Video: Tips to stop the spread of coronavirus

Hong Kong 2020 © MSF

My name is Karin Huster, and I’m the field coordinator for Doctors Without Borders in Hong Kong.

And I came about six weeks ago here to respond to the coronavirus outbreak that was just taking place.

I can see that what is happening today in Seattle, where I live, I can see that the panic, the anguish of the population is the same that was there a month and a half ago in Hong Kong.

As a community, we can be very effective if we do take very simple measures, we can be very effective in changing the course of this outbreak.

There has been a big sense of community here. The people of Hong Kong have really taken on the responsibility as a collective, but as well as individuals, as to what it is that they could do vis-à-vis this outbreak.

The work that they do collectively can help the communities that are at risk. So those are the elderly, who have been disproportionately affected by this outbreak. And as well the health care workers, who need to be guaranteed of having access to the supplies that they need for their work.

Some of the super simple measures that people can take on to effect change is people can wash their hands. I know it sounds really boring but, you know, it works!

People can, when they cough, they cough either in a handkerchief or they cough into their shoulders, and then they wash their hands.

If you are sick, people should be staying home. They should inform others as well, just to be sure that people know about that.

Social distancing is not a bad idea, especially in the time of an outbreak like this. By not going to very crowded places you can protect yourself and protect others. 

Staying at home, if you can, from work. That’s another way to do things.

But the number one thing is the simplest, and it is to wash our hands. I mean, I’ve seen this in Ebola. We see it with most outbreaks. 

This is a huge thing that we can do to effect change, to affect the course of this disease.


The outbreak of disease caused by the new coronavirus is now officially a pandemic—but that doesn’t mean that we need to panic. There are simple measures we all can take to protect ourselves and our communities, around the world. "In Seattle, where I live, I can see that the panic, the anguish, is the same that was in Hong Kong a month and a half ago," says Karin Huster, a nurse and field coordinator working with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to respond to the outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Hong Kong. Huster talks about how people in the community can come together to keep each other safe and healthy.