COVID-19 and its Spread.
Coronavirus or COVID-19 disease has taken a grip over the world in a never before seen manner, at least since a few generations ( the virus that causes coronavirus disease is known as SARS-COV-2) .
Its impact has been so menacing that governments world wide have been left with only one available option – that of a complete lockdown. Lack of a proper medicine and vaccine in these trying times has forced the world to adapt to stay away while also bringing together the governments worldwide to a common cause.
Without a cure in near sight, to fight an invisible, new and a relatively unknown enemy, the only viable option left with the world governments has been to utilise a preventive approach of self isolation. Even as the death toll rises and the number of those infected keeps on increasing, a world without COVID-19 appears increasingly distant.
Loving and Learning to Love Again.
Since the time we are born, we receive the love of so many people wether it be our parents (often thanklessly), our siblings, friends, teachers, lovers that we, as humans, grow up to be educated about love in a certain manner – Warm embraces, tender touch, kisses, holding hands, sharing food.
Love and ambition has been the driving force of civilisation since forever. While a loss of civilisation as we know it may not actually be a result of this coronavirus disease but this virus has nonetheless brought world economies and businesses to a standstill and our innate nature of love and the ways we express love has been put to question.
Humans have always naturally expressed love in a somewhat physical manner of touch, a kind smile or any other such gesture. COVID-19 brings us to a point where we must understand that while our loving nature is not incorrect but it has to be ‘evolved’ to a different expression to meet the demands set forth by the trying times. Isolation isn’t our weapon of choice but a necessary evil.
How Does COVID-19 Spread?
Till now what’s known about COVID-19 is that for the SARS-COV-2 virus to spread it needs an entry point into the human body like the nose, eyes and mouth. The common most way of the virus to enter is that when somebody who is infected sneezes or coughs, the droplets from that action can reach another person in the near vicinity and enter his/her body. It is therefore recommended that people should cover their mouth with their upper arms before they sneeze. Also shaking hands with an infected person who may have just eaten or touched their eyes/nose is certainly an avoidable consideration.
CDC also points out that the virus may be present on surfaces. If we come into contact with such a surface and then touch our mouth, the virus may gain entry into our body.
In this article we shall try to list certain ways in which home decor placements can help to mitigate the spread of this virus especially now when the world is more or less under home quarantine.
Managing COVID-19 at Home –
Tips from An Interior Decor Perspective :-
1. Separation of Kitchen
It is necessary to separate the kitchen from regular amounts of footfall. Only those people who are actually cooking should be entering the kitchen. This is especially necessary where joint families live together or in case of paying guest rooms, hostels, dorms, shared apartments. A view to this is also that if more than one person is involved in the process of cooking than care should be taken that they all do not be in a smaller space at the same time.
In shared apartments, paying guest rooms one can also have separate kitchen areas instead of separate kitchens – a small electric stove with other general cooking necessities like pans etc will help achieve this. Regular washing of hands in the kitchen sink as well as cleaning the sink itself is a must.
2. Clean Dining Area
An extension of the above point related to eating, is to regularly clean the surface of the dining table. We can use a liquid cleaning agent or a hand sanitiser. We can also use wet wipes with over 70% alcohol content. After use, throw the wipes in a dumpster rather than re-using them because that may just result in moving the virus instead of removing it. We can also use a micro-fibre cleaning cloth. We can clean easily clean such a cloth with soap and water.
If you have small wooden stools/ tables and separate rooms then you can easily use those stools as your own personal dining area separately in your bedroom.
3. Spacing the Living Room Furniture
Family members can feel congested being confined to their bedrooms and living room gatherings are inevitable. Using proper spacing between the living room furniture can help prevent COVID-19 impact and spread. For example, if we have a single three seater sofa, then we should avoid sharing it. It would also be wise if the same person utlised the sofa.
If we have single chairs, we can easily designate one to be our favourite chair and sit on the same. We can place our favourite chairs more than the recommended six feet apart and still have quality conversations with our loved ones. If needed, we can place a centre/side table against a corner wall and use it with reasonable comfort.
4. Carpets and Curtains
It is unknown how long the virus can stay alive over cloth. Carpets should be rolled up and put in storage. Similarly, instead of having to open and close the drapes regularly with hand, we can either slide them to a side or bind them or just generally avoid coming near to them. Best to avoid plastic blinds. The virus can stay alive on plastic for three days.
As much as possible, it would be wise to isolate yourself from the rest of the household by keeping yourself inside a separate room, if such an option is available to you. Even though we are in isolation, we cannot help but go outside somedays to make purchases related to our day to day needs and whenever we go out it would be wise to take a bath and change clothes before entering our bed.
Washing bed sheets regularly and using anti-bacterial sheets instead of regular ones may prove to be of some help.
A double bed, is almost always two single bed boxes screwed together and more often than not, we can unscrew it using proper tools. For that, you must first unscrew the head and the feet of the bed enclosure and then proceed onto unscreweing the boxes (If not expert, don’t try by yourself). I, for one, would not be averse to the idea of sleeping on the floor or a side sofa if need be.
A recent small study has suggested that COVID-19 may even spread via human faeces. This study though, is not yet conclusive and had certain limitations. Separate washrooms are ideal during these times. But not many households have separate washrooms and as such personal hygiene becomes a necessity not just for our sake but for the sake of our loved ones as well.
Using a toilet disinfectant everytime you use the toilet and cleaning the seat properly is a way to minimise the impact of this.
Washroom sink and tap should also be properly cleaned individually after each wash.
We should use separate tooth pastes, combs, towels etc. Designating separate areas for your towels is generally a reasonable solution. Using a tub filled with water would be a wastage of water during these times and also an unnecessary risk. Using a hand or head shower or a bucket can save water wastage.
Remember that the virus mainly transmits in droplets so rigorously shaking hands to dry them after washing makes little sense.
Boss has ordered most of us worker bees to work from home. As such, we shall be spending a mojority of our time on a work table amongst files, workstations and laptops. The virus remains alive over glass for a number of hours and like it or not, our tablet/ phone screens are actually a bacteria hub.
During those long work hours, we need to be sure that our gadgets are clean. We can clean phone screens with a micro-fibre cloth. A micro-fibre cloth can capture micro particles such as bacteria within its surface when you wipe with it. An example is the cloth that come along a new spectacle box thats generally intended to clean your specs with. One needs to remember to clean the oth with soap and water afterwards because the cloth just removes the bacteria and stores them inside it, it does not kill the bacteria.
For killing the bacteria, we should use a hand sanitiser with over 70% alcohol content. According to apple website, we can use a wet wipe with over 70% isopropyl alcohol content to clean iPhone screens.
One should avoid using laptops in their bed. We can even just use a chair or any separate space for working on laptops.
8. Declutter, Storage and Accessories.
As much as possible, you should properly dispose of or store away in a separate storage room, closet or container any accessories that you are not in need of using regularly – for example your leather bags, extra shoes, books, extra stainless steel dishes, glasses, empty plastic bottles, furniture etc. This, in turn, lessons the chances of the virus spreading via surface and also declutters your space for a more spacious and separate inhabitable environment.
Disclaimer:- the views expressed in this article are indidviual only and not meant to influence anyone and neither does this article nor its author nor the website claims to be an authority over COVID-19, any medical knowledge or any related measures. People are advised to always consult a proper medical personnel for any scientific and medical knowledge and act according to the recommendations of a qualified medical doctor only. The author and the website does not take any responsibility or liability for actions taken based upon the article. Please go through the website disclaimer and terms and condiditions. Natty Decor recommends the guidelines specified by W.H.O and C.D.C.
Even though Isolation from everyone is the only viable recourse available yet but efforts to develop a vaccine are underway in full swing.
Just remember to love. We all need care, love and concern from those we know, respect and look forward to.
Isolation doesn’t have to mean fear .. just a simple smile or a warm gaze from somebody would be enough to give us courage.
How about utilising this family time to play those old board games which were once our favourite for example how about monopoly? Did you know you can actually play monopoly with your family and friends using phone and internet while staying a good six feet away.