The past couple of weeks have been crazy due to the coronavirus scare. Flights have been cancelled worldwide, hand sanitizers are nowhere to be found, and people are unsure if they should self-quarantine. Just today, Senator Ted Cruz announced that he will be undergoing a self-quarantine at home after having an interaction with a coronavirus patient. People of all ages are scared, and they want to protect themselves and their friends from COVID-19. The only problem is that all the supplies which you would need to do so are no longer in stock. All major retailers, both online and in store are totally wiped out of any of the EPA registered antimicrobial products.
The good news is that contrary to popular belief we will get over coronavirus just as we did with the swine flu in 2009 and SARS epidemic in 2003. Until then we must know what to do in case of coronavirus exposure with or without the supplies we need. Below we will discuss some coronavirus home and office cleaning hacks. Please understand that prior to publishing the article the author did not have ample amount of time to run these ideas by a health official to verify if they truly work. These are not verified to prevent or disinfect coronavirus and are to be used at the readers risk. The COVID-19 preventions and cleaning hacks below are for a worst-case scenario where no other options are available. For up-to-date verified and reliable information always make sure to use the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as the number one resource for coronavirus cleaning and prevention.
Using trash liners in small trash receptacles
Whether it’s the waste basket by your desk or trash can in your bathroom, you want to make sure you're lining them with small trash bags. When people see a trash can anywhere, they will use it for tissues, chewed gum, used cups, and other items that encounter bodily fluids. The easiest way to contract the coronavirus would be to touch a contaminated surface. Once the virus is on a person’s hands it’s only a matter of time before they touch their mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes and become infected. Next time you’re at a public gathering, take the time to watch how many people are touching their faces for absolutely no reason at all. People are biting their nails, caressing their hair, rubbing their nose, and scratching their head without even realizing (there is another problem of community spread, of people contracting the virus and not knowing how they encountered it, but chances are that it spread from person to person).
Unfortunately, small waste baskets tend to accumulate more garbage a lot faster than the typical eleven-gallon trash can. Very often you will see the trash can in a doctor’s office or place of worship overflowing with tissues and trash, especially during cold and flu season. The two ways to handle this would be to either get a bigger waste basket or change the small garbage bags more often.
Can’t seem to find plastic gloves?
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to handle waste with plastic gloves but can’t seem to locate any, try using a 4-gallon high density trash bag instead. This can be used for cleaning a home or office in an emergency where you have run out of plastic gloves. To get a good snug fit, place your hand deep into the bag and use a thick rubber band to secure the bag in place.
This hack can be used for food preparation as well. The next time you're prepping a meal for the family why not give them extra added protection. It’s important to make sure that the food preparer is taking the utmost precaution as they come into close contact with both family and friends. It might be a bit difficult at first, but you will get used to it quickly.
Keeping germs off your shoes
When working in food preparation it’s important to know that germs and infectious disease can be carried on the shoes you are wearing. Let’s say you work at a school cafeteria and you’re in charge of preparing the food for the children. You got to work via the subway and who knows what you stepped in? It could be someone sneezing or spitting on the platform and you stepped in it. EHS Today, recommends foot protection to help prevent falls in slippery environments. But with the coronavirus spreading, you might want to keep those germs off your shoes as well.
What if I don’t have access to shoe covers?
If you don’t have access to shoe covers try using small low density trash bags. The extra thickness will give you significant more grip to the floor than a thin plastic bag. In scenarios where you need to disinfect and are exposed to the coronavirus, you will get greater foot protection than your typical three-quarter shoe cover. Once your job is complete dispose the bag into a controlled waste bin which is handled with care.
Using plastic tablecloths to quarantine a room
No, we don’t want to be in this situation but what does one do when they have symptoms of COVID-19? According to the CDC one who contracts the coronavirus should remain at home unless they must seek medical attention. Like the flu, one should get lots of liquid and take Motrin and Tylenol until symptoms subside. What’s different about COVID-19 is that there is no vaccine which makes seniors and those who have compromised immune systems more susceptible to the disease.
When one, God forbid, contracts the disease it’s important to not put the people that you live with at risk. Make sure to separate yourself from other people and animals in your home. Have the people in your home choose a room which makes sense to be used for quarantine. At the entrances you want to take a thick clear plastic tablecloth and seal the entrances to the room. This will prevent germs from flowing from one room to another.
Entrances are sealed, what about the air vents?
Great point! Even with all the entrances to the room sealed properly with thick plastic, the air vents are still moving the compromised air throughout the home. Allertech Vent Guard can be placed on the vents and function as a filter, trapping dust, pollen, and other contaminants from escaping the room. The real issue is the air being sucked up from the room not the air being pushed into the room. We would still recommend covering all openings with the electrostatic filter material. The Honeywell Replacement Filter MERV 13 would be a perfect solution to be used for your main system filter. This HEPA filter will prevent smoke, viruses, and bacteria from passing back into the system.
How to deal with the coronavirus hysteria?
From morning until night all we hear about is the coronavirus. It’s gotten to a point that our children have begun to feel sick or are excessively washing their hands. This is referred to as coronavirus anxiety. Each parent must validate their child’s feelings and make sure that they understand that they are safe and protected. As a matter of fact, children have taken well to the disease and have recovered quite nicely in comparison with those who are 70 or older.
As parents of young children, we need to be clear that washing our hands has always been important and we want to encourage good sanitary habits. This could include taking a bath or shower every night, brushing their teeth, and going to sleep on time. When you serve them breakfast tomorrow make sure they get a full cup of orange juice. Vitamin C helps protect against a cold, the flu, and many other viruses. Parents need to use this opportunity to get back to “Eat Healthy be Healthy” basics.
President Franklin Roosevelt said at his first inauguration speech “The only thing to fear is fear itself”. We don’t want to walk around fearful from the coronavirus but rather complacent. Kids react as their parents do. It’s important to walk around secure and confident. No need to run to Walmart and Target to stock up on toilet paper; people do this out of nervousness. Turn off the news and radio and start spending more time with your kids. Any important updates or news can be gotten from the most reliable source at the CDC.gov and there is no need to keep the hysteria blaring. The media loves when the country is scared, and they take advantage of it. The CDC said that there is no need to clear the shelves from stores and calm should be restored. People should not buy face masks, as they do little to prevent and more often than not lead to the spread of more germs. If you can take one idea from this article in the wake of the coronavirus 2020 hysteria, it would be to bring calm into your home and workplace. We will get over the coronavirus, we will.