Yes, there is etiquette concerning everything. Even the current corona virus pandemic. And no, it’s not complicated. As always, it’s based on two very simple concepts; common sense and respect for others. It’s actually quite simple, and can be summed up in one sentence.
Take precautions not to spread the corona virus
Pretty reasonable, right? If you do what you can to not spread the virus, you are using both common sense and you are showing respect for others. You could also, potentially, save hundreds of lives. If you spread the virus to a few people, and they spread it to a few more, it quickly escalates, so just stopping one person from spreading the virus – yourself – you can potentially save hundreds of others from dying.
Which precautions should I take?
This is not going to be a list of new things. The science – while not 100% conclusive on everything – is quite clear. It’s basically as simple as physically distancing yourself from others, washing your hands and wearing a face mask. That’s basically it. You should also follow the regulations and recommendations that apply where you live.
This is by far the most effective measure you can do. The virus can’t spread if you are not somewhat near other people. The rules that apply where you live might differ between 1m (3′) to 2m (6′). But understand that there isn’t a certain cutoff distance. Depending on circumstances such as wind, humidity, if you cough or sneeze, the virus can potentially travel up to tens of meters.
The local mandated minimum is just that. The minimum distance that will prevent you from getting fined.
But try to keep as much difference as possible. As distance goes up, the risk goes down.
If you can work from home, do it. Don’t visit older relatives. Try to limit the amount of people you hang out with as much as possible – but there is no need to hang out with the ones you do less often.
Wash your hands
This really shouldn’t have to be stated. Washing your hands regularly and thouroughly with soap should be part of your personal hygiene habits as a gentleman.
After bathroom breaks. Before eating or handling food or drinks. After returning from outside. Etc.
Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer with you at all times. While washing your hands thoroughly with soap is actually more efficient than hand sanitizer, it’s not always possible or practical.
Use the same routine with hand sanitizer as with soap. Make sure to get it all over your hands, and rub it for 20 seconds. If not, some viruses could survive.
Just wear that damn face mask
Yes, they are sweaty. Inconvenient. Will fog up glasses or shades. Deal with it. If you are in public, wear it.
Some people might think that wearing a face mask is a sign of fear. It doesn’t have to be. Remember, wearing a face mask doesn’t primarily help you from being infected. It protects the people around you, for instance if you sneeze or cough. It’s not a sign of fear, it’s a sign of caring.
By wearing a mask, you show that you are willing to sacrifice a bit of convenience for the safety of everyone. A pretty different thing from fear.
While the science is not fully clear on the efficiency of face masks yet, we are slowly learning. It seems that if everyone is wearing a face mask, the risk of spreading the virus goes down by somewhere between 20-80%. Most likely, this seems to be around 60%.
That might not seem like much, but it can make a big difference. If you are in an area where the curves are still going up, that 60% could be the difference between increasing or decreasing the spread.
And if you are living in an area where the spread is already on a decline, it could make the decline more rapid.
Basically, the more people wear masks, the less people will get sick and die. And it also means that the area where you live can open up more and faster, so that we can all more or less go back to our lives.