I am not a doctor and this is not to be taken as health advice with any credentials behind it. This is Matthew’s opinion and Tatana and my agreement with our family how we would take care of ourselves during this pandemic to keep our house safe from COVID-19 or any other heath concern to which we may be exposed.
We sat down individually and listened to many of the reports and statements put out by a wide range of people and expertise, including some family friends who are in the healthcare industry. We knew that we needed to keep our house clean and free from contact infection. We also knew that if we went outside, the more people we were around, the more likely we were to have been exposed to any communicable disease. We also knew that we wanted to still walk around outside and not be overly concerned while doing so, meaning we took precautions for our own health and the health of the rest of us in the house (and those around us).
We came up with these basic rules:
- If you go outside and are outside only, without any close contact with people, you were able to come home with a wash of hands, arms, and face and remove your shoes at the door.
- If you go outside and are around people, for necessity or on accident, you must come home, strip, and take a hot shower.
- If you go inside any place at all while you are out, even if there were no people around you, you must come home, strip, and take a hot shower.
- Anything that has gone outside with you, wallet, purse, keys or anything used, credit card, phone, watch, must also be washed when you return.
- Any groceries or mail that arrives, must be wiped off with bleach or other sanitizer before it is used, opened, or put away in the house.
- Getting in and out of the car also triggers the need to sanitize hands, face, and mask before leaving that location. So each location, you are cleaning yourself and anything you touched on the car, with sanitizer.
After we started going out for non-essential trips, for example my son and I went to Busch Gardens and I had to stay at a Marriott Hotel. Both of these events caused us to increase the caution and protection for when we returned. So there is a number four.
- If you have gone around people for an extended period of time, even if they are known friends or family, you must quarantine yourself for 14 days when you come home after you strip and take a hot shower, of course. This quarantine requires you to wear a mask in the house and clean up after yourself much more than normal after you eat or use the bathroom.
I think I will write more about the self-quarantine experiences in a later article. You can also read this article from Tatana about her experience while on vacation, we carried these rules with us as we traveled. Once we thoroughly cleaned the accommodations, we treated it like we were at home.
Through these rules, we feel we have done our best effort to stay safe. We feel our house is relatively free of fear of getting the virus, but we have also stressed to each other, the importance of improving our hygiene and keeping the house clean. What we have found is we started making decisions on “do I really want to wash again today”. It was funny to watch, and now even the kids are saying it. We would talk about going somewhere and the question would be, “do we have to go inside?” If yes, then there would often be a resounding, “no, I’m good.”
For most of the pandemic, I was the only one who went out to the store, picked up food, medicine, or other essentials necessary to keep our house in order and safe. Now, as time has moved on, Tatana is also venturing out but much less than I am. You have to remember that we are all asthmatic, but I am the least reactant to allergens and other factors, whereas Tatana is very susceptible or what I would consider “at risk”. We are getting outside more and taking longer walks around the neighborhood; sometimes even riding bikes again.
I know we are not coming out of this pandemic any time soon, but I can only hope that our family uses these and any other additional practices to keep ourselves safe and healthy. I hope you can incorporate some of them for your use as well. If you have any additional thoughts or tips, please comment and let us know. We are only doing what we think works best for us.