COVID-19 Health

Coronavirus: How do I protect myself from infection?

Coronavirus: How do I protect myself from infection?

The risk of infection with the coronavirus can be significantly reduced with simple measures. Important: The virus is mainly transmitted via droplets and even smaller aerosols.


Fine droplets are emitted, especially when sneezing and coughing. But even with normal breathing and speaking, we secrete the finest droplets – the so-called aerosols. These are particularly fine and, compared to the larger droplets, such as those produced by sneezing, can stay in the air for much longer and spread around the room until they sink to the floor. It is now clear that aerosols play an important role in the spread of the coronavirus.

Biggest risk indoors

There is a risk of infection especially in direct contact with an infected person within a radius of one to two meters. If you stay longer, especially in small, poorly ventilated indoor rooms, the probability of aerosols in the air increases, even over a distance greater than two meters.

In addition to transmission via droplets and aerosols, indirect contamination via objects in the form of smear infections cannot be ruled out. According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, however, it is not yet known that coronaviruses are only transmitted by touching surfaces such as door handles or displays. 

The following measures will help prevent infection:

Getting vaccinated: Since June 7th, everyone in Germany aged 12 and over has been able to get vaccinated free of charge.

Restrict contacts: Every time you meet others there is a risk of becoming infected or spreading the virus further.

Keep your distance: If possible, do not get closer than two meters to other people – especially indoors, when shopping and on public transport.

Wear an FFP2 mask: In public transport, when shopping, at events, and at schools, you are generally required to wear an FFP2 or surgical mask. In general, it is recommended to wear an FFP2 mask for longer stays with other people in closed rooms.

Do not address others directly: Even if it may seem impolite, turn your head a little away from the person you are speaking to.

Observe sneezing and coughing etiquette: hands off your mouth and nose. Sneeze and cough only into the crook of the elbow or into disposable handkerchiefs. Then wash your hands.

Do not shake hands: It is imperative that you refrain from shaking hands. A friendly greeting is enough.

Wash your hands regularly: ideally after coming home, before coming into contact with food, before eating, and after using the toilet. Thorough cleaning takes about 30 seconds. Wet your hands under running, lukewarm water. Use soap and thoroughly lather your hands with it – also between your fingers and on the surface. Rub for about 20 seconds. Rinse off soap thoroughly and dry hands. If possible, use a liquid soap (detergents) and disposable towels. Alternatively, a bar of soap can be used in the home. Soap and detergents damage the virus envelope, the pathogen is inactivated, even if only cold water is available. Very hot water offers no benefit and is harmful to the skin.

Do not put your hands on your face: Do not touch your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands.

Do not eat with your fingers: Do not put food in your mouth when you are out and about – no candy, no piece of cake, no bratwurst. Better to use cutlery or a napkin.

Do not touch shopping trolleys, doorknobs, and railings: Even if, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, no corona transmission is known in this way: To avoid smear infection, avoid contact with objects that many other people have touched, alternatively disinfect before use.

Restrict travel: Holidays in so-called risk areas in the particular harbor a high risk of infection.

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