What Is 'Social Distancing'? And Other Steps to Prevent Coronavirus
The dramatic rise of the novel coronavirus has the world's health officials urging the public to maintain specific habits to limit further exposure.
As the number of worldwide cases of COVID-19 reaches nearly 110,000, here's a look at some of the best practices and what to do if you end up quarantined.
Keep your distance
Experts say one of the most reliable ways to prevent disease spread is through "social distancing" or measures taken to restrict when and where people can gather.
"No large crowds, no long trips, and above all, don't get on a cruise ship," leading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told Inside Edition.
The tactic has already been taken on by several talk show hosts.
Tamron Hall announced on her show that she'd be keeping her distance from the audience. So did Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest, who walked onto their show with their hands held high, as if they were doctors going into surgery.
"Do we hug him? Do we elbow? Do we hip check? Do we shin bump?" Ripa asked the audience.
Meanwhile, viral videos are showing just how tense things are getting in public.
Two passengers on a train in Australia got into an argument over coughing. In Thailand, a woman was restrained after it was said she deliberately coughed on a flight attendant after the plane was delayed due to coronavirus screening and she wanted to get off.
In the U.S., NBA officials are considering banning all fans from games, with some players saying they wouldn't play if that happens.
"We play games without the fans? Nah, it's impossible," said star forward Lebron James. "I ain't playing. I ain't got the fans in the crowd. That's who I play for."
With social distancing cancelling everything from sporting events to vacations to college classes, the economy has also taken a nosedive.
But health experts still caution the public to keep their distance and for good reason.
"When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth, which may contain virus," the World Health Organization website says. "If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease."
They urge the public to maintain at least three feet distance between themselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Eat healthy foods
What you eat and drink can make a huge difference in your overall health, according to registered dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author Maya Feller.
The first tip: drink lots and lots of water.
"Hydration is terribly important," Feller told Inside Edition. "For women, you want to drink two liters a day and for men, you want to have three liters."
Feller also said that certain foods can boost your immune system.
"You want to look for foods in their whole and minimally process formed," she said. "Berries are rich in antioxidants. Strawberries are a great source of Vitamin A and the darker berries have resveratrol, which is really important for immune health."
Other good foods are those rich in protein or fiber, including almonds, eggs and leafy greens.
If quarantined, keep yourself occupied
Thousands of Americans are now believed to be in self-quarantine.
That includes one New York couple isolating themselves at home after a man at their synagogue was diagnosed with coronavirus and was hospitalized in critical condition.
Despite being stuck at home, they're showing how keeping yourself occupied can make the situation a little bit easier.
Ellin Heilman told Inside Edition she is coping by tending to her garden, organizing her house, catching up on reading and doing yoga. She and her husband Samuel also made a light-hearted video for their grandchildren showing Ellin pretending to escape from the home.
Lifestyle expert Trae Bodge told Inside Edition said that those quarantined can tackle projects on their to-do lists.
"It's a good time to organize your basement, it's a good time to iron your clothes or do some sewing projects," Bodge said. "Things like that to keep you busy would be great especially if you're home for two to three weeks."
She adds that it's also important to keep your home clean and sanitized.
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