SIGNIFICANT CHANGES ARE IMPERATIVE DURING COVID 19.
As cliché as it may sound, prevention is indeed better than cure.
The ongoing pandemic has enforced people all over the globe to adopt social distancing and go into home quarantine in order to curb the spread of the fatal virus. COVID 19 has necessitated humans to alter their ways and thought process to fit in with the inflicted restrictions. Practicing good hygiene is one of the most potent weapon to avert the growth of the deadly virus. Bringing in relevant changes to the way we go about hygiene is certainly the most pressing need.
With the eruption of COVID-19 which is spreading like wildfire all across the globe, humankind are doing everything in their power to shield themselves and their dear ones against the virus. Ramping up personal hygiene and keeping the surroundings clean has become the ‘new’ standard of living. From keeping the frequently touched surfaces properly disinfected to washing hands over and over again, hygiene interventions will go a long way in keeping the dreadful coronavirus at bay.
SOME USEFUL TIPS AND PRACTICES
Primarily, coronavirus spreads through respiratory vapour when an infected person sneezes or coughs around you, and even by touching infected surfaces and objects. Hence keeping yourself and your surroundings hygienic is of paramount importance now.
Here’s how to stay vigilant and steer clear from the disease –
Hand wash, Hand wash, Hand wash!
Practicing proper and consistent hand hygiene is the No.1 basis of keeping the virus away. Dozens of studies show hand-washing can prevent life-threatening diseases, and even save lives. That means scrubbing away your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. It’s also important to remember to clean between your fingers and under your fingernails. If soap and water is unavailable, you can disinfect hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
When to wash hands:
- Before and after eating
- After using the washroom
- Before and after preparing food
- After sneezing, coughing or blowing the nose
- After touching any common public area such as elevator buttons, handle of stairs, door knobs etc
Disinfect and clean everything regularly and thoroughly
Even in lockdown, stress enough on the importance of disinfecting commonly used areas and objects as the virus can live on some surfaces for days together. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces such as door handles, light switches, counter tops, faucets, tabletops etc. When disinfecting, spray the cleaning agent and let it sit for at least a minute on the target surface, then wipe off thoroughly. Your kitchen needs to be in mint condition so keep all the ingredients away after use. Dust everything regularly, and sweep and swab the floor daily for a corona-free house.
Carry out proper etiquette of coughing and sneezing
Good cough and sneeze etiquette involves taking simple steps to minimize the likelihood of transfer of infection. Sneeze and cough into disposable tissues or the crook of your elbow and turn away from people around. If the mucus or spit sneaks up on your skin, clean it off right away. Dispose of single-use tissues immediately.
Hands off from your face
Whatever you do, ‘do not touch your face’! Most people do it without realizing several times in a day. Germs you contract from touching a contaminated surface begins breeding as soon as they contact moist areas of our eyes, nose and mouth. If you absolutely must, wash your hands properly beforehand. Create habits and reminders to avoid if required.
Before and after entering the house.
Take care of not bringing the virus in by creating an entering-home routine that everyone follows consistently.
The shoes stay out! It is a good idea to have a different pair of footwear to wear inside, than bringing all the germs you’ve probably carried along inside the house.
As soon as you enter the home, remove your clothes and put them straight into the washing machine and head straight to the bathroom to wash off yourself.
Makeshift work area
If you have a study or work desk where you have been spending long hours during the day (thanks to WFH/Work from Home), it is imperative to keep that area clean as well. Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning. Use cleaning wipes to clean your laptop, keyboard and mouse, and dust other gadgets regularly and not much clutter around. The more organized the space, the better it is.
Many of the groceries/products you buy have probably been handled by others and possibly contaminated. Taking extra care when handling them can reduce your risk of exposure. Wash cans, packets and boxes of food and liquids before storing them, wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, then wash any tables, countertops, or other surfaces that were touched by your groceries or grocery bags.
Toys and games
If you have babies and young children at home, have them play with hard surface games and toys that can be easily cleaned. Tuck away the toys inside the closed shelves or almirahs once the kids are done playing.
Do not share things like cups, glasses, dishes, cutlery, towels etc. with people around you even in the lockdown situation. Get your own and make sure it is washed regularly with soap and hot water.
Beware of other germ hotspots
During the current pandemic, it is just not enough to wash your hands frequently. The WHO informs that depending on, among others the type of surface and ambient temperature, the coronavirus can survive on even smallest surfaces for a few days. So, it is equally essential to disinfect small everyday items such as the phone, keys and payment cards on a regular basis.
Hygiene in toilets and bathrooms and discarding used items
It is advisable to discard all the used items such as toiletries including soap, loofah, toothbrush, shampoo etc. and replace with fresh ones in order to ensure that there are no remaining germs in your washroom. Keep the toilets and the areas uncontaminated as the virus in areas as these spread faster because of its regular use and can make it prone to spreading the virus.
Household with vulnerable seniors
Provide a protected space for such elderly members as they are more at risk and have only one family member care for them. For sick family members, consider giving a separate room and keep the door closed.
All of us have heard of the famous proverb, ‘health is wealth’, which means if you are healthy then you are wealthy. So, stay home, stay safe, stay hygienic and help flatten the curve!