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How to Make Your Home Corona Proof

Coronaproof-Your-Home

It might not be the end of the world, but it definitely feels like it is the end of the world as you know it. The pandemic that this world is reeling under has brought the world at its feet. Several countries, especially in Europe, have buckled under the pressure and the sheer number that the COVID 19 has thrown at their face. Given the population of India, the challenge is a race against time. This is the time that the government is trying desperately to buy for you and your family’s wellbeing. The pertinent question now is, what is this mysterious COVID 19? How can you protect your family and yourself from its devastating effect? The second question is perhaps even more important than the first. This guide will cover all the bases on how you can keep your family, loved ones, and yourself safe and protected against this deadly illness.

 What is Coronavirus and COVID 19?

To put it simply, coronavirus is the name given to a group or class of viruses. Some of these viruses may make you sick, and some of them do not affect human health. The newly identified strain of the coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has emerged from China in December 2019. This strain is responsible for the disease outbreak in China and now the world. It affects the respiratory system of the human body, and this coronavirus disease has been termed as COVID 19. The coronavirus disease was officially declared as a pandemic by WHO in March 2020. Since then, the world has scrambled to contain and effectively manage this pandemic.

How Does It Spread?

As per the current information, coronavirus only spreads through droplets from person to person. These droplets get released in the air when an infected person sneezes, coughs, talks, or spits. The range that this coronavirus travels is within a 6 feet diameter. Since it is primarily human to humans in close contact, it is very important to maintain social distancing and good respiratory etiquette. These two concepts are discussed below:

  • Social Distancing: It is maintaining appropriate space and avoiding unnecessary contact with another human. This includes:
    • No close contact when talking or communicating with outside family
    • Not attending any mass gathering including social and religious events
    • Maintain 6 feet distance when doing grocery shopping or at the vegetable vendor
  • Good Respiratory Etiquette: This involves the following:
    • Wearing a mask
    • Sneezing into a handkerchief or the elbow crook.
    • Not touching your face especially your nose, eyes, and mouth
    • Avoiding going out in the public when you have a cough and cold symptoms.
    • Washing and sanitizing your hands often

Why do You need To Be Extra Careful?

The characteristics displayed by the SARS-CoV-2 make it extremely dangerous. These are:

  • Highly contagious
  • Severe respiratory illness
  • Fatal especially for elderly and people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • No vaccination or medicine is available for its treatment as of now. The treatment plan is focused on symptom alleviation only

What Are the Symptoms of Corona?

Coronavirus disease has an incubation period of 14 days. People have been known to start exhibiting symptoms anywhere between 2 to 14th day after exposure. The severity may range from mild to severe, with some people not exhibiting any signs at all. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Cough
  • Cold
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Breathlessness
  • Muscle ache and pain
  • Sudden loss of taste and smell

How Does Corona Enter Your Home?

During this quarantine phase, how can the corona enter your home? When you have been cut off from the world, then how can this virus gain entry into your home? There are various ways in which the coronavirus can get into your home. Some of these are listed below:

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Milk packets
  • Newspaper
  • Grocery items
  • Hard cash in the form of paper money and coins
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Delivery agents
  • Maids and house help
  • Pets
  • Regular walks
  • Footwear

Tips to Corona Proof Your Home

Given the nature of the coronavirus disease, it seems like a daunting task to try and corona proof your home. However, by taking certain basic precautions, you can easily ride this wave without suffering through it. Some tips are listed below to help you protect yourself and your family.

Make A Plan: This is the first step towards corona proofing your home. It involves clearly defining roles and expectations like:

  • Designate one person as the errand runner in the family. Only this person should be allowed to step out for groceries and other essential shopping. This way, only one person gets exposed.
  • Make sure the errand runner is not greeted by the other family members upon return from the market till he/she has sanitized properly.
  • Assign a disinfecting space in the house. Make it outside your home or in a room where there is low footfall. This is the place where you should leave the newly purchased packaged grocery for 24 hours so that it can disinfect.

While You Are Out: This is a very crucial point. It is while you are out that you most risk getting the virus back inside your home with you. Some points to take care of when you are out are:

  • Look for a less crowded shop. Especially with the local vegetable and fruit vendors. Try going in the afternoon. This is when it is least crowded
  • Maintain social distance from other people. Remember, you need to be 6 feet away.
  • Wipe down the basket and cart handles with a disinfectant.
  • Wear a mask as mandated by the India government
  • Sanitize your hands often
  • Avoid touching your face

When You Return: After the trip outside, you have to be extra careful that you don’t contaminate your home on the off chance that you were somehow exposed on any level. Bear in mind that the coronavirus can stay on surfaces like your clothes and footwear or even on the grocery that you might have purchased. Some points to remember are:

  • Try not to touch your door handles. Let someone else open the door for you.
  • Remove and keep your shoes outside for the next 24 hours. Don’t walk all over your house floor with the same outside shoes on
  • Unload all the packages and purchased food at the disinfecting area
  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds
  • Thoroughly wash all the fruits and vegetables before putting them away.
  • Keep your wallet with all your money separately in a bowl, and don’t touch it for the next 24 hours.

Disinfect and Sanitize: After taking care of the purchases, you need to take care of all the surfaces you might have gotten in touch with. Take a tissue and put some sanitizer on it. Alternatively, you can use Colin spray. With this disinfect the following:

  • Door handles
  • Light switches
  • Car keys
  • Mobile phone
  • Any surface you might have touched like a wall, furniture or the kitchen slab

Deliveries: With the laws about quarantine getting stricter by the day, one very convenient option is to get your groceries delivered directly at home. You have an online vendor like Amazon, Big Basket, and Dunzo that have resumed operations.

Getting your grocery delivered can be both a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing about it is that you minimize your exposure. At the same time, you are still getting exposed to the delivery agent who himself is getting exposed to countless people in the day. Some points to keep your deliveries safe are:

  • Consider online payment of the deliveries
  • Leave a bag outside your house at your doorstep where your delivery can be dropped
  • If you cannot avoid meeting the delivery agent, then ensure you maintain 6 feet distance from him
  • After that disinfect and sanitize you delivered goods as you would when you go out to purchase them
  • Wash your hands thoroughly afterward

Clothes: The coronavirus can stay on your clothes. For this reason, you must wash your clothes after making a trip outside. Apart from this, you should follow these tips when generally washing your clothes:

  • Try to wash the clothes at high temperatures if the feature is available in your washing machine.
  • Use a good detergent with Dettol to disinfect the clothes
  • Dry your clothes in the sun
  • Avoid shaking your dirty laundry so that the virus does not disperse in the air and attach to other surfaces
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling dirty clothes

Pets: Pets can become a carrier of coronavirus. They can shelter this virus on their body or their paws when you take them out for relieving themselves. Keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure you keep the pets isolated when outside
  • Put a muzzle on their mouth so that they do not sniff around
  • Keep the outdoor trips brief and try to reduce the frequency twice daily
  • Wipe their paws properly with a disinfectant before entering your home. If possible, you can consider putting on little booties on their paws.
  • Disinfect the muzzle, collar, booties, and the leash every time you return from outside. Also, keep them separate from other things.

People: In the current situation of lockdown pan India, you are prohibited from having guests as per the govt mandate. Hence make sure you do not have any outsiders enter your home including your house help and any guests or relatives. Even when the lockdown is lifted, you should avoid unnecessarily exposing your home to outsiders till the epidemic is officially declared over.

Car and other Vehicles: You need to disinfect your car or other vehicles also. You can easily do this by wiping the handles, steering wheel, and keys down with a sanitizer, Dettol lotion, or Colin spray.

Points to Bear in Mind

There are certain things you should keep in mind when going about your daily routine. They are detailed below for your convenience:

  • It is a good idea to stock up on daily essentials like milk and bread for a few days. This will help you minimize your outside trips, thereby minimizing exposure.
  • Shop for other non-dairy items like staples for the month, if possible. If not, then at least for a couple of weeks. The idea is to reduce outside exposure as much as possible.
  • Sanitize or wash your hands regularly even when you are at home.
  • Make it a habit to avoid touching your face
  • Always wear a mask when outside even when you go out to walk your dog
  • Maintain social distance when out no matter what the circumstances
  • Keep a healthy and positive attitude. Remember, this too shall pass.
  • Periodically clean the high-frequency substances

Who Needs to Be Extra Careful?

Everyone should be careful and cautious at this stage of the coronavirus disease. It is known to infect one and all. However, just like any other disease, certain factions are more at risk than others. You need to be more careful if you are:

  • Over 60 years of age
  • Have a smoking habit
  • Have a pre-existing medical condition like diabetes, hypertension, immune disorder, cancer, etc
  • Have a high level of exposure to the public like a health worker, delivery agents, shopkeeper, police or the medical fraternity

What to Do If You Fall Sick?

Don’t despair if you have fallen sick. Chances are it is just a normal bout of cough and cold, which will go away naturally. Analyze your symptoms and check if:

  • Do you have any international travel in the past 14 days?
  • You have traveled in public transport in the last 14 days?
  • Been in touch with anyone with travel history, be it international or domestic in the past 14 days?
  • If anyone in your family has any of this history?
  • Could you have been exposed in any fashion in the past 14 days?

Call the COVID 19 helpline numbers provided by the Indian government and follow the instructions provided. There are detailed instructions on when you need to test for COVID 19. This can be accessed here.

Self-Quarantine Habits

If you feel sick and have a cough and cold, it is a good idea to self-quarantine, given the current circumstances. You do not want to expose your family members unnecessarily, even on an off chance. Some tips to follow when you are under self-quarantine are:

  • Avoid leaving your room
  • Wear a mask when you do step out of your room
  • Use a separate bathroom if possible
  • Use separate crockery and dishes as much as possible
  • Avoid contact with other family members
  • Have your meals in your room only and request your meals to be left at the door
  • Wash your utensils and clothes separately from other family members

COVID-19 Myth Buster

Some common myths have been doing the rounds about coronavirus. Some of them are:

  • Coronavirus Cannot Survive Over 25C Degrees

You can get coronavirus even under hot temperatures. There is nothing that points at the claim that the virus cannot survive extreme temperatures.

  • It Is Impossible To Recover From Coronavirus

Just contacting coronavirus does not mean you will have it for life. It is possible to recover from it. According to the latest statistics out of the 4714 active cases, 410 have recovered successfully. This can be accessed at the official government website.

  • Drinking Alcohol Protects Against Coronavirus

Drinking does not protect you from coronavirus. On the contrary, excessive drinking can make it difficult for you to bounce back if you contact coronavirus.

  • Coronavirus Can Be Transmitted Through Mosquitoes

The new coronavirus cannot be transmitted through mosquitoes. To date, there is no data to support that coronavirus can be spread through mosquitoes.

Coronavirus FAQ Corner

For how long does coronavirus survive on surfaces?

Studies show that coronavirus can survive on surfaces ranging from a few hours to a maximum of a few days. The exact time duration depends on the type of surface it has attached itself to. The COVID19 strain is also known to exhibit the same characteristics in preliminary studies. However, its behavior needs to be studied more to the state for sure.

Is the coronavirus airborne?

Available pieces of evidence and studies on the COVID 19 strain have not exhibited any signs that this strain is airborne. As per WHO, this disease is not known to transmit through air.

For how long does the coronavirus incubate?

The incubation period is the time it takes for a disease to start affecting your body. In other words, it is time it takes for your body to start showing signs and symptoms of a particular disease. For the COVID 19 strain, WHO estimates the incubation period to be between 1 to 14 days. On average, an infected person starts exhibiting signs around the 5th day.

Can you get coronavirus disease by touching a surface?

Not every surface is contaminated by the coronavirus. Also, simply touching a contaminated surface is not enough for you to catch the disease. You will get the coronavirus disease only if you touch a contaminated surface then proceed to touch your nose, mouth, or eyes with the same contaminated hands. Hence it is recommended that you do not touch your face when outside and to repeatedly keep sanitizing your hands.

Bottom Line

Coronavirus has taken everybody by storm. It has crippled lives and economies alike. However, this disease can be easily prevented. You need to remain vigilant and exercise basic precautions to remain corona free. Remember, extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures.

Related Blogs

Role of Ayurveda In COVID 19 Pandemic

Role of Ayurveda In COVID 19 Pandemic

To curb the menace caused by Coronavirus pandemic, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, and Homeopathy (aka AYUSH), recommended...

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