The coronavirus is a type of virus that causes infection in respiratory tracts. The recent case of coronavirus outbreak started in Wuhan province of China in 2019. The strain was marked as- ‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2’ or SARS CoV-2, which causes the health condition known as Coronavirus Disease-2019 or COVID-19 for short. The virus has spread very quickly around the world, affecting 213 countries and territories worldwide, causing a global pandemic. Causing 7.3 million confirmed cases with more than 414,000 deaths at the time of writing this article.
The SARS CoV-2 is a novel virus that spreads through respiratory droplets. Meaning, when someone sneezes the droplets can carry the virus upto a certain distance. If it enters the respiratory organs of a healthy person, the person is affected by the virus and shows symptoms of COVID illness within 2 to 14 days.
The virus can live on common hard surfaces, that are typically used in our household , such as- glass, ceramic, paper, metal, for upto 5 days. It is really a microbial agent and there is no visible way of getting rid of the virus.
Up until now the main defense against the virus was social distancing, stay at home measures and lockdowns. But as it happens, many countries are now lifting coronavirus lockdown measures and it might be possible for the virus to enter our home through an infected family member or via surface contamination. Which is why we need to improve our domestic hygiene and cleaning practices to prevent the virus from settling in our houses. This article will provide some insight into the matter.
Upping the household hygiene
In this time of crisis, we have to be extra careful with household hygiene. The main principle in this case, should be ‘clean hard surfaces’.
Floors in the house need to be washed with disinfectants or soap mixed with water, if possible, twice a day or minimum once a day. The bathrooms need to be cleaned extra carefully, as it works as a disinfection station after you come home from outside. Scrub the bathroom floors and walls with soap water after spraying them with proper disinfectants. You could check cleaning supplies Australia region for proper machineries.
Wash glass, metal and ceramic materials, such as- plates, kitchen supplies, cups, spoons, knives etc. Scrub them with soap for a long time.
Wash your bed-sheets more frequently than ever. Change your dress at least once a day and wash them properly. Other pieces of cloth such as curtains need to be washed regularly.
Make sure waste items are disposed of properly. Specially, tissue papers used to wash droplets of any kind. You can never be more cautious in this case. Also make sure you buy alcohol wipes for your safety.
Children tend to be more vulnerable in case of surface contamination. Keep their toys, utensils and bottles sterilized at all times. Try to prevent them from floor contact as much as possible.
Many households have pets. The studies showed there is no possibility of contamination from common house pets, such as- cats or dogs. But still their bodily surface can carry the virus to your home. After coming from a walk with your pet, wash them very carefully. Prevent them from going outside or making contact with possible contaminated surfaces.
Hygiene for yourself
If you are the family member who is going outside frequently for work or supply purposes, you need to be aware of your personal hygiene from now on.
While going outside, you have to use protective measures, such as- masks, gloves, head cover, if possible use PPE dresses to cover yourself. Creating a successful distance between your body and the open environment would assure complete defense from the virus.
Our hands are the main way for the virus to spread.. When we touch a contaminated surface with our hand and then touch our face, the virus gains entry to our body through our mouth, nose and eyes . While outside, we have to prevent ourselves from touching our face too often, which would be a major step towards avoiding infection.
Coming home, you need to follow proper containment measures. Remember, whatever protections you take, the virus can still live on the surface of your wearables. Proper disinfection of your dress, disposal of PPE, gloves and masks, disinfection of bags and merchandises needs to be ensured in this regard.
A shower with hot water and soap will eliminate any virus clinging onto your body. For minor incursions or in case of not being able to access protection gears, you must wash your hands and other parts of your body exposed to possible open contaminated surfaces, for at least 20 seconds.
Groceries and essentials
First of all, it is recommended that you maintain as much social distance as possible. But it is true that we may have to go out for necessary supplies. Even though, with the rise in online marketing, most of the essential items can be delivered to your door, some people still prefer buying stuff with their own hands.
We already covered personal protocol for going out. For the items you bring from the outside, it is recommended that they come packaged from the processing units, eliminating probabilities of contamination in the supply chain. The items can be washed with disinfectants before opening the packet.
Biodegradables like vegetables, fish, meat are sometimes best bought unpackaged. Try to buy them from a place that maintains proper hygiene. However, after taking these home they need to be washed thoroughly . If the surface can be peeled, you may use less reactive disinfectants, though it can be poisonous. The best practice would be to wash them with warm waters.
In both cases of deliveries and shopping outside, the packaging needs to be disposed properly and kept in a safe place. Use your trusted suppliers for home deliveries and ask them to maintain caution.
One extra advice, with peaking global warming, the sea levels are already on the rise. All this extra washing due to corona, has led the experts to conclude that there will be further rise in sea levels. So, use your water very carefully and frugally, so that none of it goes to waste.
The global pandemic is a possible life-threatening event for people of all ages. Even if you are young and have less chance of dying, you are endangering the lives of elderly population at your home by not following proper hygiene protocol. So, these hygiene practices need to be met with extreme efficiency and mentality to execute them properly. In this way, we can overcome the crisis soon and go back to our normal life. Until then, stay home, stay safe.