While many of us are staying indoors and practicing social distancing, there are many people who simply don’t have that luxury.
So if you just run an errand or have to work outside during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to consider what to do once you come back to your home.
Here are a few things to consider that will help reduce the risk of spreading viruses and diseases.
Protocols when entering your home
Once you have entered your house, wash your hands immediately
Your hands are among the most common ways that the virus spreads from one person to the next. It is because viruses like the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread when mucus or droplets containing the virus get into your body through your eyes, nose or throat.
Most often, this happens through your hands. So when you return home from a field work or an errand, try not to touch anything with your hands at home. Make sure to wash or disinfect your hands immediately in order to prevent the spread of the virus.
1.) Take off your shoes
Did you know that viruses, bacteria and fungi can live on the soles of the shoes for up to five days? Infectious disease specialists have warned that footwears are more likely to carry the coronavirus if they have been worn in public spaces like supermarkets, airports, or on public transport. The experts have advised that shoes should be left at the entrance or front door of your home to avoid bringing germs and bacteria inside your abode.
2.) Disinfect your pet’s paws if you took them for a walk
According to the World Health Organization, there is no evidence that pets can get or spread the COVID-19. But it is always good for people to disinfect their pet’s paws. It is also prudent to practice careful hand washing after handling your pet and after picking up and disposing pet waste. This is because the virus can be transmitted by touching a contaminated surface or object.
3.) Remove your clothes and put them in a laundry bag to be washed
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that evidence suggests the novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials, which includes clothing. Articles of clothing can hold respiratory droplets, as we use them every single day. These particles can dry out over time and inactivate the virus, but this doesn’t mean that it will happen quickly. So by the time that you get home, remember to remove your clothes immediately and have it washed.
4.) Leave your bag, purse, keys, etc. in a box at the entrance
In times of the virus outbreak, it is impossible for one to interact with an environment, go out into the world and wipe and secure every single surface. Things like bag, purse and keys are some of the things that you touch frequently and is highly exposed to the virus. As a precaution and to contain the spread of the virus, leave the things that you frequently use outside of your homes in a box at the entrance of your homes.
5.) Take a bath or wash all exposed areas if you can’t
Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist, suggests that it is important to take a bath everyday, especially after a day out of the house, and to use soap on your full body instead of only on the usual “hot spots” (your private parts, your feet, and under your arms), and to also wash your hair daily. Since the virus can be washed away with anything that lathers, your usual soap and shampoo should be totally fine for getting the job done. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to personal hygiene during this time.
6.) Disinfect anything that you touch with your hands
Researchers suggest to clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces daily. High-touch surfaces refer to the things that you interact with most. Surfaces like doorknobs, table surfaces, light switches, TV remote controls, cellphone, etc. To disinfect, the quickest and easiest way to do this is with wet wipes or with a rubbing alcohol.
7.) Clean all of the surfaces of what you have bought outside before storing them
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence to support the transmission of COVID-19 associated with food.
Experts, however, suggest that people should wash raw produce with an organic soap specifically for fruits and vegetables or any natural dish soap. While cooking does kill the virus, any fresh produce that is eaten raw should be carefully washed. It is also advised to throw out disposable grocery bags, to wipe down your kitchen counters and to wash your hands to be safe. /dbs