Nobody expected social distancing in 2020, but here it is. We live in stressful times, but this time it’s not because of excessive paperwork. The majority of us have to stay home and now see the outside world as an imminent threat we face every time we need to buy groceries.
Everyone has coping strategies and protocols to stay safe, but now you checked in with us, I’m taking some time to give you a shortlist of priorities, tips, and recommendations you can try to care for yourself and your family in these troubled times.
Day-to-day situations and quick solutions
Let’s say you need to stock your pantry and need to save the money from delivery services. While it is true that there’s a pending threat out there, try to clear this alarming sensation from your mind as much as possible and just take smart steps to stay safe:
Use wet wipes: We’ve all heard about washing our hands regularly, but not touching your face is even more important than that. However, you do reach your face more than a thousand times each day. Instead of resisting the urge, we encourage you to carry around wet wipes or a similar product to take care of that annoying itchy spot in your face. After using one, be careful to throw it away and do not recycle.
Touch and feel: If you need to touch and feel your vegetables, do it confidently. You can wash your hands and your veggies after reaching home. Don’t become obsessed over the type of surface you’re touching; it’s something you cannot control, and it makes no difference in what you have to do: wash your hands afterward.
Street clothes and home clothes: While you’re out, you can’t help leaning over metal bars or a counter. Other people can make direct contact, and you can touch your own clothes and carry around the virus. That’s why I recommend assigning a pair of jeans, a comfortable shirt, and a pair of shoes as street clothes and changing to your home clothes as soon as you get back home. Put it directly to the laundry if you can, or keep it close to the entry in a spot we will call “unrestricted area.”
Build your unrestricted area: In the operating room, the unrestricted area is the only place where you can wear street clothes. That’s why I call unrestricted area to that spot in your house that will inevitably have a higher chance of contamination. You can locate this area near the entry and leave there your street clothes, your wallet with money, your ATM card, car keys, and everything else that’s always in contact with the outside. That way, you don’t need to worry about having contaminated money and items inside your house.
Washing protocol: Once you’re back home, wash your hands and your forearms, reaching your way up to the area of your skin not covered by your shirt. Even if you recently used antibacterial hand gel, don’t be overconfident. Also, take out your watch and your mobile and wipe them with disinfectant. The bathroom closest to the main entry should count as an unrestricted area because it’s where you will wash your hands and make contact with surfaces while still potentially contaminated.
If you follow the recommendations above, you don’t need to worry about who touched your clothes, the surfaces you made contact with, and the money in your wallet.
It’s just considering the outside as contaminated area, never touching your face directly while you’re out, and having a new space in your house where you keep potentially contaminated items and clothes.
Use extra security measures when you clean this area and keep it disinfected at all times if you have kids. Stay home as much as possible, and stay safe for your sake and that of your family. But above all, keep calm and keep going, one day at a time.