It is currently impossible to go online and avoid seeing something relating to the coronavirus, COVID-19, so we thought we provide some tips to help you keep clean, disinfect and stay calm. There is a lot of information floating around about how to best protect yourself and your family, and a lot of misinformation. Some of this is because we still don’t know enough about the disease, and some is because people are just trying to find solutions to stem the fear. We do know that socially isolating yourself from others will help reduce the spread, and that practicing good hygiene, can, as it does with all infectious diseases, reduce the risk as well.
When it comes to staying as safe as possible, you need to clean by removing germs, dirt, and surface impurities, and then you need to disinfect. Disinfecting is the act that kills germs by applying chemicals to the surface that you are disinfecting. It is important to clean first, then disinfect.
Here are some simple tips to help you keep clean, disinfect, and stay calm.
Wash Your Hands
This is literally the best thing you can do. It’s not a matter of quickly rinsing under the sink and running. You need to scrub your hands with soap and water. Make sure you wash for at least 20 seconds, and dry afterwards. To keep it fun a lot of people are suggesting singing various songs or verses while they wash. A very simply example is to sing “Happy Birthday” for the duration of your scrubbing.
Washing your hands is particularly important after you’ve been out in public, if you’ve touched someone or something that other people may have touched, if you’ve sneezed or coughed, and before you eat. Frequently washing your hands properly is effective.
If you don’t have soap and water you can use a hand sanitizer. Just make it is at least 60% alcohol and you cover all the surfaces of your hands by rubbing them together with the hand sanitizer.
In the meantime try your best not to touch your face with your hands! (This is SO hard to do, which is why frequent hand washing is so essential).
Dont just Clean, Disinfect The Things You Touch (and Stay Calm).
Anything that you touch on a regular basis should be disinfected as often as possible. This includes:
Door handles (think household, car, fridge, cubby house, anything that has a door).
Sinks and faucets
The steering wheel of your car
Make sure you are using the disinfectant that is appropriate for the surface you are cleaning. As mentioned above, it is important to clean before disinfecting, in order to get the best result. When the surface is visibly dirty then you should wash it with soap and water (or an appropriate cleaning method), prior to disinfecting it.
If you are unable to get an appropriate household disinfectant, you can use an alcohol solution that is at least 70% alcohol, or create a bleach solution. To create a bleach solution mix together a tablespoon of bleach per litre of water.
Make sure you don’t use expired products and always keep the room you are disinfecting well ventilated. Also be careful not to mix together household bleach with ammonia or any other type of cleanser.
Enjoy Sunshine and Ventilation
Don’t stay cooped up inside. Open the curtains and windows to let in the sunshine and fresh air. Get outside yourself to soak it in. While we still don’t know exactly what impact heat, sun, and weather has on the virus, our general understanding of how viruses work tells us that this is generally helpful. Staying cooped up in enclosed, dark spaces is more likely to help a virus breed, grow, and live longer on surfaces.
Other Cleaning Tips to stay clean, disinfect and stay calm.
It is best to use disposable cleaning gloves that you can throw away after you clean and disinfect.
If you are cleaning and disinfecting an area that has been touched by someone who is known to have the virus, it is important to include additional precautionary and isolation methods to reduce the risk of transfering the disease. For instance, use a dedicated bedroom, bathroom, and rubbish bin for the unwell household member. Anyone providing food or helping clean up areas relating to the sick person should use extra precautions with gloves, hand washing, and regular disinfecting of surface areas. This includes wearing gloves to handle laundry items.
Panic and fear will not help. You’re more likely to do unsafe things like touch your face, touch other people, panic buy unnecessary products (or unnecessary quantities of products), and reduce your immune system, if you allow fear to take over. Take a deep breathe and read advice that is useful and manageable.