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How to Protest in the Age of COVID-19

Posted on Thursday, June 04, 2020

TSU Dean Gives Helpful Tips to Stay Healthy While Rallying

As citizens take to the streets to exercise their right to protest, there remains the ever-present threat of the novel coronavirus. As the world came to a halt to fight COVID-19, citizens were encouraged to practice social distancing. During protests, social distancing can be difficult, if not impossible. Here is how you can protect yourself as you march.

rashid-mosavinRashid Mosavin, R.Ph., PhD., MBA, dean and professor in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences at Texas Southern University, has provided tips on how to protect oneself from COVID-19 while protesting. He emphasized the importance of protecting three critical areas: nose, mouth, and eyes.

Dr. Mosavin encourages the use of masks and eye protection when in close contact with others. Although he thinks the surgical N-95 masks used by hospitals provide the best protection, he said any type of mask can be used.

“Any mask that fully covers the mouth and nose should be sufficient,” said Dr. Mosavin. “It does not serve you if it isn’t tight around the mouth and the nose.”

The use of gloves is highly recommended. He said latex gloves can be used and if one has a latex allergy, non-latex gloves can be purchased at local pharmacies. Nylon gloves are also an option.

His last recommendation is to wear eye protection.

“The eyes must be protected because COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets,” he said. “At protests, individuals are usually talking and that is how the disease can spread. If the droplets get in your eyes, then your eyes become infected.”

Eyes have a mucus membrane which is a wet surface. If the virus gets in your eyes, it cannot be washed out or wiped off, he added. Dr. Mosavin recommends wearing swimming goggles or the masks dentists’ use.

At the beginning of the pandemic, citizens rushed to purchase several items including hand sanitizer to protect themselves, which caused a shortage in supply. Now that these items are becoming more available, Dr. Mosavin suggests looking at the back of the bottle to make sure to select the most effective hand sanitizer. He encourages people to purchase hand sanitizer containing 60-70 percent alcohol.

“As long as you get a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer, you are okay,” said Dr. Mosavin, “Read the label on the back.”

He wants to reiterate that hand sanitizer is just for your hands and is not meant to be ingested. Doing so may cause harm.

If hand sanitizer is still not available in your area, he suggests a solution that is just as effective to the sanitizers sold on the market. He recommends the purchase of 70 percent alcohol. When in stores it can be labeled as rubbing alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol.

“It kills viruses on contact and completely disinfects everything,” he said.

For protestors, he recommends buying mini spray bottles and filling them with the rubbing alcohol to keep in their pockets. After removing your gloves, he says to apply three to four tablespoons of alcohol all over the hands and underneath the nails. “Don’t dry with anything, it will air dry in 15-30 seconds.”

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Last updated: 06/05/2020