The Coronavirus pandemic has infiltrated every aspect of leading a normal life it seems. Luckily there are very basic and cost-efficient ways to protect your friends and family when colder weather swoops in forcing us back indoors where this virus tends to thrive. Let’s take a look at how we can best virus-proof our homes, workplace, schools, and businesses during this unprecedented time.
Wear a mask when you go out
This is the easiest and most cost-effective way to discourage the spread of the scourge formally known as COVID-19. Most places give them out for free but if not masks are readily available for less than five dollars apiece on average.
Dr. Fauci, the leading member of the White House coronavirus task force and director of the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases details the importance of instilling strict mask-wearing mandates across the board in this brief. He drives the point home with more urgency now that fall and winter are around the corner.
“We usually say that regular particles from coughing and sneezing that are greater than 5 micrometers fall to the ground within three to six feet. But what you find out from aerosol particle scholars is they say, ‘You know, there are particles that are larger than that that are floating around a lot longer and don’t always fall to the ground.’
The one thing it really does tell us that you really better wear a mask. It also tells us something about indoors versus outdoors. It tells us something about the circulation, or recirculation, of air. If you have any degree of aerosolization, then if you’re in an indoor space where the air is being recirculated it makes sense to assume that that is a much greater risk.”
Wearing a mask can reduce your risk of infection by transmission by over 75 percent according to a brief previously published in Ladders.
Keep your windows open
As long as air is being filtered out every twenty minutes the risk of transmitting SARS-Cov-2 decreases dramatically. This is especially important when denigrating guidelines to reopen schools safely. Joseph Allen, an expert on building safety at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has the following to say about safely reopening schools and businesses.
“Even just opening windows 6 inches can dramatically change the air exchange rate.”
Allen adds, “Whether you’re reopening schools, offices, or restaurants portable air filtration devices are a great low-cost, plug-and-play strategy to give you several air changes per hour of clean air.”
Here is a further breakdown of the guidelines that need to be met before fully reopening schools and universities to the public.
HEPA-approved portable air filtration devices are also highly recommended especially if your school district is in a highly polluted area with poor air quality.
Whether you’re reopening schools, offices, or restaurants portable air filtration devices are “a great low-cost, plug-and-play strategy to give you several air changes per hour of clean air,” according to the aforementioned expert Joseph Allen.
As long as you have a working outlet you can plug this portable air filter into any room with students, patrons, or your co-workers and reduce your rate of potential infection by over 60 percent as long as they are MERV 13, MERV 11, or HEPA approved devices by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.
This group of professionals set efficiency standards for such devices.
“I recommend air filters that qualify as MERV 13 or higher to filter out the coronavirus. Not all ventilation systems can handle a MERV 13 filter, she said, but most can at least handle MERV 11, which can keep out 60% of viral droplets.”
This quote was pulled from Linsey Marr who specializes in Civil and Environmental Engineering and studies how viruses move through the air at Virginia Tech.
Wash your hands, use EPA approved disinfectant, and avoid UV lights
In other words, keep your home clean. The most effective way to ward off the novel Coronavirus is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes as much as possible. The EPA even added Pinesol Original disinfectant wipes to the extensive list of products strong enough to wipe out the SARS-Cov-2 virus before it even has a chance to infect your family with COVID-19. Experts also urge consumers to avoid purchasing expensive UV ray lights to kill the virus.
More often than not these lights can cause more harm than good. Experts weigh in on why this is true in an article featured in Boston.com next.
“UV lights are regulated mostly for use as pesticides and are not well studied for use around people. UV light generally does not penetrate deep into a surface and will not destroy a virus that’s buried beneath other microscopic detritus.”
UV lights cost an exorbitant amount of money and if you can’t afford a professional to properly install one in your place of business it’s just a huge waste of resources. Installing UV lights haphazardly can cause irreparable damaging side effects to your eyesight amongst other defects.
A quick wrap-up
As long as you stick to the guidelines mentioned above and continue to adhere to social distancing measures, especially with the holidays approaching, you’ll be fully equipped to take on the challenges COVID-19 has left in its wake. Wishing your friends and loved ones a safe and happy holiday season.