Quarantine Diary 1: Four things you can do right now to keep your home virus free

flatten 2Things are pretty quiet at the Valley Wood Home for the Aged, what we call our homestead here in Northwest Reno. My introvert husband has been practicing social distancing for years. Plus, we have enough groceries, paper, and cleaning supplies for another week or so. Might need milk and bread sometime soon, but now that trucks are once again moving across the Sierra, supply chains will soon get back to normal. Normal unless the idiot hoarders decide they need a six-months supply of TP instead of three.

And what’s the deal with bottled water? Last time I checked, it still comes out of the tap and we still have glasses right there. Sometimes I just don’t understand my fellow humans. I am alternately disgusted and inspired by them.

While the virus seems out of control, I know we each have a choice about how we respond. We can focus on what we have and what we can control. We can remain flexible and learn to live differently.

To that end, this a new installment in my Healthy Habits for Happy Humans series on how we can exercise those principles of positive action and hope. Do you have other tips? I welcome your input.

Keep it clean

For the near future, we will assume everything we touch is infected. We’ve adopted the following household routines for the two of us healthy old people.

  1. Wash hands after every trip out into the world in addition to all the normal times—after using the bathroom, before eating. We wash again after putting away groceries. We even wash after a trip to get the mail from the mailbox. My husband has begun ditching junk mail in the trash before it enters the house. He also suggests we use gloves to open personal mail.
  2. Every two days, wipe doorknobs, bathroom surfaces with Lysol or Clorox wipes. Luckily, we already had some stashed under bathroom counters.
  3. Sanitize kitchen countertops daily, but also after unloading groceries or opening those Amazon packages.
  4. Change hand towels and kitchen linens every other day. It’ll mean doing one extra load of whites every week. Not a big deal.

This pandemic will likely define us for a generation, like the Great Depression or World War II did for our parents and grandparents. I remember my optimistic mother’s response to the the Depression. When some of her friends would moan, “We had to put cardboard in our shoes!” my mom would shrug and say, “So did everyone else.”

Attitude is everything. We’re all in this together.


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