Today I’m writing about a few measures my wife Sandra and I are taking to avoid the coronavirus and the potentially deadly disease it causes (COVID-19).
A couple of days ago we sat down over morning coffee and figured out a few things we could do to minimize our risk, since we’re both in our vulnerable 70s. Moreover, we live in a senior community, so for us, minimizing risk is vital, in the literal sense of potentially lifesaving.
While neither of us is qualified to give medical advice, I’m listing below some thoughts we had and steps we are taking to minimize our risk. I’m sharing them here in case anyone reading this might find them worth thinking about.
- Going beyond disinfecting doorknobs, handrails, faucets, automobile door handles, etc. Our working assumption is that, with isopropyl alcohol and/or bleach, we can clean (and keep clean) all the hard surfaces we routinely touch in our house. We’re thinking of our home as a safe haven, and we’re practicing “social distancing,” but there are times when we need to go out — to the grocery store and other places — and we won’t be able to avoid touching (with hands and/or clothing) potentially contaminated objects. Our solution: keeping designated “outdoor clothing” (in my case, a couple of specific shirts and pairs of pants) on a hook at the door. Just before we leave the house, we take off our “indoor clothing” and change into our “outdoor outfits.” When we return home, we immediately (before leaving the vicinity of the door) put our outdoor clothing back on the hook, go to the nearest sink to thoroughly wash our hands with soap and warm water, and only then get back into our indoor clothing.
- For times when we leave the house (or if we touch something inside whose potential contamination status we doubt), we always carry small plastic bottles of hand sanitizer. I keep one in the pocket of my “outdoor pants,” Sandra has one in her purse, and we also have one in each of our cars. (We’ve also cleaned the steering wheel, gear shift lever and inside door handles, and we have alcohol-treated wipes to clean these surfaces again when we get back in the car after being in a store or other place where we’ve touched potentially contaminated surfaces. On getting back in the car, we also clean our hands immediately with hand sanitizer.)
- Home and automobile surfaces aren’t the only things to try keeping clean. We keep our keys, credit cards, cell phones and keyboards (and mice!) wiped down too, so we feel comfortable touching them freely.
- Finally, we make every effort to pay for purchases with a credit card. After all, cash is one of the dirtiest things people touch every day. It’s not for nothing that money is called “filthy lucre.” So, in addition to avoiding bills and coins whenever possible, we’ve started putting our paper money through the wash when we do the laundry. It air dries quickly and gets nice and crisp. For fun, we call the procedure money laundering. This helps keep us smiling. Good for our health!
In addition to sharing these thoughts, for whatever they may be worth to others, we’ve found on the internet some information that might also be of interest:
- First, we’ve seen any number of ideas that have gone viral but are totally bogus. As a “public service,” here are links to a few sites that debunk this junk — from the World Health Organization (WHO), the BBC and Mother Jones.
- And here’s an item on the most effective way to wash your hands.
Stay safe, everyone. And remember, you don’t have to be in the Mafia to launder your money.