As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak continues, we’re all hunkering down and (hopefully) doing our part to flatten the curve—community isolation measures that keep the daily number of cases at a manageable level for medical providers. Slowing the spread of this illness is essential and working together (while social distancing) is the way to go.
Most of us are stuck at home, steering clear of friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the elderly. If we must go out, we’ve been instructed to wash our hands, keep ‘em off our faces, and maintain the recommended six feet of separation from others.
But there’s more we can do to stay healthy and it all starts at home. We may be “trapped” in our humble abodes for a while, so get in gear to get rid of the germs you’re living with.
Germs? You bet. Your home is now your “safe space,” but the items you use every day may be covered in bacteria, grime, and other funk and gunk. Not fun, but fixable.
Sounds nasty. But you’re not. It happens. So, here’s how to handle it.
You may find yourself in the kitchen more than usual now that you’re home nearly 24/7. Whether you’re eating out of stress or boredom, the “step-up” in snacking is getting you through this trying time.
While you’re in there, look around. Germs are everywhere if you don’t clean regularly.
Let’s start with that kitchen sponge. When was the last time you replaced it? If it already stinks, you’re too far gone. Toss it now and replace it with a fresh one. Sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria to grow because they’re moist.
A Forbes article referenced a study that found that your kitchen sponge has more germs than your toilet. Do you really want to rub that inside of your coffee cup? Didn’t think so.
While you’re at it, your entire kitchen sink could probably use a good scrub. Just because the water runs over it all the time doesn’t mean it’s clean. A standard kitchen spray cleaner, especially with bacteria and virus killers, will handle even the filthiest sink. Use wipes if you need to rub and scrub off build-up.
Think about the things you’re always touching, but rarely wiping down. Stove/oven knobs and buttons, the refrigerator door handle, the microwave, even the light switch. You’ll be home for a while, so make use of the downtime to clean up.
After the kitchen clean-up wake-up call, you’re probably thinking about how scary your bathroom must be.
Hopefully, you don’t need a lesson on cleaning the loo, but you may not have considered your toothbrush. It may be teeming with germs, and think about where you’re going to put that thing.
Clean your toothbrush regularly with a disinfectant safe to put in your mouth, such as a mouthwash or cleaner specifically designed for this purpose. If you use a toothbrush holder, clean that too. Keep your toothbrush away from the others if you share a bathroom with family members or roommates.
Your dentist wants you to brush at least twice daily, but they may have neglected to explain that doing so with a germ-free toothbrush is ideal. Colgate has some tips to keep your toothbrush fresh and clean, from baking soda solutions to a vinegar soak.
OK, it may not feel that way, but if you only knew what sort of stuff is lurking on your smartphone, you’d freak out. But don’t call 9-1-1, we’re here to help.
We use this handy gadget nearly non-stop and our hands aren’t always clean when we grab it to check texts or swipe right. We plop it down anywhere, hand it to friends to look at pics, and even bring it into the bathroom (no judgment).
Do what you will with your smartphone, but clean it too. There are special wipes you can use that are safe for smartphones. Or, take a clean cloth or paper towel with a bit of disinfectant and wipe it down daily. You don’t want to touch an unclean screen, let alone place it on your face. Yes, some people still make “old-fashioned” phone calls.
Binge-watching is the way to go as we’re huddled up at home and running out of productive things to do. Now’s the time to catch up on those shows you’ve been longing to see, and once we’re back at work, you can finally participate in the water cooler chat about the most popular series.
Relax, recline, but don’t grab that remote. It’s filthy. You’ve probably never cleaned it, despite your Cheetos habit while watching The Bachelor or old episodes of The Big Bang Theory.
Now imagine everyone else who has used your remote and where their hands have been. Not to mention, it has fallen on the floor, been licked by your Labrador, and sat on by your sweaty sports-loving teenager.
“Netflix and chill” is cool, but not until the remote is ready. HuffPost has an easy cleaning plan, and all you’ll need is rubbing alcohol, some cotton balls, and a couple of Q-Tips.
Working from home means lots of time in front of the computer. Those keys aren’t cleaning themselves. Just like your remote, a swipe or two with a disinfectant cleaner over the keyboard will do the trick. And don’t miss that mouse. Keep it “squeaky” clean too!
Naturally, there are plenty more places in your home that can be disinfected, especially now as we battle COVID-19. Think doorknobs, switches, latches, handles, kids’ toys, etc. if you see it, clean it. Plain and simple. It doesn’t take long to make a difference. You’ll be healthier, safer, and the peace of mind is magical.
Now get to work! It’s worth the effort.
If you’re experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have serious concerns about infection, please notify our team before visiting or use vybe’s telemedicine service to see a doctor online. If you are not experiencing symptoms, stay home and continue social distancing.