Staying Healthy During an Outbreak | 6 Tips from Behind the Scenes at HMNS’s Collections Facility


April 16, 2020
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Here at HMNS, the health and wellbeing of our guests and our staff have always been our top priority. Now more than ever, we want to help keep you and your family safe and healthy while also continuing our mission to bring you the best scientific education. We brought in some special behind-the-scenes objects to illustrate handy tips to help you stay healthy during an outbreak!

1. Wash your Hands

This is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy during an outbreak! Wash often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Be sure to wash the backs of your hands and underneath your fingernails too.

Seated Male Figure, Pre-Columbian, Nayarit, West Mexico

2. Cover your Mouth when You Cough or Sneeze

Germs can spread through the air on droplets of saliva when you cough or sneeze. If someone comes into contact with these droplets they could get sick. Covering your mouth prevents germs from spreading to others.

Figure Holding Ball, Pre-Columbian, Jalisco, West Mexico

3. But Don’t Touch your Face

Or touch any other objects to your face. Our hands touch so many different surfaces throughout the day, not all them clean. Washing your hands regularly helps but you should also refrain from touching your face, including your eyes, nose, and mouth. Touching a contaminated surface and then touching your face is one way germs can spread and make you sick.

Ceramic model of a ball court, Nayarit, Mexico. Photo published with permission from the Taylor family.

4. Avoid Crowds

Infectious disease spreads easily in crowded conditions. The more people there are close together, the easier germs can spread between them. Avoid mass gatherings and maintain a safe distance of at least 6 feet from others at all times.

Seated Female Figure, BC 200 – 200 AD, Shaft Tomb Culture, West Mexico

5. Keep Social Distancing

Social distancing means maintaining a physical distance of at least 6 feet from others to reduce the spread of germs. Social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation however! Maintain social contact with friends and family using technology and stay educated and entertained by following HMNS on social media to make social distancing easier.

Seated Curator of Anthropology, Dr. Dirk Van Tuerenhout, CE 2020, Houston, United States

6. Stay Home

We know you miss roaming the Halls of HMNS (and we miss you), but right now it’s really important to stay home! Staying home and away from other people helps prevent the spread of germs by reducing the likelihood you’ll come into contact with someone who’s sick. And just because you don’t feel sick doesn’t mean you can’t potentially spread infection to others. For your safety as well as the safety of others it’s best to stay home. Don’t worry though, HMNS staff are working hard (from home) to continue to bring you the best in scientific education.

Keep on eye on the Beyond Bones blog where we’ll be sharing even more behind-the-scenes collections from our team of science experts. Find us on social, and share how you’re experiencing #HMNSatHome.

Authored By Kate McElvaney

Kate is a lifelong science geek and lover of all things HMNS. As a native Houstonian, she practically grew up in the museum! Kate earned her graduate degree in anthropology from the University of Houston, where she also teaches undergraduate biological anthropology courses. In 2019, she joined the HMNS collections team full-time as a museum technician. On a typical day you can find her haunting the cabinets in the deep recesses of the anthropology collections. When she's not totally immersed in the world of anthropology she also enjoys writing, expanding her comparative osteology collection and a nice Chianti.



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