Coronavirus: How to Be Prepared, Not Scared

By Mary Hunt

March 2, 2020 4 min read

As I write, coronavirus, a deadly illness, is spreading across the world. However, reported cases of coronavirus in the U.S. pale in number compared with more than 26 million cases of the flu in the 2019-2020 flu season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Should we be worried? Scared? No. We should be cautious, alert, vigilant and prepared. We need to learn all we can and do all we can to prevent contact with influenza as well as this new coronavirus.

The best way to prevent infection from any virus is to not get the virus in the first place! Do your best to avoid exposure to viruses, especially this novel Coronavirus, known as 2019-nCoV.

The CDC continues to recommend the following preventive actions to help stop the spread of all respiratory viruses.


This should be the first thing you do when you walk into the house. Wash when you arrive at work and before you eat, whether you're at home or in a restaurant. Teach your kids to do likewise.


Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. How long is that? The time it takes to sing the "happy birthday" song to yourself — twice! Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, such as Clorox bleach-free hand sanitizer, if soap and water are not available.


Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Remember that whatever and whomever you touched since you last washed your hands may have transmitted a virus to your hands.


Avoid close contact with people who are sick. And for goodness' sake, stay home when you are sick! Keep sick kids home from school, and stay there with them — no quick trips to the grocery store or other public areas, where they could so easily pass along their virus to others.


Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash. If no tissue is handy, sneeze into your elbow — not your hand.


Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in your home, car and office — wherever you and your family spend time and come in contact with, well, surfaces!

The CDC pleads us to do that with an Environmental Protection Agency -approved disinfectant. Check labels. Know what you are using to disinfect your home and other spaces!

I highly recommend the only product I use to disinfect: Sniper Hospital Disinfectant Cleaner and Odor Eliminator. It is EPA-approved, with "EPA Reg. No. 71700-2" printed right on the label.

You can learn more, including details to order Sniper in quantities from 4 ounces to 1 gallon (about $15 - $50), at

In closing, I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that we do all we can to be prepared in the face of this global situation. Stay well, my friends!

Would you like more information? Go to for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Photo credit: Gadini at Pixabay

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