No matter where an individual lives in the world, disease is a major threat facing humanity. As the recent COVID-19 pandemic has shown, a virus can quickly sweep across the globe, devastating the populations in its wake. Despite the dangers a rapidly spreading disease poses, there are ways humans can stay healthy, even when vaccines and treatments may not be available to combat a new strain. Here is what you can do to stay safe.

Stay at Home

No one likes the idea of being cooped up at home for extending periods of time, but stay-at-home orders are designed to stop the spread of disease. Sometimes, however, an individual needs to venture out to get groceries, medicine and other necessities. Try to avoid germ-riddled public areas, but if that is impossible, be sure to wear protective equipment such as masks and gloves and make frequent use of hand sanitizer.

Keep Your Distance

In some cases, staying away from other people is impractical, which is why health professionals recommend social distancing. This means avoiding large gatherings and limiting contact with those not in your household. When an interaction is necessary, try to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

Wipe Down Surfaces

Viruses have been known to stay on surfaces for hours or even days, so be sure to regularly clean frequently handled items. In the home, this includes thermostats, remote controls, light switches, faucet handles and electronic devices. In community spaces, doorknobs and handles are among the most contaminated surfaces, so wrap your hand in tissue paper if gloves are unavailable. Additionally, carrying your own writing utensil will help you avoid using public pens should you need to sign or fill out paperwork.

Facing a pandemic is a frightening experience. Following these tips, however, will help you and your loved ones stay safe.