The emergence of COVID-19 has given a new meaning to ‘dusting down the house’. As most of us (whether in quarantine or self-isolation) inevitably have to spend most of our time at home, we do consider it as our safe haven. Therefore, keeping our home protected, healthy and clean is of utmost importance. In order to keep our houses as safe sanctuaries, we need to follow certain cleaning and hygiene tips that will make our lives and minds rest easy. With all the changes that have come with COVID-19, one which has shocked us all is the possible lack of hygiene and cleanliness practices in our daily schedule. Thus, instead of feeling a little helpless, why not give yourself some peace of mind by cleaning out your immediate environment?
These Are The Cleaning And Hygiene Tips That You Need To Follow
We need to keep in mind how to clean and disinfect our house in order to keep not just COVID-19 germs at bay, but all other infections and particles too. Pay close attention to surfaces that have a high volume of ‘touch’. They might ‘look’ clean, but could be teeming with germs. Kitchen granite slabs, basins, toilets, your phone! So, don’t just clean with your eyes.
- First, wipe down the surface with a dry cloth and then go over with a disinfectant. Remember to disinfect surfaces and objects before and after use.
- However, don’t go overboard with disinfectant as the fumes can often be toxic.
- Wash and change your sheets and towels more often. Dry them in sunlight as much as possible. Sunlight has been shown to kill some amount of bacteria (this isn’t directly related to a virus, of course, but it’s still important for basic hygiene). It also protects against fungus.
- Increase ventilation by keeping windows open. Make sure your air conditioner filters are kept clean.
- Wash and clean your rags or dusting cloths after every use.
- Wear gloves only once.
This isn’t a hygiene tip, but one the crucial health tips of all time (even outside a COVID-19 situation). Keeping yourself hydrated is crucial for optimal health. You need to drink water depending upon your age, sex, weight, height, level of physical activity and the environmental conditions you are living in. Opt for drinking water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages so that you can limit your intake of sugar and excess calories. If water seems too boring, you can also add some natural flavour through fruit infusions, by adding slices of lemon, cucumber, mint leaves or even berries. If you usually forget to drink water through the day like most of us do, you can do the following:
- Track your water intake through various apps such as Drink Water Reminder.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal.
- Keep a filled bottle near your desk or bed, and keep sipping through the day.
3Safe Food Handling Practices For Better Food Hygiene
While there is no confirmed evidence that COVID-19 or Coronavirus can spread through contact with food or food packaging, it’s important to practice good hygiene when handling food to prevent any food-borne illnesses.
- Keep them clean: This includes your hands, kitchen surfaces and utensils.
- Separate raw and cooked food, especially raw meat and fresh produce.
- Cook thoroughly.
- Wash your hands (for 20 seconds with soap) before and after preparing or eating food.
- Keep your food at safe temperatures.
- Use safe, boiled and filtered water and thoroughly washed and rinsed raw materials.
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Try to stay physically active. Take some time out for physical activity in your day. It helps both body and mind. If you cannot step outside your main door, there are loads of videos on Youtube to help you with easy workouts you can do in a confined space.
- Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds and dries them thoroughly. If water and soap are not available, use an alcohol-based sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol. But remember to not do it needlessly as overdoing it can be harmful.
- If you have to step out, remember to keep a distance of 6 feet from any other person. Wash your hands with soap for 20 seconds or longer as soon as you return home.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of your elbow when you cough or sneeze. Remember to wash your hands with soap afterwards.
- Don’t touch your face.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as food or drinks.
5Getting Info From Infallible Sources
It’s not surprising that during a global pandemic like COVID-19, there is a lot of conflicting information doing the rounds, especially on social media. It’s difficult to separate the facts from the fake news. Learn to judge which links are reliable and whether your sources for COVID-19 information are legitimate or not. Do your bit in limiting the spread of myth and misinformation, to ensure responsible and good global health.
6Hygiene Practices To Follow Outside
While we all have to stay cautious and avoid going out, some emergencies such as buying groceries cannot be ignored. It’s of utmost importance to follow these guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but also to maintain our community health.
- Avoid crowds. If you are stepping out, try to pick a time when there are fewer people.
- Maintain physical distance from other people. Respiratory droplets can travel up to six feet; it’s best to stay out of this range to protect yourself.
- Don’t hug or shake hands.
- Wear disposable gloves if available, and don’t touch your face while you are out.
- Wear a mask.
- Wash your hands with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand rub, immediately afterwards.
- Wherever possible, educate people about better hygiene practices especially those who might not have easy access to information.
Follow These Health Tips While In Isolation
While the aforementioned cleaning and hygiene tips might seem like something that was taught in primary school, they aren’t followed that regularly, which is a shame. And while you might frown on some of these basics, currently these basic hygiene practices are a matter of life and death. Following general cleaning and hygiene tips will help to prevent the spread of the virus. We need to combat the novel coronavirus not just with border control and quarantine, but also with simple and effective measures like food, personal and home hygiene.
Do tell us about your own COVID-19 prevention tips in the comments below!