Minimize exposure to allergens

Spending more time indoors during the pandemic means we’re increasingly exposed to indoor dust. And since it is now spring, there’s pollen everywhere. 

Both can set off allergies and asthma, Eitches said, and we need a functioning nose to get clean air into our chest airways. 

Managing dust via cleaning and an air filter, and managing pollen allergies with medication, can help avoid having to rub or blow your nose to open it up — If your hands are unclean, you risk becoming infected with the virus. 

For dust, a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter would help to remove the majority of allergens from the air, Steele said. Air conditioning registers also need to be cleaned. When pets go outside, wipe them off before they come in the house to rid them of any pollen. 

Taking steps to improve respiratory health is another tool to add to one’s prevention kit, as we weather the pandemic and anticipate another possible wave in the fall.