Right now is a scary time. The COVID-19 Coronavirus has swept through the US, causing schools and restaurants to close, grocery supplies to be scarce, and officials are telling people to distance themselves from others as much as possible. 

 

Although this virus will pass and most will be just fine, it’s still a very real threat to the health of millions across the country (and the world). How to keep your home and your family as safe and healthy as possible is at the forefront of most peoples’ minds right now. 

 

It’s not possible to 100% prevent anyone from contracting a virus, especially a highly contagious, airborne one. And since you will likely still need to leave the house for essential tasks like grocery shopping, banking, and doctor’s appointments a total quarantine probably isn’t likely or practical either. 

 

So what can you do? The following is a quick list of actions you can take to keep your family as healthy as possible in the face of COVID-19: 

 

Know who’s at highest risk 

According to the CDC, the following groups are at the highest risk of complications and serious illness as a result of COVID-19:

  • Adults over 60 years of age
  • Individuals with chronic diseases, including but not limited to Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory diseases, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, and cancer
  • Individuals with suppressed immune systems

 

The following are individuals who may not be at higher risk for becoming seriously ill, but who may be at higher risk for contracting COVID-19:

  • Anyone who’s been in close contact recently with someone who’s been sick and may have COVID-19
  • Anyone who has traveled recently and been in large crowds

 

If you’re someone who’s at higher risk of contracting the virus or becoming seriously ill as a result, then you will need to take extra precautions to stay healthy and limit the chances of infecting others. The suggestions listed below will help.

 

Avoid non-essential contact

Per government and CDC recommendations, right now everyone should be practicing “social distancing”. This means not congregating in large groups, avoiding parties and playdates, avoiding highly congested and crowded areas, and trying to maintain a 6-foot distance from others if and when you do need to go out in public. 

 

If someone needs to go out, make sure it’s someone low-risk

If you need to run an errand consider sending someone else if you are in a high-risk category or may have had contact recently with anyone who’s sick. If you can send a spouse, parent, neighbor, or friend instead, do it.

If you don’t have anyone to rely on, you can consider hiring someone to run errands for you. TaskRabbit allows you to hire someone just for this purpose and there are many other services and apps like it out there, too. 

 

Make use of delivery and shipping options

In recent years many companies have started offering expanded delivery and shipping options. With COVID-19 limiting our ability to stick to normal routines, this is fortunate. You can have almost anything delivered via Amazon and now you can also use services like DoorDash, GrubHub, or UberEats to deliver your food, too. Need groceries? No problem. Many grocery stores like Kroger have pick-up and delivery options or you can use a grocery delivery service like Shipt or Amazon Pantry. 

 

Create a daily and weekly cleaning schedule

Right now, authorities are saying that the virus can linger on hard surfaces for several hours and much longer on porous surfaces like clothing. This means that if you venture out you’ll need to be extra vigilant about cleaning your home and personal items afterward to ensure the virus doesn’t spread to you or anyone in your home.

Think about setting up a cleaning schedule of weekly and daily tasks to make sure your surfaces stay clean and contagion-free.

The CDC has a great webpage for Household Cleaning Guidelines for COVID-19. Check it out to see what you can be doing to keep your home clean and healthy. 

 

If you think you may have the virus, try to get tested

Drive-thru Coronavirus testing sites are starting to pop up across the country in an effort to identify infected individuals while minimizing contact with them (and thus the potential for spreading the disease). If you suspect that you may be infected or come into contact with someone who might have been infected, you should get tested. 

 

Not sure where to go? You can call your state’s Health Department for information on testing site locations. See a list of state Health Departments and contact info by clicking here. 

 

Have your ductwork cleaned

This step is admittedly not necessary for everyone. But if you are in a high-risk category or have a compromised immune system then we would urge you to consider getting your ductwork cleaned even if you’ve had it done within recent years.

Having your ductwork cleaned and sanitized by a reputable company can reduce the number of contagions, debris, and particulate matter circulating through the air in your home. Even if there’s no chance that you will contract the virus, duct cleaning can help those with chronic conditions and immune system problems from otherwise getting sick. And since that could help you avoid a doctor or hospital visit (prime places to contract any contagious illness), it could very well prevent you from being exposed to COVID-19. 

 

And of course, if you have reason to believe that someone in your home has been exposed or may have been exposed to someone infected with COVID-19, then duct cleaning is a must to ensure you truly disinfect all spaces where the virus could hang out and minimize chances of spreading the illness to other family members or visitors.  

 

Keep up-to-date with the recommendations the CDC and WHO are issuing

The situation with the COVID-19 Coronavirus is still evolving. We are still learning about the virus and how we can most effectively combat it. Stay up-to-date on the latest news and recommendations from health authorities by checking the CDC and WHO websites regularly. 

 

You can also sign up for their newsletters so that important information comes straight to your inbox. Here are some handy links for you to that: 

 

Subscribe to the CDC’s Health Updates Newsletter

Subscribe to the WHO’s Health Emergency Highlights Newsletter

 

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Again, there’s no foolproof way to prevent catching a virus other than secluding yourself in a totally sanitized bubble-dome (and let us know if you know where to buy one of those). But if you are proactive in taking the steps outlined above you’ll be way ahead of the pack. Better safe than sorry. 

 

Stay healthy, my friends.