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It is assumed to be a kid's tale, or a wild imagination, when a child says, there is a monster in the closet, you can be sure that was a horrific nightmare.

The monster is now out of the closet, and in reality, it has become the monster within, yet unseen, the COVID-19 virus. By day, a new variant emerges, the number of infections, deaths, and survivors juggle up and down the graphical scales, with a lot of uncertainty. 

This pandemic hit the universe like a bush fire, that no one expected to have such a huge impact on what we presumed as normal, and we had to adapt to new normalcy, forgetting the much freedom we had, and somehow took for granted. Then lockdown and economic turnover, were the most used vocabulary, as we had to do a lot of adjusting to limit the fast spreading of the virus, while scientists were trying to figure out what we were exactly dealing with. 

With the few symptoms that had been witnessed, it was then realized that there were a few measures of precaution, that could be applied and given the utmost priority for, preventing, protecting, curbing, and minimizing the spread of the virus, as the process of inventing a vaccine was taking place. 

1. Wear a mask. 

A mask should be worn over the nose, mouth, and be well-fitting, whether one is indoors, in public places, or outdoor settings, and more so, for activities that require close contact with others. 

Individuals who have other health conditions, or are under medications that weaken their immune system, may be at a high risk of contracting and being infected with the virus. But this is not to say that, those who have a strong immune system, are 100% safe or off the grid either. The virus does not choose or pick a certain age, ethnic group, race, tribe, or even religion, hence protection has to start with each individual.

2: Stay 6 feet/ 2 arm’s length away. 

Social distancing is not a death sentence, or selfishness, OCD condition, nor an isolation scenario, do not get it twisted. When indoors, this is a precaution measure, for the safety of those who are for an instant, sick from getting or infecting those who are not sick. And also giving them the grace period to fully recover, so as they can get back to doing their normal activities. Everyone's health matters regardless, especially for those who might be at high risk of being sick. 

When outside your home, be sure to maintain the 2 arm’s length distance from each other in every place you might be; bank, airport, train station, market places, supermarkets, public transport, subways, churches, or gatherings of whatever nature, if you must be in attendance. Note that, some people without the symptoms are capable of spreading the virus.

3: Often wash your hands. 

This statement has been emphasized since way back in time, and it still has to be more stressed.

Often wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. It is equally important to wash your hands;

- Before preparing or eating food.

- Before touching your face.

- Before and after handling a baby.

- Before and after caring for a sick person.

- After using the restroom.

- After handling your mask. 

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. In the case where soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer that contains, at least 60% of alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands, and rub them together until they feel dry.

Clean and disinfect surfaces daily, using detergents, or soap and water, before disinfection. 

4: Monitor your health daily. 

Be alert for symptoms; fever, coughing, shortness of breath. Take your or have your temperature taken if you experience the above symptoms, feel unwell, and visit your nearest covid center or hospital.

A cough or a sneeze may necessarily not mean that you have contracted, or have been infected with the virus. Mind you, if you experience both symptoms while wearing a mask, be sure to dispose of the mask, wash your hand, and replace it with a new clean mask, as soon as possible. In case you are not wearing a mask, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue, dispose of the tissue after use, or use the inside of your elbow to cover, and do not spit. 

5: Get vaccinated. 

Authorized COVID-19 vaccines can help protect you from viruses, but this does not mean it is a cure, or getting the jab puts you off the radar. Always keep safe, and exercise all the above preventive measures. 

Last but not least, this is a worldwide pandemic, and all hands are on deck in ensuring it is contained. Stigmatization of the affected is unnecessary for we do not know who will be affected next. Let us be kind in handling those affected, in helping, supporting them get through, as well as protecting ourselves from the virus.

Stigma, isolation, or casting one out from society, is not the remedy, nor solution in getting rid of or preventing the virus from spreading. 

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