Keep safe at home (and your loved ones too) with these practical tips. It is also helpful that you roll them out with your family, so they are aware of these as well.
The coronavirus epidemic has greatly influenced the way we live our daily lives, especially with school, work, and how we relax and unwind. Moreover, it has also shifted the way we interact with one another, be it with friends or even close members of our family. Practicing social distancing as we try to go about our usual activities, whether at home or outside, one thing is still clear — it is very important that we keep safe at home as we spend most of our day in it, especially with our loved ones.
But how do we keep safe at home, especially in the New Normal?
The New Normal and Our New Way of Life
The shift to indoor lifestyles in the New Normal has made most activities internet-based for most professionals, families, and homeowners.
If we go by the textbook definition of what New Normal means, it means that it is a current situation or a social custom that is now different or done differently from what is expected or how it is done before. True enough, the pandemic has also changed the way we live and go about our daily lives.
The concept of life started to change right after communities started to initiate lockdowns in the hopes of keeping the number of cases down. Social distancing, which is the practice of limiting face-to-face contact, has encouraged us to stay away from public and common spaces. These places are pointed as high-risk areas because the chances of contracting the virus are quite high, simply because there are too many people who either pass by, congregate, or linger in the area and that any one of them could become an asymptomatic carrier, or a person with COVID-19 but does not show any obvious symptoms of the virus.
As such, aside from schools and offices, transportation terminals, shopping malls, restaurants, churches, and even concert halls are now dangerous places for people to be in, more so because they are enclosed spaces, where there are more chances of people getting exposed to the virus.
Moreover, the way we interact is now seen as another way to put ourselves at high risk of exposure to the virus. As mass gatherings are discouraged, most of us have resorted to conducting meetings and connecting with our friends and family via social media and messaging apps. Parties are also carried out online, with some hosting virtual kamustahans, playing multiple player online games and streaming platforms, to having online birthday parties while sending some goodies to invited guests so they can share the party experience.
And if there is a need to meet, the number of attendees is now limited, and are required to practice social distancing measures. Shaking hands, hugging, embracing, and even simple conversations are now seen as ways to contract the virus. Social distancing is also discouraging us from being physically affectionate or intimate, even if these are typically done with our closest friends and family.
With no cure and limited resources to combat the virus from spreading more, the New Normal is here to stay for now.
With the New Normal, everyone is now encouraged to stay at home. This means schools and businesses need to shift their operations online, forcing everyone to consider working or continuing their education at home. While this may be a welcoming break for people who are not too happy with their commutes, the opportunity to become flexible and mobile is no longer there, especially when you have to carry out your lifestyle at home. And if you are living with other people, who also need to carry out their daily activities at home, the New Normal can be confining, and sometimes mundane and repetitive.
The biggest shift in the New Normal is about our view on health and hygiene. And for people who still need to go outside the home for work or other essential activities like grocery shopping, bank run, and other errands, health and hygiene are pretty important so as not to infect the other members of the household when they come home. In the face of these unprecedented times, protection now comes in the form of ensuring you are physically healthy, inside and out, as well as mentally calm. While we now mind what we breathe, feel, and touch, establishments that are re-opening their places of business are now taking preventative measures to ensure their customers that they are safe, and reduce the risks of exposure well after they leave and head for home.
Tips To Keep Safe At Home
As the new normal inevitably becomes the norm, here are tips to ensure you keep a healthy and safe home for yourself and your loved ones.
Staying at home is one social distancing measure fully endorsed by medical professionals. This is because the risk of contracting the virus indoors is very slim, especially if you work from home and mostly do your errands, shopping, and grocery online.
So how do you keep safe at home in the New Normal? Let us count the ways to boost protection at home.
Make a game plan.
There are too many motivational quotes praising the benefits of planning. Keeping your home safe from the virus is challenging because it puts some or all members of the family at risk of exposure. Planning will allow you to determine your home’s exposure points and come up with workarounds or strategies that will reduce the risk of exposure.
For example, you can designate one person to act as a runner for everything. This way, your household will know who is at high risk and will be more extra cautious with that member of the family. At best, reserve this spot for someone who also knows how to drive or is updated with the commuting and traveling situation.
Your plan should also include what disinfecting measures you should include at home, like installing disinfecting stations at entry points of the home and scheduling your house for a deep clean.
Orient and Train People in the Household.
In order to ensure that your home stays safe, everyone at home should know, understand, and do what needs to be done in order to keep it that way. As such, it is important that everyone, including the kids, know what to do, and most especially, what not to do when they need to head out, when they get back (e.g. how to disinfect, how to deal with food and other essential deliveries, and when handling guests from outside).
There are three factors that you and the rest of the family should keep in mind in order to make safer choices, especially when heading out to areas where the transmission is widespread (i.e grocery, supermarket, bank, office): location, proximity, and time.
When in a high-risk area, open areas are a lot safer than enclosed spaces. When you need to go inside an establishment, make sure that you practice preventative measures like wearing a face mask and face shield properly, and like in most places of businesses, register, take your temperature, and disinfect your hands. Avoid touching your face if necessary, and practice social distancing (six feet apart) from other people. Avoid expressing physical affection when also meeting someone you know. Moreover, avoid staying longer outside, as spending shorter periods of time among other people in public places reduces your risk of exposure.
When you or anyone in the household gets back, make sure everyone strictly follows disinfection. Immediately disinfect and put away your face shield, bag, and other items you brought outside, cut your face mask to avoid potential reuse, and shed all clothes in a dedicated hamper for further disinfection and laundry. Disinfect everything you have touched from the moment you stepped inside the home, including doorknobs, light switches, keys, phones, and others, with EPA-approved disinfectants for 3-5 minutes before using them again. For good measure, take a bath immediately to ensure that you are fresh and clean.
When Receiving Deliveries, Make Sure Workers Comply With Your Disinfection Rules Too.
While it is safe to assume that service providers train delivery workers on preventative measures, it is a big help that you guide them kindly when they do deliver to your home. It is better to assume the fact that the delivery workers may be doing things that could be a potential risk. You can either set up a station for them to drop off packages or food deliveries and even offer them disinfectants like alcohol or hand sanitizer. Pay and tip online as much as possible, but if you have to pay in cash, use a box or a sizable receptacle where you can place your payment in the exact amount. After you pick up your packages and other deliveries, always wash your hands.
If you are receiving food deliveries, immediately wash or disinfect if possible, and transfer to clean, safe containers. Throw your recyclables in a dedicated sack, and dispose of the rest away in another container and spray them with a surface disinfectant also.
Avoid Receiving Guests For the Time Being.
Technology has allowed us to still connect with our loved ones without needing to physically meet. It is important that you inform everyone that you are not receiving any guests in the meantime, and do not hesitate to break it to them gently if they happen to show up at the door.
The same goes for housing a family member or a friend. If you have to, dedicate an area where they can isolate themselves for the meantime until they get tested. If they need to enter shared living spaces, ask them to keep a distance of six feet and ask them to wear a face mask at all times.
Learn What To Do When Someone in the House Gets Sick.
The pandemic has made a lot of us paranoid about getting sick, so the first best thing to do if someone gets sick is to not panic. Consult a doctor first via a telemedicine app or service, but immediately isolate the sick individual in an enclosed room in your home if they display some symptoms. Make sure that the rest of the household is informed of what is happening, and knows what not to do when it comes to interacting with a sick household member. Dedicate a person who can tend to the sick member, especially if the latter is too sick to move about. Avoid sharing items with the sick member of the household, and disinfect when you can.
Working from home gives you the liberty of taking care of yourself, loved ones, and pets all while balancing work, life, and self-reflection.
Manage Your Pets Wisely.
Pets are not necessarily carriers, but in order to keep safe at home, it is important that you know that there is a possibility that they can still spread the virus at home. If they need to go outside, it’s okay to play with them or walk them as long as you keep your distance from other humans. Make sure that you keep your pets clean and healthy, and then practice proper hygiene yourself when done cleaning them after a good day outside. If you happen to be sick, designate a family member who can take care of them while you recover.
Move To a New Home.
If you are feeling a little stir-crazy or have cabin fever due to being cooped up at home, it is most likely because your current home does not provide you with flexible living spaces that support your lifestyle. For some people, moving from a high-density city to a less dense area nearby with more room and space is a wiser choice not only for them, but also for their families. And because of the New Normal, the pandemic allowed us to start making real estate decisions we otherwise wouldn’t make.
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Plus, it is not that crazy to make your move right now, especially if you are living in a condo or apartment in the big city. The limited space plus the amount of people living in your community, especially if it is a high-risk area, will definitely shift your perspective on what a safe community. You would want a home with more space for you to actually set up a home office in or even a home school for your children, and at the same time with outdoor space amid the cool, crisp air where you and the rest of the family can safely enjoy without worry.
Aside from the lot and property size, as well as the number of bedrooms and baths, moving into a new home with so much beauty in detail can easily take you to the best parts of the world, without even needing a passport. Luxury homes in residential communities by Brittany are built which also offer amenities and conveniences that are exclusive only to the residents, easily supporting the lifestyle you have missed in the big city.
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Keep Safe At Home Beyond the Pandemic
While it may not feel like it right now, this pandemic is temporary. However, the measures taken and the time spent indoors because of the pandemic help you realize what is really truly important for you and your family.