Happy Friday everyone! It's been a crazy week, and it only seemed fitting to end with some tips on how to stay safe in light of the coronavirus. 

We know this is a stressful time and there are a lot of changes ahead, but we can each do our own part to keep ourselves and those around us healthy and lower the risk of sickness in our community. 

#1: Wash your hands!

This seems like a no brainer, and something we should be doing all year long, but it can't be emphasized enough in light of the virus. The American red cross recommends washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public setting, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. Keep a small bottle of hand sanitizer on your person and be sure to use it often. 

#2: Cover your mouth.

If you are coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, make sure that your face and mouth are covered. Do not leave used tissues out and thoroughly wash hands every time.

#3: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. 

Stock up on disinfecting wipes and use them frequently. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, computers, phones, keyboards, sinks, toilets and countertops. The virus is typically only passed from person to person, but there is always a risk and it should be taken seriously. 

#4: Distance yourself. 

According to the CDC, we should be avoiding public settings of gathering unless absolutely necessary. This includes restaurants, bars, public events, movie theaters, etc.

When running errands, try visiting at unpopular hours and staying 6-10 feet away from those around you at all times. 

Gathering with small groups of family or friends should be safe if nobody is showing signs of illness and everyone who is present has been practicing safe social distancing themselves. Check in with those around you and keep your distance the best that you can. 

#5: Keep your distance from those with lower immune systems. 

Whether or not you show symptoms, it is a good idea to distance yourself from your loved ones above the age of 60, pregnant, or with an otherwise compromised immune system

#6: Do not touch your face. 

The virus is spread specifically through the eyes, nose and mouth. Do not touch your face under any circumstances or allow others to do so. 

#7: Stay home if you are sick. 

Now is not a time to take risks, even if you have a cold, do not leave your home until your symptoms are gone. Get checked out by a doctor early and wear a mask in the hospital. 

Note: The CDC does not recommend wearing masks as a prevention to catch the virus. Masks are in short supply and should be reserved for the sick and caretakers of the sick only. 

#8: Make healthy choices! 

Its no secret that getting excersize, keeping up on sleep, eating a balanced diet and taking vitamins boosts your immune system and makes you less likely to get sick. Elderberry, Vitamin C and Vitamin D are recommended supplements and have shown to help those who catch the virus make a full recovery quicker. 

On the contrary: alchohol consumption, poor nutrition and lack of sleep will definitley lower your immune system and you will be more likely to catch any type of sickness you come into contact with. 

#9: Avoid Traveling. 

This is another no brainer, but now is not the time to take trips unless absolutely necessary! If you must travel, be sure to stay in for several weeks and watch for symptoms. This is the fastest way the virus spreads. 

#10: Don't panic!

Above all, it's important to know that hysteria is what causes the most harm at this time. It can be scary when an unfamiliar sickness is spreading, but there has been an excess of false information and assumptions circling the web.

Do not hoard grocery items, share scary articles on social media, or otherwise contribute to the fear and misunderstanding surrounding this virus. 

Fact check your sources, keep a level head and continue to make smart and healthy choices for yourself and those around you.