There is much to learn about the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on what is currently known about COVID-19, spread from person-to-person of this virus happens most frequently among close contacts (within about 6 feet).

As we adapt to our new daily routines in this partial lockdown, we’ll inevitably be exposed to all sorts of germs, be it at the work, grocery stores, and public transport system.

At home, things feel hyperreal and outside they feel entirely surreal—two steps removed from the flashback scenes in a post-apocalyptic movie. You may feel a tension between helping yourself and helping your community. Daily life during the novel coronavirus pandemic is all about disorienting contrasts like these.

Anytime you’re outside your home, be mindful of the germs on your hands. Avoid touching your face until you can wash them, and if possible, keep hand sanitizer with you so you don’t leave potentially harmful pathogens on your car’s steering wheel or a door knob going into your home. This is why the prevention of infections at home is absolutely necessary to keep us and our loved ones safe!

Here are some steps to take as you’re entering your home while limiting our impact on the environment:

  1. Take off your shoes and sanitise. Before entering your home, take off your shoes, spray alcohol on the soles, or leave them under the sun.
  2. Sterilise your stuff. Grocery store hauls require a whole other level of vigilance. Since germs can live on surfaces like bags for several hours, don’t put your groceries on the counter unless you plan to disinfect thoroughly immediately after. You can’t really tell where the bottom and surfaces of your suitcase or bag have been, so make sure to spray it with alcohol or disinfectant.
  3. Once you’ve entered your house, wash your hands immediately. Washing your hands for 20-30 seconds is important, but you don’t have to keep the water running the whole time! You can wet your hands, turn off the tap, and use soap to thoroughly clean your palms, the back of your hands, in between your fingers, back of your fingers, thumbs, fingertips, and wrist. Then, turn the tap back on when it’s time to rinse. This way you not only clean your hands but also save water while doing so. – Remember to wash the tap with soap too!
  4. Disinfect your gadgets. Studies related to viruses like SARS have shown that germs can live on anything from a number of hours to several days, depending on the type of surface, and the temperature and humidity, which is why it’s important to clean your gadgets regularly.
    • Make sure electronics are turned off before wiping it using a microfibre cloth with a small amount of a solution of diluted soap and warm water, or alcohol.
    • Gadget buffs say most mobile phones nowadays are resilient, so you may also use alcohol for cleaning mobile screens (our hands touch these screens constantly when typing out messages or scrolling through Instagram, as do our faces!).
    • Another popular option among techies is the use of personal UV light sanitising devices for cleaning electronics and surfaces
  5. Have other household members do the same! Of course, it’s important to also have our family members and visitors practice these precautions. It’s important for all of us to keep each other safe!