1) Dress appropriately for curbside pick-up.
This Winter, we have been teased by drastic changes in temperatures; one day it’s freezing cold and the next day it’s warm enough to go grocery shopping without a coat. Although the Weather Network did warn us that this Winter would be more harsh than usual, forecasts have been inaccurate, and no one wanted to believe them. Retail stores will be open for curbside pickup only, while grocery stores and pharmacies will be allowed to open at 50% capacity. Try to avoid shopping during peak times otherwise you risk having to line-up for an undetermined amount of time. Contracting the common cold or flu is the last thing you want to do.
2) Understand the difference in quality between non-medical masks.
Masks made of tightly woven material should have at least two layers of protection. Not only is the material and quality of construction important; you have to wear your mask properly by covering your mouth and nose at all times. Decorative masks that are made with delicate materials like lace should be avoided since they are designed to be fashionable versus functionally protective. Since there was a scarcity of masks and protective gear shortly before they were made mandatory, there’s been an influx of new mask companies or clothing companies that have added face coverings to their existing product lines. As fancy and attractive as some of these new mask designs look, it’s important to consider their durability for regular washing. If you want to test your non-medical mask’s level of protection, wear it while trying to blow-out a lit candle.
If you have respiratory conditions and find cloth masks too restrictive, you will find the 3-ply disposable masks to be more comfortable and just as protective.
3) Upgrade your hand care.
Washing your hands with soap and water is best for hand hygiene but hand sanitizer is a convenient way to reduce germs regularly when you are not at home. Try to keep your hands well moisturized in-between washes to avoid dry, chapped hands that could lead to skin breakage. You should purchase an approved, commercially made hand sanitizer. Although instructions of how to make your own hand sanitizer has circulated the internet, it’s best you leave it up to the professionals. It may seem tempting to add essential oils to your stringent smelling sanitizer, but this will diminish how effective it is. Even though 60% alcohol within hand sanitizer is recommended, studies by Günter Kampf of the Institute of Hygiene and Environmental Medicine, Germany, discovered that hand sanitizers with 80% ethanol are best since they can inactivate an enveloped virus within 30 seconds.
Avoid these hand sanitizers that may contain methanol, which is not good at killing bacteria and viruses. Source: Forbes.com
- All-Clean Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-002-01)
- Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-007-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-008-04)
- Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-006-01)
- The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-010-10)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-005-03)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-009-01)
- CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (NDC: 74589-003-01)
- Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer (NDC: 74589-001-01)
4) Take care of your mental health.
Self-isolation can take its toll on your mind body while symptoms of depression and anxiety can creep-up unexpectedly. The Mayo Clinic recommends that you maintain a daily routine that includes showering and getting dressed. You may not realize how the simplest actions can improve your mindset but as you make conscious decisions to care for yourself, your body will thank you. If you have friends or family members that live alone, give them a call to brighten their spirits and remind them that they are loved.
Here are some ways to keep yourself in good physical and mental condition during the lockdown.
- Stay connected with others and regularly speak to friends and family—we’re in this together.
- Structure your days and take regular breaks as needed to reduce stress and regain focus.
- Plan your day as much as possible to avoid feeling out of control.
- Separate your private and professional activities to ensure efficiency and to maintain a good work-life balance.
- Stretch your body daily to relieve muscle tension.