This article is important in that you will read 5 ways to protect yourself and family from Covit-19, better known as the Corona Virus. Particularly, if you are a caregiver for someone with Alzheimer’s. We are in a world pandemic! You’ve heard it all before? Social distancing! Wear your masks! Don’t touch your face? But here are some tidbits you probably just didn’t think about to really protect yourself and your family.
Are you aware enough to know all the right things to do to protect yourself and your family? How are you protecting yourself when you leave the house during the Corona Virus pandemic? You probably heard it over and over again, BUT we expose our hands & faces to this disease regularly? It’s mainly because we do not practice what is preached to protect ourselves from Covit-19. It’s not just being 6 feet away from someone. There are so many little and subtle ways this disease is spreading. So, let’s discuss.
We Touch Everything!
It begins when we touch everything that’s out there in the world and then we touch our faces, eyes, and mouths, etc. Hence the pandemic! Besides someone ‘breathing’ on you, this is how this disease is being passed on. Yes, we wear masks, but that is only partial protection. We unwittingly touch everything, usually when it’s inconvenient to wash our hands. There are so many natural everyday things that are a part of our life that we don’t notice ‘when’ we touch it. Then, knowingly, we spread it when we touch something else. Let me explain.
We are not in the habit of watching everything we touch. You hear it on the news ALL the time. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face! We also don’t constantly think about where we put our hands. Even when the hand sanitizer runs out in stores, not everyone who buys it, uses it. This is a new generation, a change in our lifestyles that we must become familiar with or this pandemic may continue for a long time.
Let me give you some examples:
- You go grocery shopping. You grab the shopping cart by the handles or grab a basket as you go into the store? Do you wipe those shopping cart handles with hand sanitizer *before* you push it into the store? Ask yourself ‘How many people have touched those carts before you got there?’
- You go to work. Maybe your job is to collect documents to take to the boss, or take a paper from your supervisor, or pass documents to others in a meeting. Someone borrows a pen or folder off your desk.
- How about pushing the buttons on an elevator? Do you wipe down the buttons before you push it? How many people have been in that elevator? Did you wash/sanitize your hands after you touched the button on the elevator? Then you go into a meeting and shake someone else’s hand. Yikes!
There are a thousand situations in life when we touch, meet, greet, kiss hello, etc. people without thinking of social distancing. Although we are more aware, we are still not there yet. Else we wouldn’t have a pandemic. We now have to make some effort to remember, not only to wear a mask, but pay attention to what we touch. I guarantee, most people don’t think at that level. That is why the numbers continue to rise.
These things I mention above bring us in close personal and physical contact with others as we hand-off equipment, use shopping carts, pick up papers, or anything that someone else has touched. There are places we have to go, like grocery stores, doctor’s appointments, work, and pharmacies, to name a few. Places where we are exposed to others. We sit in chairs and hold the handles; open d
oors to enter and leave offices and buildings; pick up magazines to read that others have already picked up; use pens used by someone else when we have to sign documents or paperwork; and we touch the ATM keyboards to get money.
Why do you think they keep saying ‘DON’T TOUCH YOUR FACE!? All of these normal things we usually do can pass the Corona Virus to others. It’s these little things that are spreading this virus. Do you know how to protect yourself as we start to move about in the new Science Fiction world we live in? Covit-19 is a futuristic sci-fi movie waiting to happen. So, here are 5 ways to help protect yourself and your families.
2. Going To Work.
Not everything is closed during this pandemic and many people are still working. There are so many opportunities to catch this virus at our place of employment. If you’re going to work in an office, and you’re in a meeting and your pen or pencils are next to your papers. Someone sitting next to you reaches over to borrow your pen before you can stop them! What do you do?
Solution: To be polite you can wait, but you MUST remember to wipe your pen with hand sanitizer after it is returned. Maybe a gentle reminder to the person to make sure he carries a pen of his own due to the Corona virus spreading germs. I think a co-worker might be appreciative of that reminder. I know I would.
You need to go food shopping. You park your car and head toward the shopping cart to place your groceries. Do you sanitize the shopping cart handle prior to touching it? How many people have touched that cart handle? 🙁 I bet more than 90% of people don’t think to sanitize that handle bar on the shopping cart before or after they touch it. Yikes! To me, this is a big one. 🙂 Do you know how many people go in and out of grocery stores? Supermarkets just have too many people in there at tone time. So, hand sanitizer is a “must” to carry for this purpose. Wipe down the handles prior to shopping. What’s the connection? We hear it constantly *everywhere* to *not* touch our faces, however, it’s almost impossible to get through a day when we don’t inadvertently touch our nose, eyes, or mouth.
Solution: Use hand sanitizer to wipe down the handle bar on the shopping cart. When you leave the store and put all bags, clothes, food, etc. into the car, make sure you do not touch your face before sanitizing your hands, car door knobs, keys, key-chain, steering wheel, and lastly your hands again. When you arrive at home, take food out of the bags and store them in appropriate places. I wipe down each item in the bag with alcohol or Clorox wipes. Anything that may have been touched in the store by someone else is now clean. Sounds like a lot, I know, but these precautions can keep you from getting Covit-19.
4. Doctor’s Offices
Although many doctors are using social distancing, there are still things that need to be cleaned up, as far as I’m concerned. Doctor’s should remove all the magazines in the waiting area. Those magazines have been touched by a ga-zillion people. There is no clear way to sterilize every page touched in the magazines. Of course, chairs should be 6 feet away from each other. If not, move your chair or find a place to sit at least 6 feet away from others.
Solution 1: I have to go to the doctor regularly. Every doctor I’ve gone to has me wait outside. I call when I get there. They come out and take my temperature, give me hand sanitizer, and take me to a private room. The doctors have masks and if you don’t, they will provide. Me…I carry my masks with me in my glove compartment, available at all times when I go out.
Solution 2: Bring your own materials to sign documents (pens), bring a book to read or iPad while you wait; use your cell phone for apps to listen to music OR play games while waiting for the doctor. Bring or use your own pens/pencils to sign documentation needed in the doctor’s office. If you pay by credit or debit card and have to touch a keypad, make sure you clean your hands after touching all of these items. Yes, even lightly wipe down your debit or credit card front and back.
5. ATM Machines
Do you clean the ATM keypad before you touch the numbers? Thousands of people have touched that keypad all day, and I can guarantee you that people are not thinking of sanitizing the keyboard before or after they touch it. Not on purpose, just from habir.
Solution: If you use an ATM, remember to use hand sanitizer to clean the keyboard prior to touching it. A paper towel with hand sanitizer on it to lightly wipe down the numbers takes care of that problem. I sanitize before I touch it and then after to leave it clean for the next person.
6. Tips To Protect Yourself In Public
What does this mean? It means we MUST be aware of what we touch at all times. The examples I give are just a few of the things we do daily without thinking about Covit-19. Below you will find more instances of what we should be aware.
- Keep Sanitized Wipes In Your Purse, Pocket, or Car: I keep cloth-like packets of hand sanitizers that are to be used one time. Tear off the wrapper and wipe the object and then throw away the wipe. If you need them, go here. They are mailed directly to your house, packaged and clean. What I use comes in a neat little pack you can put in your bag or pocket. Extremely convenient and easy to use without carrying bottles of hand sanitizer. I also have small bottles of hand sanitizer (pocket size) to carry with me as well.
- Keep a roll of paper towels in the car. Use hand sanitizer or wipes to clean handles, door-knobs, shopping carts, etc. before you touch them. If you don’t have paper towels, you can pour sanitizer in your hand, wipe whatever needs to be cleaned, re-sanitize your hands again before touching anything else.
- Wipe/Clean Your Cart Handles: When you arrive and park at the Supermarket, or where ever you have to use a grocery cart, take hand sanitizer and wipe down the handle of the shopping cart. If you’re using the little baskets, do the same. We have no idea how many people go in and out of those stores, all touching the various carts and baskets where they place their groceries?
- Opening Doors. When you open any door (outside your home) make sure you use a paper towel, push the door open with your shoulder, or use a rag you carry for the purpose of opening and closing doors as you go about your daily business. The other day I went to Staples for paper for my printer. I didn’t have a paper towel, but I had a napkin in my car. I used that napkin to handle the door so I could enter. On the way out, I used my shoulder to push the door open, then used hand sanitizer to open my car door.
- Wear A Mask. You can get them just about everywhere nowadays and not all are up to standards to protect yourself. The ones I use are medical grade and they are the safest (in my eyes). But I guess it is important just to have ‘something.’
- Caregivers. Caregivers are obligated to protect our loved ones during Covit-19. I thought this was a good article on AARP on How Caregivers Protect Their Loved Ones.
7. Long Term Protection
Remember, it’s the seemingly little things that get us infected with the Corona Virus. I came across a test on the AARP website to verify what I knew about caring for ourselves during this time. As conscious as I am about everything when I go out, I didn’t get a great score on the test. I was so shocked because I am super afraid of this virus and I am very diligent about where I put my hands and what I touch outside my home.
This showed me that even those who are aware, don’t ‘think’ of *all* the things that could infect us with Covit-19. We’ve got too much on our minds daily and it’s easy to get lost in the day’s thoughts. We have to get into the habit of noticing what we touch every day.
Are you checking the things to keep you safe? Take the test on the AARP website. It’s a test on how effective we are about using our masks and protecting ourselves. Leave a message and your score (from the test above) so we can see how we’re being safe.
Stay well, stay safe, and be blessed. 🙂