To protect yourself and your loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are areas or your home that you must guard carefully. You also need to protect your emotional health and manage stress. Finally, you need a way to connect.
Doorways: The First Disinfection Stop
If you need to lock down for quarantine because you or a loved one are at special risk, set up a decontamination area at the front door. Put a plastic or rubberized tray on the floor for shoes, and set shoes of anyone who comes in the house on disinfecting wipes while they change out of at least the outer layer of their clothes. Bag all laundry in a trash bag and either wash it immediately in warm water and soap or store the trash bag in a hamper for laundering later.
Keep Ziploc bags near the door so all disposable masks can be sealed before discarding. Wipe down electronics and purses before hanging things up or putting them on the charger.
Incoming Product: Clean It Before You Open It
Try to get your groceries delivered in cardboard boxes; the containers will be easier to wipe down and coronavirus can only live on cardboard for about 24 hours. Once all groceries are in the house, wipe down the box, and then wipe down all containers as they come out of the box. Any time you handle anything from outside, wash your hands for 20 seconds with lots of bubbles.
Test Regularly: Temperatures and Oxygen Levels
Check everyone’s temperature with a digital thermometer every day. For those with breathing issues, consider getting a fingertip pulse oximeter to test that everyone is getting enough oxygen. Unfortunately, the virus can reduce oxygen saturation to dangerous levels before the sufferer realizes it, so regular testing will give you a heads up that something is amiss.
If you truly can’t leave the house, consider the option to order lab test online so you have a COVID-19 test handy should someone in the house become symptomatic. Make sure you have a bedroom or a resting space where anyone with a fever can move from bed to bathroom with as little contact with others in the house as possible.
Twice a day, wipe down all the shared surfaces with a disinfectant known to break down the lipid layer on the outside of the virus. This includes
- light switches
- door handles
- remote control units
- sink and toilet handles
You’ll notice how many items in your household get handled by many pretty quickly.
Make sure that you have a way to connect with friends, family, and co-workers outside your home. Whether it’s an email, a text, or a social media post, share how you’re doing, especially if you’re not doing all that well, with supportive folks who can help. If you’ve always been the strong one, reach out to a pastor or other professional. Schedule a teleconference with a therapist.
Caregiving is exhausting and isolation is depressing. Anxiety is a given, considering the state of the world. You can’t properly protect your home or your loved ones if you’re struggling with unrelenting exhaustion, anxiety, or depression, so make sure your phone and cable connections are secure and well-used.
We’re not all in the same boat. Some of us are in a yacht and some are in an inflatable kayak. If you or a loved one are high risks, precautions to protect against the virus must be carefully followed. Anyone who comes to your door with no mask has to go. Stay vigilant and healthy.