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Updated: Apr 7, 2020

A photograph of my husband bringing in a package.

As a forensic pathologist, I see death everyday. To me, this pandemic has become out of control and so surreal. It’s nature versus humans and I am sorry we are doing quite poorly right now.

This virus is devouring us. All of sudden we are not invincible. But, what can we do to get ahead?

Fortunately, the virus is known to be removed by washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, cleaning agents, or hand sanitizers containing above 60% alcohol content.

We know how to wipe it out by aggressive cleaning, but we are failing miserably on stopping the human to human transmission.

We have to take isolating ourselves seriously. Don’t go out if you don’t have to. If you are going out, wear that mask! The best mask to wear is the N-95, however they are in short supply. You can wear multi cloth layered masks as well. The important thing is to cover the nose and mouth. Don’t touch your face. Sneeze and cough into a tissue. The virus is known to hang around in the still air for a few hours once it is introduced in to the environment. Sneezing, coughing, and even talking can infect those around you. I can’t emphasize enough that you should wear that mask!

Don’t let that virus have the pleasure of jumping from one human to another. Stop it by stopping your urges to meet with your friends and family. Stay home unless you absolutely have to go out.

When you go out, it's crucial that you leave with proper protection. Wear gloves and masks and wipe everything you bring home. I am wiping the handle of the garbage can, the mail from my mail box, grocery deliveries, and take out foods. Daily cleaning of the handles of your appliances, such as microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, cabinets, faucets is extremely important. Anything that had the potential of coming in contact with someone else, wipe it! The virus is known to stay on cardboard, paper, and plastics for several hours. I wear gloves for anything I do outside. Wear gloves to fill gas, but also make sure to throw out the gloves before you get in the car.

It is every citizens civic duty to not spread the virus by becoming a carrier. Some of us are carrying the virus and don’t know it yet. Even if you don't experience symptoms, you are still able to spread it.

Let’s all defeat this virus by stopping our physical interactions with each other for now. Please wear that mask, wash those hands, and stay away from each other!

Dr. Maneesha Pandey is a licensed physician in Ohio and Michigan and works full time as a forensic pathologist in Ohio.

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