Coronavirus – how best to protect ourselves as waiters!
I never thought I am going to make a post like that but with the current situation it is appropriate to address the issue and remind everyone that staying healthy and alive is the most important thing!
I am using the recommendations and the info from the World Health Organization and converting it to our personal situation as waiters, because willingly or not we are on the front line of the fight with this virus and it is important to know how to first: protect us, our families, guests, and co-workers!
Not as deadly as it seems
You should know most importantly that this is not some deadly virus which if we catch will kill us!
80% of the people go over it without any troubles and get healthy again! 19.8% of the people develop pneumonia and need serious medical attention but survive!
The virus is most dangerous to people who have chronic diseases, weak immune system and are over 65 years old! It is observed that kids fight the virus very easily and fast!
So how to protect ourselves while still doing our job and serving our guests!
Washing your hands
We have to know that majority of the transmissions of the virus occur through dirty hands!
Washing our hands constantly is the key to staying healthy! Follow the HACCP hand washing recommendations: Turn the water to flow fast, as hot as you can handle, use soup or liquid with 20% alcohol, wash for 30 seconds by rubbing your hands energetically!
If we have a sick guest, everything he or she touches is most probably contaminated with the virus: Cutlery, Plates, Napkins, Glasses, food…. everything! The virus survives up to 12 hours on a metal surface and can be transmitted if someone else touches this surface meantime!
So, what happens is: we go to the table and clean the plate with the cutlery from a sick guest. We have touched the same items he or she has touched and now our hands are most probably carrying the virus.
That doesn’t mean we will get sick though! If we wash our hands immediately after we are done cleaning the table, we will be fine! Please, advise the dishwasher to also clean his or her hands after touching the said items!
If we forget to wash our hands and stop by the kitchen to eat a piece of bread because we are hungry…well, the chances that we will get sick with the virus just increased 100 times!
We can also get the infection if we touch our mouth, nose or eyes with those dirty hands!
This happens 100 times during shift and therefore it is so important to remember to wash our hands!
Keep your distance
20% of the transmission is through the air when a sick person is talking directly at you or sneezes near you! This is why we should keep our distance with the guests( 1m recommended), especially when we see that a guest is not feeling well, sneezes or coughs all the time! When we greet our guests, take order or in any interaction on the table we should stay straight up and not bow down to the level of a sitting guest!
Getting the virus while interacting with a sitting guest on the table is very, very unlikely if we follow these rules!
More dangerous is when we send our guests away and we shake their hands and we talk to them face to face!
That is why being alert is very important! If you see that a guest feels not well, limit your interaction with the guest to the required service procedure and wash your hands immediately after you have visited that table!
The problem here is that the Coronavirus is often transmitted without people having any symptoms!
Unlike the normal flue virus, the coronavirus can be in our system for two weeks without any symptoms and then instead of the normal flu symptoms we get a high fever and a dry cough!
So, it is tremendously important that we follow the healthy service procedure basically with all the guests without exceptions!
One more thing guys, this is not the time to play hero! If you feel sick, have a fever, difficulties breathing don’t go to work! Go immediately to the doctor! Do not disregard symptoms!
By protecting ourselves we also protect our loved ones, our colleagues and our guests!
This way we also help the world in the fight against the virus and helping to contain it!
Basic protective measures against the new coronavirus (by World Health Organization)
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least one meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain viruses. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and coronavirus (COVID-19).
If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider about the coronavirus
Stay informed on the latest developments about coronavirus (COVID-19). Follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.
For more useful info on coronavirus from the WHO click bellow: