COVID-19 Mnemonic Devices

cloud of micro organism

Thanks to the contributions of a few Fellows of the International College of Surgeons around the world, we’ve come up with a few different mnemonic devices to help you remember what to do in this time of crisis. We encourage all Fellows to contribute their content, which you can do by sending an email to our website support team any time. Just send your suggestions to and we’ll review and reach out if we need more. Here’s a submission from a Fellow we received this week.

Just Follow These Letters: I C S

We’ve been lucky to get some guidance from Dr. Gil Vicente, MD, FICS, of our  Philipines Section, with a few helpful hints on how best to handle this situation. His suggestions include an easy way to remember exactly what to do to protect yourself and others. It’s as easy as remembering our name, and using ICS to stay safe together. When you think of ICS, think of these two key tips:

A Pledge of Physicians, Patients, and

People of the World

I  will WASH my HANDS often

C  over my face with MASK and

S  tay Home Always

An Important Message Amidst

This COVID-19 Crisis

I  will

C  ontrol myself and

S  tay Home

Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

And remember the general guidance from the CDC. Follow these steps to help keep you and others safe:

  • Stay home if you can and avoid any non-essential travel. Avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Practice social distancing by keeping at least 6 feet — about two arm lengths — away from others if you must go out in public. Stay connected with loved ones through video and phone calls, texts and social media. Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Clean and disinfect household surfaces daily and high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day. High-touch surfaces include phones, remote controls, counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, keyboards, tablets and bedside tables. Follow CDC guidance.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes. Use a tissue to cover your nose and mouth, and throw used tissues in a lined trash can. If a tissue isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow — not your hands. Wash your hands immediately.
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