If I’m being honest, I am tired of hearing the word coronavirus and I know I’m not the only one. At this point, there’s nothing I’m praying for more than for the graph to be flattened. So many people are battling for their lives, and so many have died in such a short period. So many families are crossing their fingers hoping that their loved ones will recover. Some are going through it all alone, locked in a house, with no one to keep them company. It’s the saddest thing and just thinking about it can easily lead to depression.
It’s extremely depressing, and it’s everywhere. You turn on the T.V and they’re talking about coronavirus. You walk to the living room and your family members are discussing the statistics of people who have died. You scroll through your social media, and half the posts are about it. I don’t want to be oblivious about the intensity of the issue. I highly sympathize with everyone who is directly or indirectly affected. However, I recognize that it can very easily get to your head and lead to mental health issues. I have a friend who recently declared that a particular room in their house is a coronavirus-free zone. She told her family that anytime someone walked into that room they were allowed to discuss everything but the pandemic.
Having said this, ironically this is a post about coronavirus. I will not bombard you with the statistics, but I’m here to let you know about the objects that you need to clean very regularly in a bid to kill the virus. As per an article on the Harvard Health Publishing, coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel. This virus can also hang out as droplets in the air for up to three hours before they fall, but more often they will fall more quickly.
Here are the items that you should clean regularly.
Your phone and other electronic devices
If you were to count the number of times you put your phone down on surfaces and pick it up in a day, the number would certainly shock you. This just goes to prove that your phone is highly likely to pick up the virus from surfaces that have been exposed to it. For most people who have phone covers, the material is usually plastic. As stated above, the virus can survive up to two to three days on plastic. This is why you must regularly sanitize your phone.
According to an article on The Guardian, Apple advises you to use a 70% isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox disinfecting wipes. The alcohol quickly evaporates from the surface of your phone and kills all the microbes. Don’t use Dettol wipes or any other type that needs to be left on the surface for a certain period to work, because this will interfere with the phone’s functioning.
You can also use soap and water. You shouldn’t immerse your phone in water. You can moisten a cloth or a paper towel with washing-up liquid or hand soap and then wipe your phone. Make sure to do this very regularly.
Whether you’re living by yourself or with people, you frequently touch doorknobs. That’s why you might want to clean them regularly. Clean your doorknobs thoroughly with water and soap. The doorknob for the main door needs to be cleaned more regularly because when you come from outside you never know what you have touched, and if it is harbouring the virus. If you can, avoid touching doorknobs altogether. Try your best to open doors with your elbow and not with your hands.
Credit and debit cards
We have been advised to avoid cash transactions as much as we can, and many people have since turned to the use of debit and credit cards to pay for things. Here’s the thing, your card could be harbouring the virus and it needs regular cleaning. You could go as far as cleaning a card with a disinfecting wipe or an alcohol-based sanitizer. Dr. Stephen Thomas who is a professor of medicine and chief of the infectious disease division at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, suggests someone concerned about a potentially germy credit or debit card also could clean it with soap and warm or hot water.
People are constantly touching light switches. If you were to count the number of times that you walk in and out of a room and turn the lights on/off it would sure add up to a lot. Therefore light switches have to be cleaned regularly to kill the virus if it has been exposed. Make sure that you turn the lights off before cleaning them otherwise, you could get shocked. Clean with a little soap and water and then wipe it dry once you’re done.
Cloth Towels and Cloth handkerchiefs
In this pandemic season, we are all keen on handwashing, but watch out for that cloth towel it could be collecting a lot of germs. “A multiple-use textile or cloth towels have a higher risk of spreading germs especially when a family members has a common cold and hands are not washed properly,” explained Hartaj Bains, Kim Fay Sales & Marketing Director. Instead, use paper towels if you can or if you must use a towel then change it frequently. Alternatively, you can have smaller single-use flannel or face towels which when used can be put in a lidded bin for washing.
From years of research and innovation in hygiene products, Fay has discovered that simple strategies such as using good quality tissue instead of a handkerchief can make all the difference between a quick recovery and prolonged downtime from a cold.
“Using a good quality facial tissues to blow your nose is more hygienic than reusing a handkerchief as you can easily dispose of the single use facial tissue and not carry the germs in your pocket as you would with a handkerchief,” says Hartaj.
It is highly recommended that you wash your hands after blowing your nose or coughing. If you can’t wash your hands, you could consider using alcohol-based (wipes) hand-rub, which research suggests will kill bacteria and viruses.
Make sure that you wash your clothes thoroughly. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention advises that you immediately remove and wash clothes or bedding that have blood, stool, or body fluids on them. Wear disposable gloves while handling soiled items and keep soiled items away from your body. Clean your hands (with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer) immediately after removing your gloves. Lastly, read and follow directions on labels of laundry or clothing items and detergent.
In general, you should use a normal laundry detergent according to washing machine instructions and then dry the clothes thoroughly using the warmest temperatures recommended on the clothing label.