Covid-19 Lockdown Care

FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS FROM YOUR GOVERNMENT

Covid-19 lockdown is an unprecedented circumstance for us all.

The virus is out there in the community. The planning of each one of us must cover both the risks.

  1. That I can get infected by others.
  2. That I can infect others.

Here are some suggestions to stay safe.

Option 1: Stay at home and no items are brought in and nothing goes out. This is the safest for everyone.

Option 2: Stay at home, items like milk get in, garbage goes out. This opens up a few means of infection spreading.
Suggested method to minimize risk:

1. Put out a duly sanitized bag to receive the milk.

2. Keep a tub with soap water near entrance door. Grab the milk bag with the milk packets, using a tissue paper to avoid direct contact with the bag. Put milk bag with milk packets in it. The whole bag. And the tissue paper. After 5 minutes remove the milk packets into a suitably sized container. Do not open them yet. Take them inside and rinse them. Then open the milk packets. Without washing it, hang out the milk bag to dry.

3. Put all the garbage into a garbage bag. Clean the bag from the outside with soap water. Leave the garbage bag out to be collected. Don’t wait for the door bell to ring and hand it over, if that was the procedure earlier.

Option 3: Stay at home, make very infrequent trips to buy essentials. This opens up many means of infection spreading.
Suggested method to minimize risk:

1. Keep two tubs of soap water ready, near the entrance to your house, before you go out. One with your regular detergent for packed products. The other with water and a food grade quality of Sodium Lauryl Sulfate detergent. That will not be easy to get, so you can try a little mild human safe detergent such as a toothpaste or shampoo. The second tub is for vegetables that can be washed. Also keep a sponge ready to wipe clean bags (say of flour) with soap water, that you can’t wash in the tub.

2. Keep a suitable bag ready, near the entrance to your house, for the clothes you wear to go outside. Also keep a towel ready near the entrance.

3. Keep your bathroom ready for a bath. So if you need hot water, plan for that first. Also keep a bucket of soap water ready in the bathroom to soak your clothes when you are back.

4. Pre-order and pay for your shopping. If you can’t pre-pay, order should be a round number for which you have a currency note ready. Keep the sanitized currency note ready to hand over when you go out. The trip should be only to collect the items. They may be delivered to your gate as well.

5. Minimize number of places you visit. Ideally get everything from one place. Else two or three if it is a must. Avoid going to more than three places.

6. Go out to collect the items. Be focused on the task at hand. Keep a minimum distance of 2 meters all the while from person nearest to you. Don’t wander around and avoid getting into conversations. Though you should be polite and cheerful in your demeanour and keep up community spirits. Wear full length dresses (like trousers and full sleeved shirt/top), shoes, a cap, as protective a pair of glasses as you have and an N95 mask. A more basic mask will do, but if you are at risk of passing through an area where a Covid-19 patient has been speaking loudly or sneezing there can be aerosol type (very fine droplets that are able to float in the air) contamination to avoid. Use gloves if you have them or use tissue paper while touching things you must touch. If you use tissues to touch objects try to discard them suitably once the task is done. Carry a small bag to dispose used tissue papers that you can’t easily discard. Instruct others at home to stay away from the entrance when you return.

7. Once you are back you should:

  • Dispose the bag with the used tissues.
  • Put the items bought in the the tub they need to go into and make sure the soap water makes contact with the items thoroughly. Take care not to touch the tub from the outside, if you do clean the tub from the outside.
  • Scrub the outsides of bags that can’t be put in the tub, with soap water.

8. You should then remove the shoes, put a little soap water on the floor and put the shoes in the puddle and leave them near the entrance. You can then remove your outer clothes, cap, mask, glasses, gloves and put them in the bag. Use the towel you left near the entrance to keep yourself covered even as you remove your outer clothes.

9. Go straight to the bathroom. Soak your clothes and cap. Wash the glasses with soap water and disinfect the mask if possible or dispose it. Have your bath taking care to scrub thoroughly and wash your hair as well. Put on fresh clothes and you are done.

10. The items can now be taken from the tubs and if vegetables were washed with a mild detergent solution they should be rinsed thoroughly with water. Vegetables that cannot be washed, like onions should be peeled carefully and the peels discarded safely. Wash your hands well with soap once peeling is done before proceeding with the rest of the cooking.

RESOURCES:

  1. Official Ministry of Health & Family Welfare website
  2. WHO on Covid-19 Pandemic
  3. Coronavirus life on surfaces
  4. IHME Covid-19 US projections