If you’re an essential worker, coming home from work has probably been scarier than normal. Even taking short walks outside now causes fear of the unknown. “Did I touch something that had the virus on it? Can I get it on my hands from the air? Do my shoes have the virus on them?” These are all legitimate questions to ask because we know so little about how the virus spreads.
According to the CDC, the likelihood of contracting coronavirus from surfaces remains unlikely, but while so much is unknown about how the virus spreads, it’s better to be overly precautious. There’s no need to buy a full-blown HazMat suit, but control what you can control. The easiest way to do so is to stay home as much as possible and keep your apartment sterilized. Here are a few tips to get started.
Keep Your Groceries Clean
Studies have shown the coronavirus can live on surfaces for anywhere between a few hours up to a few days. There is no evidence, however, that coronavirus is foodborne, so there’s no need to wash your produce with soap. Simply rinse produce like you normally would.
If you really want to be safe, wipe your grocery containers with Lysol wipes, and wear gloves and a mask when you go to the grocery store. When you arrive back home, make sure to lather your hands with soap and wash them thoroughly.
Keep Your Linens Clean
A 2015 study showed the more influenza virus one is exposed to, the higher the likelihood they contract it, and the worse their symptoms. While there is no existing correlating study for the coronavirus, why take the risk?
The benefit of regularly washing your bed linens primarily addresses the issue of viral dosage- the amount of virus that comes into contact with a person and replicates within their body. Consider what happens if you walk outside and are exposed to a few asymptomatic people who contracted the virus; you could potentially bring the virus home with you. If this happens, you can still lower your risk by reducing your exposure.
Regularly washing your bed linens prevents you from breathing the virus in for the next few nights while you sleep. The less your exposure, the less likely you are to become seriously infected. Try to stick to 100% cotton white sheets so you can bleach them if you need to. Brightly colored, synthetic blend sheets don’t stand up to disinfectant chemicals.
Washing Your Countertops
As previously stated, it’s unlikely that one will catch coronavirus from touching various surfaces, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. With so many asymptomatic patients, perhaps it’s not as uncommon as the CDC suggests. Because of this, keeping the highly trafficked areas you interact with a lot, such as the kitchen, is very important.
Regularly cleaning your countertops with disinfectants ensures that you can cook your dinner with a peace of mind, feeling free to touch what you please and cook all the delicious recipes you desire.
Open a WIndow
Classifying a virus as ‘airborne’ is complicated. The term refers to whether or not a virus can exist as an aerosol, meaning how long it can survive in the air without a host’s protection. Researchers aren’t sure how often the Co-V-2 spreads with airborne particles, but the research suggests that at least some cases are caused by airborne spread.
Viruses spread more efficiently in enclosed spaces due to the exchange of stagnant air. Opening windows improves ventilation. This means that you’re exchanging potentially contaminated air with fresh air. If you live in an apartment you may be aiding everyone in the building.
Buy a Humidifier
Recent research suggests that both high temperatures and high humidity can reduce the transmission of coronavirus. According to the study, water molecules can potentially damage the outer shell of the virus, decreasing the virus’s durability and transmissibility.
Humidity also boosts the effectiveness of your mucus membranes. Dry mucus membranes inhibit your body’s defense of keeping the virus out of your lungs. Increased humidity moistens your mucus membranes, improving their efficiency.
Clean the Items You Use the Most
Regularly sterilizing the items you frequently touch such as your phone, computer, remotes, toothbrush, and other toiletries are imperative to keeping a clean, safe environment. Washing your hands frequently also helps with keeping your household items clean and virus-free.
Stay Clean, Stay Safe
Following these guidelines ensures that you and your family feel safe around each other in your own home. It’s also advisable, if possible, to follow social distancing methods while at home. Again, many people who are infected with coronavirus are asymptomatic, so it’s imperative to follow social distancing guidelines as close as possible. If you have any further questions about the coronavirus, contact the CDC here. Stay home and stay safe.