No one really enjoys cleaning their home - we know that - but now more than ever, we have to dedicate special attention to it. The situation with the virus is changing daily, and you never know if a new outbreak will occur tomorrow right in your neighbourhood.
There are enough COVID-19 ELISA kits for testing, but no vaccines. The first trials have officially started, but it might take months before scientists develop a vaccine that is safe for everyone. Therefore, we should all be aware that the threat is real, especially if you have seniors in your home because they are the most vulnerable age group. Although we still do not know a lot about the new Coronavirus, there are some general things you can do to protect your home and the ones close to you.
Cleaning Your Home
Keeping your home clean and disinfected should be your priority. No one knows for how long exactly the virus can survive on certain surfaces, but it is known that it stays attached to shoes, clothes, metal and wooden surfaces that are frequently used, such as knobs, etc. What we know about other, similar viruses is that alcohol and bleaches can kill them. Even the good old mixture of soap and warm water can be highly effective, but if you can find disinfectant wipes and sprays, those would be the easiest things to use around the house.
The Difference Between Cleaning and Disinfecting
Since both terms are frequently used together, especially in the last few days, it seems necessary to explain what the difference is, and what each one of them does.
- Cleaning is the basic process of removing dirt and germs from surfaces, but it does not really kill bacteria, it just lowers their number by removing some of them.
- Disinfecting refers only to processes that include chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It is recommended to do it after cleaning because it can lower the risk of spreading the infection.
How to Clean and Disinfect Certain Surfaces
Before you jump into work, do not forget to wear protective disposable gloves; if you have reusable ones, use them only while cleaning, and not for other purposes.
- Dirty surfaces should be first cleaned with a detergent or soap, and then you can apply disinfecting spray. If you are using household bleaches, make sure to follow the instructions and pay attention to which surfaces they are suitable for. You can make your bleach by mixing five tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water, or four tablespoons of bleach per quarter of a gallon.
- For all soft surfaces like carpets, floors, and curtains, use cleaners that are appropriate for those materials. After cleaning, you can wash them in warm water following the manufacturer's instructions and leave them to dry.
- Clothing, bedding, and towels should be handled with disposable gloves if there is an infected person in the house. If you are not using gloves, make sure to wash your hands after handling someone else's clothes. You can still wash clothes of an ill person together with the rest of your laundry, just try to wash them at the highest temperature possible, according to the instructions on the label.
Taking Care of Your Health
Since this virus can spread easily, you also have to maintain your hygiene. The best you can do is to thoroughly wash your hands, several times per day, for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap. Hand sanitisers can be very convenient when you are outside, but make sure you use the ones that contain at least 60% alcohol. Please do not touch your mouth, nose, eyes, or face in general if you have not washed your hands. Wearing a face mask is recommended if you are going to crowded places or if you are around someone who is sick, the same goes for gloves. And do not forget to use a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Last but not least, do not trust everything you read, rely on sources such as the official CDC website where you can find all the correct information.
What to Do If You Notice Any Symptoms?
Symptoms of Coronavirus include high fever, coughing, shortness of breath, and fatigue in most cases. However, if you notice any of them, you should not rush to the nearest hospital because that way, you are risking infecting more people on your way. Call your doctor first, answer a few questions, and follow the instructions.
Is Home Isolation the Best Prevention?
So far, it seems so, which is why if we are spending a lot more time inside our homes, we have to make sure they are clean and safe. Certain countries have already introduced mandatory home quarantines for their citizens. We still do not know if that is the scenario we can expect in other areas, but we have to be prepared for it.
Written by: Selena Thomas
Author’s Bio: Selena Thomas is a content writer who loves sharing tips on healthy lifestyles. A writer by day and a reader by night, she's fond of writing articles that can help people in improving both physical and mental health. Also, she loves travelling and inspires people on her blogs.