Some viruses, such as Covid-19, can be transmitted by touch, so when there’s an epidemic in your area, you need to handle shared items with care. If an infected person hands you something, for instance, you’ll need to avoid picking up any germs they’ve shed onto the item’s surface. If this can’t be avoided, you’ll need to clean your hands immediately afterward, before touching anything else. Measures like these sound fiddly and time-consuming, but you’ll soon get into the swing of them with these five simple tips.
- Beware newly acquired items
If there’s a contagious disease around, any object from outside your home could carry it, so you’ll need a strategy for avoiding those germs. Either refrain from touching the item for a few days, to allow time for the germs to die, or disinfect it with an appropriate cleaner. Depending on the materials involved, you could either wash and scrub the item in soapy water, or spray it with an anti-bacterial sanitizer. Make a habit of quarantining or disinfecting your grocery shopping items. You’ll find information online regarding recommended cleaning processes and quarantining periods for different materials.
- Avoid unnecessary fingering and handling
If you’re in a public area, such as a shopping mall, park, bus, or train, pause to consider the dangers and safety options before touching doors, handrails, payment machines, or other potentially contaminated surfaces. Disposable plastic gloves can be useful in these situations, though you’ll need to take care to avoid the germs they collect when removing them afterward. For ultimate safety, wear two pairs so you can use the inner, clean pair to peel off and dispose of the contaminated gloves. If you don’t have any suitable gloves, you can keep your fingers and palms clean by using the back of your hand or a shoulder, foot or hip, to push a door open.
- Greet and touch with your elbow
If you’re accustomed to shaking hands with colleagues or acquaintances, you’ll need to change your ways while the disease is at large. However smart and clean the other person may be, they could be carrying viruses on their skin, hair, or clothing. Stay safe by greeting them with elbows instead of hands, turning your face away as you do so. Hugging and kissing must wait for a safer situation, such as a period of mutual quarantine or negative test results for the disease.
- Wash hands before meals
However careful you are, it’s impossible to be certain that your hands are virus-free during a pandemic, so be sure to wash them before meals. That way, you will avoid the danger of swallowing dangerous germs with your food. However small the meal or snack, allow time to wash your hands thoroughly, using plenty of soap and water. If you have no suitable facilities available, spray your hands all over with an anti-viral sanitizer instead.
- Avoid touching your face
It’s natural to want to touch your face sometimes, perhaps to rub your eyes, scratch at an itch, or sweep your hair back. But if you’re carrying germs on your fingertips, they can all too easily slip into your mouth, nose, or eyes, so train yourself to keep your fingers off your face unless you’ve just cleaned them.
With these simple safety measures, you can protect yourself from roaming viruses, while carrying on your everyday life almost as normal. You’ll be surprised how quickly you learn to think before you touch, and when you combine these steps with the other recommended measures, such as wearing a mask and socially distancing, you’ll know you’re super-safe.
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