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How to Protect Yourself from Coronavirus

Welp, looks like the Mariachi band nCovid-19–better known as Coronavirus–quit playing in China, moved to Europe, and is expected to finish off its world tour in the US, Mexico and Canada.

In all seriousness, the CDC is concerned about it, because the virus is potentially being spread by people who, “aren’t that sick,” and aren’t showing signs of a severe infection. Maybe they have a slight cough or a fever, but it’s more like a cold than anything. As far as flu viruses go, this is a relatively bad one.

Bad in terms of infection. In terms of how “dangerous” it is, the mortality rate is around 3%. You should be fine unless your lungs are compromised–which includes the smokers. Speaking as an ex-smoker, if you guys still smoke, you should be extra, extra careful. Please?

That being said, you are going to want to protect yourself, your coworkers, and the general public from infection. We’re on the front lines. We’re in the airports, at the bars, in the restaurants and hotels where these this is going to show up. We’re at as much–if not more–risk as healthcare workers. Share this article around, because knowledge is what stops infections first and foremost.

Basic facts:

1) Your annual flu vaccine isn’t going to protect you

I’m sorry, but that’s the reality of the thing. It could protect you in a minor way, but for all intents and purposes, you need to imagine that you are completely unprotected from this specific strain of flu.

Coronavirus is acutally a family of viruses, not just this particular one. This one is nasty because it is classified as NCovid-19–the “n” standing for “novel.”

Novel viruses are viruses that nobody was expecting to see, so there is no treatment or vaccine for that particular strain–at least not in the early stages of the disease. They are working on a vaccine, but treatment is still limited to chicken soup, plenty of fluids, and rest.

So, whether you got your flu shot or not, you are going to have to follow the same procedures as everyone else until there is a specific vaccine.

2) In general, the flu is spread by droplets of spit and muccus

Anytime someone sneezes or coughs, little droplets of death come out of their face and land on everying. These droplets can carry the virus that is going to get you sick. If you ingest these droplets (and to a far lesser extent, if you breathe them in, or get them in your eyes) you could get infected.

This is why you should never sneeze into your hands, but you should cover your mouth with the crook of your elbow or a paper towel. Something, anything, except your hand that will capture and contain those little droplets so they can’t get into anyone else’s body.

HOWEVER, you should know that,

3) The virus can live on money for up to 12 days

It’s true. It can live on money for days and days.

4) Cases are expected to continue until at least May

That information is a little old and speculative, but that’s the best estimate that we can get. Worst case scenario, it gets way out of hand and keeps going through summer and into winter of 2020.

That scenario isn’t likely. Again, it is expected that this will be under control by May. Until then, we should be careful.


1) Wash your hands and don’t touch your face

It’s the touching of your face that is going to get you. Yeah, the virus can technically live on money for 12 days, but the generic flu will die on your skin in about 5 minutes. So simply touching money isn’t going to get you.

You get infected because you touch your face.

You rub your eyes because you’re tired; scratch your nose because it tickled for a second; or lick your finger to straighten out an eyebrow.

These places on your face have muccus membranes that might as well be 5-star hotels for viruses. This is where they want to be. It’s the perfect place for them to cause havoc and raise a family.

It’s those little things that you don’t think about that get you sick. Washing your hands is a great place to start, but more importantly, DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE UNLESS YOU JUST WASHED YOUR HANDS.

2) Stay home if you have a fever

For the love of all that is holy, DO NOT go out when you have a fever. Even after the fever breaks, stay home for another 24 hours. If you need to show your manager this link, do it. This literally comes straight from the CDC.

Remind them that if you come in when you have a fever, they’re basically asking to slow down business and be short staffed for at least a week.

That’s bad business practice. Let them huff and puff and complain about people being sick. IT IS NOT WORTH IT TO GO IN.

3) Don’t share drinks and cigarettes

Someone came up with a new drink? Sweet try it, BUT ONLY IF they didn’t put their mouth on the glass.

Remember, the virus spreads through spit and muccus.

Even if they don’t seem that sick, they may be infected.

Just use the straw trick and taste that kick-ass new drink. There is no reason to stop living and be super paranoid. Just don’t do what we normally do and swap spit with each other via drinks because we’re family. This is not the time to be doing that.

4) Shoot the guy who stuck his hand in the fruit tray, and dump the fruit

Seriously, screw that guy. He just infected the entire damn thing. Make him feel bad about it too by making a scene and dumping the little tray in the trash.

It’s always gross. We never know where those grubby fingers have been. This is just another reason why people like him should be endlessly shamed for touching our fruit.

Maybe keep the tray behind the bar until May if it’s possible.

5) Share this article with your coworkers and bosses

Seriously, spread it around like $2.50 shots of Tequila on dollar Taco Tuesday.

The more mindful we all are about this, the less it is going to matter. Fewer of us are going to get sick, there is going to be less time off, and we aren’t really going to notice it.

BUT ONLY IF we pay are paying attention and taking it seriously.

You–and this article–are part of the effort to contain this thing. It’s particulary important for managers and owners to keep an eye on this. As a former owner, I understand the tendency to think, “Oh, it’s just a meme. There isn’t anything to worry about.” That’s true, but again, it’s true only if everyone is taking this seriously. As seriously as if it were already affecting customers and the staff.

Stay the hell away from the restaurant if you’re sick. Make sure there is plenty of sanitizer around and be a little bit paranoid. If everything goes according to plan, things were a little cleaner and nobody caught the dreaded Coronaspikedbubbly of 2020.

50% of all ad revenue will be donated to the Bartenders Guild to assist hospitality staff during this crisis, so please share this post!

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