It’s been more than a month since the lockdown, so you’ve adjusted to social distancing. Doing groceries has turned into Herculean task. Also, chances are you’ve had food delivered to your homes and wondered if the packaging was contaminated.
Do not allow into your home anything that doesn’t belong there, like takeout and packages, said Dr. Susan Mercado, President Duterte’s special envoy for Global Health Initiatives.
“It’s certainly good practice to be cautious about anything that doesn’t originally belong in your house. After handling takeouts, transfer the food and dispose of the packaging. Then wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds,” she said.
Your outdoor shoes should not be worn inside the house. Assign a place for them in the house, preferably at the entrance, so you won’t have to walk around in them. Everyone must have slippers intended for indoors.
While there’s no need to start disinfecting your home like it were a hospital, Mercado said it’s prudent to clean or disinfect anything that goes in and out of the house.
“It’s not complicated. Disinfect your shoes and slippers with soap and water,” she said.
Air outdoor clothes
Remove the clothes you wore outside and wash them right away. If you’ve been out only briefly, Mercado suggests airing the clothes and drying them out in the sun.
“The virus could cling to clothes, but we’re not sure. So it’s better not to wear outside clothes inside the house,” she said.
It is yet unclear how long the virus can survive on fabric. Still, many clothing items have plastic and metal elements where the virus could thrive, anywhere from a few hours to several days. Don’t shake dirty laundry to minimize the possibility of dispersing the virus through the air. Wash bed sheets and towels.
Wash or disinfect your laundry bag and hamper, as well. Store laundry in disposable containers if you can.
Do not stay long in clothes you’ve worn outside your house. When you get into your home, remove them, and wash your hands right away. Hand washing should be the first thing everyone does when he comes in from the outside.
“Our hands are the mode of transmission for the virus. We should be very conscious of what we do with our hands—what they touch, where they go,” Mercado said.
It’s good to wear gloves when outside, she said, because people who wear gloves tend not to touch their face. But once inside the house, dispose the gloves and wash
Any soap will do
If water is scarce in your area, Mercado advises using alcogel. Alcohol must be at least 70 percent isopropyl, but any soap will do.
“The virus has a cell envelope that pops when it comes into contact with soap—any soap—which destroys the virus. Then wash this away with water,” she said.
High-touch surfaces must be cleaned and disinfected regularly, especially when you have a household member who runs errands. High-touch surfaces include tables, chairs, doorknobs, handrails, kitchen and bathroom surfaces, taps, toilets, light switches, mobile phones, computers, tablets, keyboards, remote controls, game controllers and toys if you have children.
On visibly dirty objects, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using soap and water first, then a disinfectant like alcohol. INQ