Updated: Sep 30
As a Home Service Provider, we thought it would be useful to share best practices during this seasonal change from Summer to Autumn and still tricky situation to protect yourself, your closed ones and your home.
It can be summed up by one our most favorite shows of the moment statement:
"Strike First, Strike Hard, No Mercy" - Credo of Cobra Kai Dojo
Now here are the steps to follow:
- WHITE BELT - Purify your Soul Enter your home, wash your hands
As you most likely know already, the virus spreads through human cough droplets. The most critical means of infection is through our hands. Fortunately, it is rather easy to counter. You can help yourself and your loved ones stay healthy by washing your hands often.
Soap and water when at home
Sanitizer, due to their components, when travelling only
Especially during these key times when you are likely to get and spread germs:
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrheas
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage.
- YELLOW BELT - Respect your Dojo Leave your Shoes at the Door
Why doing it
Shoes don’t just carry dirt into our homes – they also have the potential to introduce germs. For this reason, it’s best to make your home a ‘shoes-free’ zone and to clean floors regularly.
What to do to push this habit
Buy or create yourself a shoe rack / mat the closest to your home door so you seamlessly take off your dirty shoes to transition to dedicated home slippers.
How To Clean your Floor:
Start by vacuuming using the right power setting and nozzle or sweeping hard floors to get rid of loose dirt then mop with a warm solution of disinfectant.
For hardwood floor, vacuum with the soft-bristled floor-brush nozzle and go with the floor grain. Water is the enemy so you do not have to mop but if necessary due to some stains, damp flat mop the floor with a pH neutral cleaner, mild soap, detergent cleaner. Use as less water as possible, so the mop should be carefully wrung out. You may also open the windows for the surface to dry as quickly as possible and not harm the floor (swelling, warping or staining).
- Orange Belt - Know your Maai Maintain Social Distance
Maai or interval in japanese means in the martial art world the empty space between two opponents in combat. It englobes the traveling distance, the reach of the weapon, the time for to travel through it and hit the other person, the body angle and rhythm while in motion. All those factors combined define the Maai for each individual. Knowing one's maai allows you to strike without being hit or prevent a simultaneous strike.
If visiting/hosting a person at risk or someone who works in such environment, make sure to maintain at least 1 meter (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. If somebody cough, the current scientific consensus is that this virus can be spread within 2 meters.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, the droplets enter your personal space and so break your Maai. Your position hence won't be able to prevent you from breathing them in.
- GREEN BELT - Master Your Breathing Practice respiratory hygiene
You are unlikely to wear mask inside your own private space so as then being vigilant is key the most fundamental courtesy respiratory practice should not be omitted. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- BLUE BELT - Develop Self-Awareness Stop Touching your Face
Did you know, you touch your face around 23 times per hours so almost once every 2 min. Also the more you think about it, the more it gets itchy and you are most likely to do it.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
To know more: Here
Tricks on how to stop: Here
- BROWN BELT - Know Your Enemy's Greatest Weakness Clean then Disinfect
The second most infectious means is through surfaces: the virus can survive from 2 hours, up to 9 days on different surfaces such as metal, ceramics and plastics at room temperature.
Use a two-step method
1st cleaning, 2nd disinfecting: to tackle surfaces such as kitchen counters, table tops and bathroom surfaces so dirt, soap scum or food residue is removed.
Clean: either spray the surface with distilled white vinegar and then wipe down with a clean cloth or simply use a microfiber cloth with warm water, or a cleaning cloth dipped in detergent solution and wrung out fully.
Disinfect: against viruses as well as bacteria, use according to the label instructions a household disinfectant which is alcohol-based claiming to kill 99.9% bacteria and viruses (written on the packaging), or use rubbing alcohol with a strength of at least 70%. Alternatively, use household bleach containing sodium hypochlorite diluted in cold water.
Those methods should kill viruses quite quickly by breaking down their cell walls.
Tips for enhanced result:
A disinfectant effectiveness at killing germs and viruses depend on its ingredients AND the length of time it is left to work also known as "contact time". "Ensure you leave it to work on a hard surface for at least one minute but preferably three minutes." says microbiologist and author of The Germ Code, Jason Tetro.
Cleaning: removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting: kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing: lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
- BLACK BELT - Repeat, Assess, Improve Go First for Highly Touched Surfaces
Mastering a task never stops. There is always things to learn, the process is hence endless.
For example, it’s easy to remember to clean and disinfect obvious germ hotspots such as the toilet and kitchen surfaces. But other frequently touched surfaces in our homes should not be overlooked, too – think door knobs, small and big appliances handles, light switches, banisters...
For obvious electrical safety reasons, you should never spray anything directly onto a light switch. Instead, use household cleaning spray and wipe, according to the label instructions. Usually spray this lightly onto a microfiber cloth, then use this to wipe the switch and switch plate. Buff with a clean, soft cloth or a fine microfiber cloth to dry.
Always check labels which contain instructions for safe and effective use of the cleaning product including precautions you should take when applying the product, such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product.
- BONUS WISDOM - Keep Up with Your Time Don't Forget Tech Devices
Time is inevitable, but how we decide to respond to what it brings is still under our control.
Tech especially our smartphone and the items used by the whole family, such as home phone, remote controls, potentially headphones and games console controllers, may also be microbe-magnets.
To clean them, start by removing dust with a soft cloth, then use a microfiber cloth sprayed lightly with water to wipe away grime, followed by a clean cloth spritzed with a disinfectant solution to get rid of germs and viruses (do not spray the solution directly on the screen or item). A gentle wipe with a product/tissue that has 70 percent isopropyl alcohol will do just fine. A cotton bud can be handy to clean the small areas between buttons.
The Don't (especially for screens):
Window or household cleaners, Compressed air, Aerosol spray cleaners, Harsh Solvents (acetone, benzene, toulene), Bleach, Ammonia, Abrasive powders, Hydrogen peroxide.
WHO, CDC, NYTimes, FAZ, the Economist, Goodhousekeeping, The Spruce.
G. Kampf, D. Todt, S. Pfaender, E. Steinmann (2020) - "Persistence of coronaviruses on inanimate surfaces and their inactivation with biocidal agents"- Journal of Hospital Infection
Max Roser, Hannah Ritchie and Esteban Ortiz-Ospina (2020) - "Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) – Statistics and Research". Published online at OurWorldInData.org