7 Tips to Help Prevent Coronavirus in Your Home
Helpful Ways to Keep a Healthy Home to Protect Yourself and Others from the Coronavirus
By Bianca Herron
12 min read
With the number of wildfires steadily increasing, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from harmful smoke. More than 47,500 wildfires burned around 8.6 million acres of land this year alone, creating devastating ecological impacts as well as health concerns. Ash and chemicals from wildfires can cause serious issues for your respiratory system. Residents in dry climates and areas where wildfires are common will undoubtedly benefit from an air purifier for smoke.
The first step to preventing COVID-19 in your home is to make sure you protect yourself when your out and about. Always wear a mask or face covering when you’re in public, whether the business, store, or building you’re entering requires it or not. It’s one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and keep you from bringing COVID home to your family.
In addition to wearing a mask, keep your distance. It’s not easy when you are inside stores and other places, but try to keep at least six feet or two arm lengths between you and other people. And avoid large crowds whenever possible.
While you’re out, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible; use alcohol-based hand sanitizer and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water as soon and as often as you can.
Now that vaccines are available, it’s important to receive one to protect yourself from the virus and help slow down the spread of it. But it takes time to make enough vaccinations and get them in the arms of nearly 330 million Americans, so until supply catches up with demand, the CDC has a recommended phased approach of who should get it.
When the weather allows, open the windows and let fresh airflow into your home. It’s an excellent way to help re-circulate the air inside your house. Even if it’s cold outside, if you can tolerate opening the windows just a little bit, it will help.
If you open windows on opposite sides of the room, that will push the stale air out and the fresh air in by creating a cross breeze. The World Health Organization says opening the windows in your home will help improve ventilation and cut down the risk of disease transmission.
Air purifiers are designed to pull airborne irritants like mold, dust, pollen, pet dander, and even bacteria and viruses out of the air, trap them in a filter and send out clean and purified air. The best air purifiers use a HEPA filter. HEPA filters capture 99.97% of the particles in the air and can even pull in the smallest virus droplets, like COVID, floating around. Air purifiers can range from $100 to $900 or more, so it can be a considerable investment depending on your budget. But they are well worth the cost, not just as a way to help fight COVID but also to help relieve all kinds of allergy and respiratory issues.
When purchasing an air purifier, make sure to look for one that fits the space where you plan to put it. All air purifiers work in certain square footage areas. If you buy one whose maximum square footage is 300 square feet and put it in a room that’s 450 square feet, it won’t work as effectively.
One of the hardest parts of following COVID restrictions has been having to stay away from our friends and loved ones. Hugs and handshakes have turned into head nods and elbow bumps. And as much as you may want to throw the doors open and invite everyone you care about into your home, it’s still not a good idea until transmission rates go down and vaccination rates go up. The larger the crowd inside your home, the better the chance of spreading COVID. So, continue to hold off on the big birthday parties and backyard barbecues until vaccines become more widely available and more people have had one.
It’s necessary to keep your family healthy and safe from all kinds of germs and viruses, and COVID is no exception. Daily cleaning and disinfecting the surfaces in your home that are frequently touched is important. It’s been proven that the virus can live on some surfaces for several hours. So, look around your home, consider what is touched most often, and concentrate on cleaning those areas. Door knobs and frames, refrigerator and drawer handle, phones and keyboards, tables and countertops, faucets and toilets, and countertops in kitchens and bathrooms all need to be cleaned regularly. You can start with soap and water and then use an EPA-approved disinfectant proven to kill COVID.
Don’t forget to wash clothes, jackets, masks, and face coverings regularly, wipe down the TV remote and video game controllers and spray disinfectant on the outside of your children’s backpacks and lunchboxes to lessen the chance of germ spread in your home.
The things we learned in preschool about coughing, sneezing, and washing our hands are still best practices. Remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow if you don’t have a tissue handy, even at home. Please wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and do it often, mostly before you eat or handle food or after going to the bathroom. And even though you are family, try not to drink after each other or use the same eating utensils to cut down on the possible spread of COVID, or any germs for that matter.
Staying healthy is a lifelong goal and task. Trying to keep your family from contracting COVID during a pandemic is just another part of that. Following a few simple steps can significantly reduce your chances of getting the virus and spreading it to the ones you love the most.