Practical or paranoid? Our latest blog post looks at whether your hygiene precautions during a pandemic have taken a left turn and become problematic in their own right.
The COVID-19 pandemic has provided quite the wake-up call regarding the importance of good hand hygiene practices, and how easy it is for viruses and bacteria to spread from person to person. Unfortunately for some though, this wake-up call has contributed to an overwhelming sense of anxiety regarding returning to 'normal" life. CNBC reports that 50% of people globally are anxious about getting back to normal pre-pandemic life, suggesting that in the midst of all these lockdowns we’ve somehow found comfort in hiding away in our homes away from the outside world.
In this blog we will look at when practical precautions take a left turn and become problematic and then give recommendations on what you can do to help you stay safe while still alleviating the anxiety that has been brewing in all of us.
COVID-19 prevention: is hermit life a safe life?
COVID-19 lockdowns have made us take a page out of a tortoise's life, and hide away from the world. Whilst this is advised to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the negative effects of continued lockdowns are that they contribute to an increase in social anxiety and cabin fever.
To avoid this I recommend taking regular walks outside in the fresh air wherever possible or taking a trip to the local store. Of course, adhering to social distancing and ensuring that you have a mask on and sanitiing your hands regularly is critical, but the experience of seeing new people in a different environment (that isn’t your 4 walls at home) will help reduce the paranoia and anxiety.
Interested in finding out what is in your hand sanitiser? Download this handy e-booklet on what to look for when purchasing and using sanitiser for your hands.
As a business owner, to help customers feel more comfortable visiting your premises I’d recommend carefully adhering to the necessary precautions: providing hand sanitisers at the entrance, in, and around the premises, ensuring your staff always have their masks on properly (mouth and nose covered) and sanitising high traffic areas and contact points (such as store counters, speed points and bio-metric scanners).
Additionally, we recommend installing indoor air purifiers and having some sort of notification (such as posters) informing the customers that the premises have taken all those steps to ensure their safety will go a long way in making customers feel less anxious about being in a public space. You can download our free hand washing technique posters here.
Will it ever be safe to go back to the office?
As more and more people get vaccinated, thoughts will now turn to whether it will be safe to return to the office, and how does one return to “normal” after what we have experienced?
I believe keeping a close eye on updates from the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) will help remove quite a lot of the uncertainty around returning to work. For example, they have just released a guideline that helps shed light on how we should behave now that more of us are getting vaccinated. The CDC states that people who have been fully vaccinated may visit others who have been fully vaccinated as well without wearing masks. This would then suggest that colleagues that have been fully vaccinated may also be in each other’s presence at the office without the use of masks.
For peace of mind and to alleviate any uncertainty, I’d still recommend that offices install air care solutions like the Rentokil-Initial VIRUSKILLER™ on their premises. This is because even though people may be vaccinated they still have the potential to spread the COVID-19 virus to those that haven’t yet been vaccinated.
Want to know more about the importance of Air Quality and how the VIRUSKLLER™ works? Then you may be interested in watching our webinar on 'Tackling Coronavirus in the Air'. You can also find more blog articles on the subject of air care here.
Additionally, putting rigorous hygiene protocols in place (such as installing air purifiers, hand sanitiser stands and implementing periodic surface disinfection services) will help overall employee health as it will help keep other illnesses like hay fever, asthma and seasonal flu at bay. Initial can assist with our wide range of COVID-19 service offerings to support you and your business.
It may feel easier to just hide away and try to not interact with the outside world, however as we’ve noted, that might not be good for your mental health. With the vaccination campaign underway, we should start thinking about post-pandemic life and preparing not only yourself but your business as well.
Make sure that you are prepared by following strict hand hygiene protocol - download our ultimate hand hygiene guide. And don't forget to subscribe to our blog to make sure you keep updated with all the latest hygiene insights and news from your local experts.