by the Coronavirus.


Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals if you have queries regarding a medical condition.  The information provided in this blog, or in any linked materials should not be used as a substitute for professional medical expertise.  Never disregard the advice of a healthcare professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.  If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.

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