So, you practice social distancing, wear a face mask, minimize your interaction with others, postpone your travel plans, and spend more time at home. Welcome to the new world. Welcome to the “new normal.”
The reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world and the way we live our lives. Sports stadiums that once resounded with raucous cheering are now filled with silent cardboard cutouts. Tennis players still hit that magical winner but only receive a smattering of applause from the few in attendance. Rockstars no longer perform in front of thousands, while theaters, bars, and barbershops remain closed and empty.
Home sweet home
The pandemic has driven people to spend more time at home. The business world has adapted to these changes, and a large percentage of the workforce is working remotely.
People can now spend more time with their family and loved ones at home. However, as with most things in life, there are also disadvantages to more people staying at home, and one of these is the increased rate of transmissions within a household.
Recent studies have shown that the incidence of viral transmission in the home is actually higher than anybody had previously thought. For example, a recent study tested 191 people who had been exposed to the virus via household transmission. Of those 192 people tested, 102 became infected within a week.
This study, while not large enough to extrapolate broad-ranging conclusions, clearly shows the alarming rate of household transmissions. That’s the bad news. But fear not! When it comes to transmissions in the home, some very simple precautions can significantly minimize the infection rate.
In all the studies concerned with viral household transmission, the first recommended step is isolation. A team of CDC-led researchers recently concluded that quick isolation of COVID-positive persons can significantly reduce household transmission.
Dr. Jenny Radesky from the University of Michigan noted the importance of isolation, especially when someone in a household has been infected. She stated that people who live close together in a household should all be kept under isolation, as these persons are at the highest risk of infecting one another. Therefore, ensure that the members of your family maintain a safe distance from one another until you confirm that no transmission has occurred in your home.
The importance of hygiene
“One who maintains cleanliness keeps away diseases.” So it is written in the 1200 B.C. Hindu scroll known as the Sama Veda. On the surface, it is merely stating the obvious. However, when taken in the context of the pandemic, it is almost like a foretelling of the future.
Medical professionals have consistently recommended the regular washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after visiting the bathroom, before eating, and particularly after coughing and sneezing.
Washing our hands regularly is a simple procedure and goes a long way in lessening the chances of COVID-19 spreading in our homes.
Mask up and face the world.
The wearing of masks has become a contentious issue with differing opinions regarding their effectiveness. Medical professionals, however, strongly advise the use of this protective covering. According to the FDA, wearing a mask prevents air-borne respiratory droplets from traveling into the air when you cough, sneeze, or talk.
By now, it is generally accepted that we really should wear a mask when out in public. But what about at home? Do we need to wear them even when we’re inside our homes?
When it comes to the people you live with, you can, to a large extent trust, that they have been following safety protocols. However, when a guest enters your home, it is recommended that you “mask up.” Better yet, avoid inviting people over and wait until it is safer to meet up with others.
Air purifiers have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the 19th-century coal mines. What started as a simple mask and charcoal filter has developed into an electrical device that features both HEPA and carbon filters.
Modern air purifiers are technologically advanced devices that perform a multitude of functions. Nowadays, you can buy home air purifiers that inactivate the coronavirus. This gives you a strong line of defense from getting sick.
The benefits don’t stop there. Environmental mold testing has shown that an air purifier can even help prevent the spread of mold spores.
Household transmissions can be Installing an air purifier, combined with social distancing, regular hand washing, mask-wearing, and isolation of symptomatic persons, will significantly slow down the spread of COVID-19 in your household.