We hope that everyone reading this is safe and healthy at home, practicing social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It would be extremely impractical for us to social distance from our family members at home (and downright impossible for those with young children), so most families in the same household are quarantining together during this difficult time. But what if one member of a family must work outside the home, where they may be exposed to COVID-19? Whether you (or your spouse or roommate) work in healthcare, law enforcement, banking, groceries, utilities, delivery services, or any other essential industry, you may be worried about keeping your family safe during this pandemic. Use the tips below if you’re wondering how to not catch a virus from a family member.
How to Not Catch a Virus from a Family Member
Remove your shoes and clothes before entering the house.
Your caution and diligence should begin before you enter the front door. Remove your shoes and clothing outside (you may wish to leave a change of clothes in the garage for this purpose). Disinfect your shoes, and if possible, leave them outside. Otherwise, place them in a plastic bag until you need them the following day. Pick up your clothing with disposable gloves (be sure to dispose of the gloves after each use) and place them in a trash bag to avoid contaminating your hamper. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), you can wash potentially contaminated laundry as you normally would, but use the warmest appropriate water setting. Feel free to wash the potentially contaminated items with your family’s other laundry.
Disinfect all items you carry between work and home.
Next, while wearing disposable gloves, disinfect any items that you carry between work and home. For example, you must disinfect your phone and your wallet as well as items like lunch boxes, water bottles, purses, and more. To decrease the amount of time spent on this step, consider limiting the number of items you bring into work each day.
Do not touch anything or anyone.
As you’re performing these initial steps, do not touch anything or anyone. Of course, some things are likely unavoidable (like the door handle), but do your best and keep note of what you touch so that you can disinfect it later. Don’t sit anywhere or lean against anything. If you’re a parent, you may need to ask your partner to hold back your children if they typically welcome you home excitedly. And if you own any pets, ask your partner to place them in another room while you’re going about your post-work routine.
Immediately take a shower.
Scrub your body with soap and hot water, paying particular attention to any areas that are exposed throughout the workday (your neck, your face, your hands, your forearms, etc.). Remember to disinfect the shower handle afterward!
Avoid sharing personal items.
If you typically enjoy sharing a snack with your daughter or letting your husband take a sip of your drink, consider avoiding this behavior for the time being. COVID-19 is highly contagious. And according to the CDC, people are likely contagious before they show any symptoms, so it’s best to pretend that you have the virus if you have been exposed to people with the virus during your workday. While this may seem a little overly cautious, if you’re worried about how to not catch a virus from a family member, wouldn’t you rather go a little overboard than risk the health of your loved ones? This chapter of life may be difficult, but it is temporary.
Wash your hands often.
Before leaving the house, after returning home, before mealtimes, after opening a package, after getting the mail, and randomly throughout the day, you should be washing your hands. Use soap and warm water to scrub your hands for 20 seconds, taking care to rub every surface of your hands. Though washing your hands may seem like a small, simple action, it is also an effective way to eliminate viral particles from your hands.
Regularly disinfect frequently touched surfaces.
All families should be cleaning and disinfecting more regularly these days, but it’s especially important if someone in your household works outside the home. If a surface is dirty, clean it with soap and water first. Then, use a household disinfectant, following the directions on the label to ensure that you’re using the product safely and effectively.
Families differ in their daily habits, so pay attention to which surfaces are mostly frequently used in your household so that you can disinfect them daily. For example, the following items are touched multiple times a day in most American homes:
- Cabinet Handles
- Light Switches
- Oven Knobs/Microwave Buttons
Finally, consider using a germ fogger like the SafeSpace Disinfectant and Deodorizing Germ Fogger after your typical cleaning routine to kill germs hiding in hard-to-reach and overlooked places. It contains a hospital-grade contact disinfectant that can kill 99 percent of germs responsible for colds, the flu, staph, MRSA, and other dangerous illnesses. With 500 square feet (6,000 cubic square feet) of disinfecting and deodorizing fog, the germ fogger is an effective tool to have in your cleaning arsenal. Although the SafeSpace Germ Fogger is currently out of stock (as of March 30, 2020) due to high demand, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be notified when it becomes available again.
If you feel sick, isolate yourself ASAP if possible.
Although it may be difficult to isolate yourself from your family members, especially if you live in a small house or an apartment, try to self-quarantine if you begin to feel sick. That means staying in a different room of the house, using a different bathroom, not sharing any household items, etc. Watch out for the most common symptoms – a fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, tiredness, aches and pains, and a sore throat – and act fast if you begin to feel differently. Less common symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and a runny nose.
Whether you’re leaving the house every day for work or only going out for groceries, all Americans should be extra diligent about their hygiene habits these days. Wash your hands, disinfect frequently touched items, practice social distancing, and stay home whenever possible. Finally, turn to your favorite SafeSpace products for help.
The SafeSpace Company is a family-owned small business proudly selling American-made disinfectant products to keep your family safe and healthy. For more information about SafeSpace, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-735-2506.
Copyright SafeSpace Company 2020