Tips for Truck Drivers to Combat Coronavirus
As truck drivers maintain supply lines amid the coronavirus pandemic, their health and that of their loved ones are put at risk. It is, therefore, essential to protect themselves and their vehicles from infection.
The longer hours of work and lack of sleep can affect their immune sleep while the crowded truck stops, the difficulty of finding food as many food establishments closed down, and inevitable close contact with different people as they transport and deliver various “essential items” make them vulnerable for COVID-19.
Here’s how truck drivers can fight coronavirus:
1. Get enough rest
You can’t avoid working longer hours these days as many people rely on deliveries to access various medical supplies and consumer goods. This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t take a much-needed rest. Try to limit your physical activities outside work to conserve energy. While working out is advisable, staying away from activities that drain your energy is healthy. These include watching TV until the wee hours, drinking too much alcohol, and gambling.
If you are required to drive overnight, get enough sleep before and after your shift. If you need to sleep on the road, park your truck in a quiet and safe area.
Blocking out light in your bedroom or truck, using earplugs or a “white noise” machine, using a comfortable pillow or mattress, and maintaining a comfortable temperature in your room or truck can help you get a good sleep despite the chaotic sleep patterns.
2. Take multivitamins every day
Taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements can help fill gaps in your diet, especially if you’re not getting enough rest or vitamins and minerals in your food.
A high-quality multivitamin can help you stay healthy, especially when it's tough to find nutrient-rich meals on the road. While you don’t need to take a lot of different supplements, consider those that are essential for your current health and lifestyle. These include Vitamin C for boosting your immune system, Vitamin A for healthy eyesight, and Vitamin D for steering away from depression.
You should also consume meat for its protein, which gives you energy. While processed meats in truck-stop eateries lack in protein, you can mix protein powders with water to fill your body with sufficient energy.
3. Wear proper gears at work
Wearing gloves and masks are essential, especially when you are in an area with high cases of COVID-19 infection. You’ll never know which items you're touching and carrying are infected with the virus so it’s better to wear gloves at all times while you’re at work. Also, refrain from touching your face with your hands, with or without gloves.
Wear a mask when you’re outside your truck, especially when you need to come in close contact with other people. Despite the debate for its effectiveness, it offers protection from inhalation of the virus in the air.
4. Sanitize your truck regularly
Keep disinfectant wipes or a bottle of alcohol and clean cloth inside your truck for handy cleaning of the steering wheel, doors, mirrors, and other objects that you frequently touch. Before driving your truck, especially after making a stop, take a quick wipe to these areas to clean most germs and fingerprints.
If you run out of disinfectants, soap and water will do. However, be careful of the detergent you use because some can damage vinyl and plastic surfaces.
5. Wash your hands and shower regularly
Even if you wear gloves at work, you should still wash your hands regularly and properly at all times just to be safe, especially before eating your meals.
Aside from handwashing, you should also take off and throw your work clothes into the laundry basket and get a shower once you come home from work and before socialising with your loved ones. This will prevent the spread of infection around your household, in case you unknowingly catch the virus.
6. Manage your anxiety
It’s normal for everyone to become anxious in this uncertain time. If you feel stressed out because of the long work hours or the overall pandemic crisis, do not hesitate to seek emotional and mental health support.
Certain medications, like Valerian root, can help you deal with nervousness, anxiety, and sleep issues. Best taken before bedtime, it provides a calming and sedative effect that relieves stress.
If medications are not enough, talk to a loved one or a trusted friend or co-worker about what's causing your anxiety. If you want to keep everything private, reach out to Lifeline:
- Phone: 13 11 14 (24 hours/7 days)
- Text: 0477 13 11 14 (6pm to midnight AEDT, 7 nights)
- Chat online: https://www.lifeline.org.au/crisis-chat (7 pm to midnight, 7 nights)x