Keeping Your Home Safe and Virus-proof
The recent virus outbreak plaguing the world today has many questioning where the safest place to be in is. Hospitals are crowded with infected people that would likely increase the chances of you getting infected yourself if you can’t be attended to promptly.
In these times, the battle cry of health departments and ministries of different countries all over the world, aside from “Don’t panic” is “stay home”. With that said, it could imply that our homes still remain the safest place for us to be in. But that doesn’t come without an effort to make it as such.
How then can we ensure that our homes are virus-proof or controlled, to say the least? We have gathered some best practices to keep our homes free from virus infection or at least to try to keep it virus-free for the family.
- Frequent hand washing and sanitizing
While we were advised to stay home most of the time during an outbreak, there might be necessary trips to do like a grocery store or pharmacy or maybe to the hospital. When you come back home from that errand run or after going to public places, wash your hands then sanitize. This simple step has heaps of benefit especially in keeping clean and healthy.
Do this frequently and whenever necessary. Here are some things that you do at home where handwashing must be present and when to do it:
- Before eating food
- Before, during and after preparing meals and food especially when handling uncooked meat and other foods
- Before and after taking care of someone who is sick
- Before and after cleaning or dressing an open wound
- After going to the toilet either to use it or to clean after children
- After changing dirty diapers
- After taking out the garbage
- After handling pets and their food and other animals
- After coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose
Handwashing should become one’s habit not just at home but wherever you can come in contact with germs. Others have made it a habit too to bring with them hand sanitizers in the event that water may not be accessible where they are. Handwashing must be done properly to be more effective:
- Wet your hands with clean water and lather with soap.
- Rub your hands together with the soap, rub the back of your hands, in between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Do this for at least 20 seconds. Another tip to keep in mind to know if you have scrubbed and washed your hands for at least 20 seconds is to sing or hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice.
- Rinse your hands under running water to take out all the soap and residues.
- Air dry your hands or dry them with a clean cloth or towel.
- If you are to use a sanitizer, use one that contains at least 60% alcohol
2.Do not share personal things
It is common practice in our homes to share our personal things with other members of the family. Yes, this shows how closely-knit your family is but this practice is unhygienic and can lead to infection when one is carrying a virus he acquired from outside.
The personal things that you should not share are:
- Toothbrushes – there are tons of bacteria and fungus that can be found in toothbrushes. It is most especially risky if the owner is infected with a virus and shares the use of his toothbrush with you. When gums bleed while brushing, the bacteria can enter your bloodstream and can infect you with the same virus that he carries.
- Razors – razor blades like the toothbrush are effective vehicles for virus, bacteria and fungus. Worse, if you cut yourself while using the razor of another who is infected with a virus. But even if you did not cut yourself, shaving causes microscopic skin fissure allowing bacteria to enter and infect you.
- Towels – wet towel in particular is home to various kinds of germs, bacteria, yeast, molds and fungus. If you share a towel with an infected person, you will be exposing yourself to the same virus or bacteria that infected the person. You will likely get infected too.
- Nail cutters or nippers – the risk is much like the risk you are exposing yourself too when sharing razors.
- Utensils and drinking glass – this will be most applicable if the other person is infected with a highly-contagious disease or is carrying a virus. You should isolate the things being used by that person as they will need a thorough disinfecting.
3.Do not place your purses, bags on dining table, kitchen counters or where you are preparing and eating food from
Your purses or bags for sure, were placed on spaces where sanitation is not certain. You might have put it inside your lockers or placed it on counters in public places. Keep them away from those areas in your home where you prepare food.
4.Practice sanitary cooking and food preparation
There are many diseases that are food borne. This may be caused by unsanitary food preparation practices (not washing thoroughly; not cooking through meat; not washing knives being used to cut, etc.). Also, eating exotic wild animals have proven to be very dangerous and risky as they can carry pathogens that can cause an epidemic (think, Ebola, SARS, Avian Flu and the recent Coronavirus) and mutate to an even stronger virus that can even cause death.
5. Disinfect surfaces that are touched frequently
What are these surfaces? Just imagine coming into your house after being out in a virus-stricken town. The very first thing that you touch to get in is the door knob. This is one of those surfaces that you have to frequently disinfect. You may be well aware about disinfecting the bathroom and kitchen fixtures being the known areas with the most bacteria. But there are also small things that we might have overlooked:
- TV Remote control
- Light switches
- Computer keyboards
- Faucet handles
You can use disinfectant wipes. For other wide surfaces like countertops and floors, you can wipe them down with an antibacterial cleaner or a solution of water and bleach.
6. Be Vigilant In Keeping Your Homes Safe and Virus-Free
Some look at the things to keep your homes virus-free very trivial to do. But through these simple ways, you can at least say that you have been exerting your effort to keep your home a safe haven for your family amidst an outbreak. These small efforts when done with great diligence can be more beneficial to you and your family than when not doing anything.