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In what will likely be the most germophobic year of our lives, many of us are asking ourselves, “How do I keep my person and property safe?” The most obvious route would be to stockpile all the masks, gloves, and cleaning supplies you can reasonably fit into a shopping cart without being called out for being a hoarder.

But nobody knows how long this “new normal” is going to last, and whether you’re a landlord, a business owner, or simply renting, acquiring and using all those disposables will not be financially or environmentally sustainable over the long term.

Why We Shouldn’t be Over-Buying

After supply disruptions of the first few weeks in the MCO, there are now plenty of options. Masks are readily available online and at nearly every pharmacy, convenience store, or supermarket – wearing one is mandatory just about anywhere we might go for the rest of the year.

Outside of home that is, unless you’re certain you’re infected and you want to prevent further transmissions. Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash.

Disposable gloves might seem like a good idea – until you happen to discover, with the aid of a forensic ultraviolet (black) light, the microbial zoo that you’re possibly introducing onto everything you touch with your well-protected hands.

Aaaand boom! You are now more dangerous than any piece of bushmeat. Also, Top Glove thanks you.

Just so we don’t go around spreading germs everywhere we go, commercial-grade PPE such as gloves and masks are intended to be single-use. Even though most of this stuff is made from petroleum-derived polymers, and the primary ingredient is at the lowest price in close to 20 years, our venturing outdoors while attempting to avoid infection can get expensive. All those disposables are aggravating our existing problems with plastic – and besides, you can probably think of someone who needs those more.

Yeah. Photo by Online Marketing on Unsplash.

The benefits of comprehensive physical protection are going to outweigh the costs over the long term – even if you’re one of those eccentrics who might like to live in a zorb for an extended period.

A zorb.

What We Should Be Doing Instead

Unless performing an essential service or running an essential facility, we really should be doing everything possible to stay at home. But if you can’t stay put for some reason, just keep enough masks for every time you go out – and leave some for the front-liners. Our efforts should be focused on sanitising ourselves, our homes, and our places of work instead.

How Do We Do That Responsibly and Affordably

While the world is still trying to figure this particular virus out, we do know that this novel coronavirus is related to several we’ve encountered before – and as a result, its basic limitations were quickly discovered.

Until more is known, the same preventive measures applied in our collective encounters with its relatives are what most of us can rely on to keep this coronavirus at bay. But to save you some time, here are our top five recommended tips to responsibly and affordably keeping your person and property safe.

Namely: regular cleaning and strict protocols. Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

#1. If a Property Has Been Unoccupied for at Least 14 Days, Just Clean as per Usual

Authorities such as the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) say seven days is enough time for the coronavirus to be rendered inert on surfaces, but to address the possibility of the worst kind of cross-contamination, many other authorities such as our own Ministry of Health put it at a much safer 14 days.

The virus in question will not survive on surfaces beyond 14 days, so it would be a waste of valuable resources to sanitise a property that has been unoccupied for that time. Speaking of valuable resources, let’s talk about how your money would be better applied in keeping you and your property safe from the dreaded coronavirus.

#2. Clean Everything, but Sanitise Only the Important Things

The coronavirus is a rare opportunity to do some spring cleaning and we might feel compelled to sanitise every square foot of surface. But that’s a lot of plastic and a lot of money to throw away. You’re better off keeping to the same frequency of cleaning that you were doing back in the good old days, but with a focus on sanitising high-touch objects such as common fixtures and furniture, door handles, light switches, or countertops.

#3. Limit Access via a Disinfection Tunnel

If you’ve snuck out of the house to visit an essential facility in recent months, you may have noticed some familiar entrances being closed to you. This limiting of a building’s access points is great for limiting both viral transmissions and maintenance costs.

As the number of doorways and other things you might touch when visiting are reduced, so too is the frequency of sanitising chemical use – which is great for your health and your wallet. With only one access point, critical resources are more efficiently applied to ensure that anyone entering the premises through a disinfection tunnel is sanitised as a matter of routine.

In biomedical facilities, the disinfection tunnel tends to be equivalent to a pressurised airlock fitted with medicated showerheads. In commercial facilities, it is more likely a barricade of furniture you can only get past once you’ve been given the go-ahead. A cost-conscious homeowner could similarly employ furniture and drapes to limit the surface area that needs cleaning and reduce the use of costly sanitising chemicals.

#4. Set up a Sanitisation Station at the Entryway

Instead of keeping all your various bottles of sanitising chemicals on your person or distributing them all over the place, consider putting them at the one place they are most needed – at the entryway of your property, at either end of your disinfection tunnel. Besides being expensive over the long term, you should recognise those handy little bottles as vectors of infection simply on the basis of how often they get handled.

Some of us frequently deploy active measures such as disposable wipes and bottles of sanitising gel or liquid sprays anytime we touch something. The cost-conscious might even go as far as refilling liquid sprays from huge jugs of the concentrated stuff. But because of their highly viscous nature, gels can’t be practically refilled, while liquids such as bleach or industrial alcohol can and are effective even in solutions.

Just be sure to follow the instructions on the label, or you might make chlorine gas by accident.
Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash.

#5. Collect Visitor Information for Contact Tracing

The final responsibility of any property owner is contact tracing – that annoying step everyone entering a building has to complete in the event another outbreak is discovered. As the mandated quarantine gets more relaxed, people will be venturing outdoors and visiting various facilities with increasing frequency – even as the possibility of infection remains high. Diligence is key at this critical stage, so we all should be keeping track of our contact with the outside world.

(Written by Kevin Eichenberger, 2nd June 2020)


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@admin_ps Good awareness and guide for us

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A very good guide. Not just applicable at homes but workplaces etc.