Buzz Aldrin, 90, Shares Frank Advice on Avoiding Coronavirus

The former astronaut said he's "lying on my ass and locking the door"

Buzz Aldrin isn’t messing around when it comes to the coronavirus.

The 90-year-old former astronaut famously spent 21 days in a quarantine after returning from the Moon back in 1969, in an effort to avoid spreading any contagions he could have contracted during the United States’ inaugural trip to the then-uncharted lunar surface. So when it comes to self-isolating in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Aldrin knows exactly what to do.

Asked what he was doing to protect himself from the coronavirus, Aldrin didn’t hesitate, telling Ars Technica he was hunkered down in his home.

“[I’m] lying on my ass and locking the door,” Aldrin said.

He went on to recall his first time in isolation, when he, Neil Armstrong and Michael Collins were sequestered at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Houston, Texas after stepping off the Apollo 11 Command Module.

“Mike Collins and I used to exercise and jog a little bit around the hallway,” he told Ars Technica, adding that he also used his time on mission reports and paperwork.

OMEGA House Rio 2016 - Day 5
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Coronavirus continues to spread rapidly throughout the globe, and cases have been identified in all 50 states in the U.S.

As of Thursday afternoon, at least 149 deaths in the country have been attributed to COVID-19, the New York Times reported, with more than 10,000 people testing positive. Worldwide, there have been at least 221,000 cases and 9,200 deaths as of Thursday afternoon, according to the Times.

Officials have said it is essential that Americans stay indoors and avoid contact with other people to reduce the spread by practicing social distancing.

The virus is highly contagious and can spread in several ways — through air molecules from sneezing or coughing, or on surfaces, where it can live up to 72 hours, depending on the material.

People can also be asymptomatic or carriers for the virus without realizing they have it. All of these factors mean that healthy people can unknowingly spread the virus to people who are at a higher risk of developing a severe, life-threatening reaction. By social distancing, those people are reducing the chance that the virus spreads.

In turn, night clubs, theaters, stores, and businesses across the country have shut down, with employees working from home and many restaurants moving to delivery and takeout only.

Meanwhile, for those who have recently come in contact with someone with a confirmed case of the virus — or those who are starting to show symptoms (such as coughing, sneezing, fever or respiratory problems) — they’ve been encouraged to self-quarantine for 14 days (the time it takes to develop symptoms).

People should make sure to wash their hands frequently, avoid sharing the bathroom and other spaces with other household members and refuse any visitors.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments and visit our coronavirus hub.

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