The threat of COVID-19 has made everyone hyper-aware that germs, bacteria, and viruses are everywhere. It’s in the everyday things we touch, the places we go to regularly, and the activities we do without even thinking. If we’re not careful, we might be at risk of actually catching the virus. To protect ourselves, it will do us good to avoid — or at the very least be mindful — of these public places, common practices, and public items we touch.
Hand-shaking, beso-beso, and mano
A polite nod or a simple bowing of the head will suffice when you’re greeting someone. Everyone has probably gotten the memo by now: reduce physical contact with people to minimize spreading the virus or catching it. Your tita/ate or even client won’t hold a grudge if you don’t shake their hand or hug them hello. But if you think there’s no fun in a simple bow, maybe you can do the Wuhan shake instead to spice things up.
Fast food shared utensils
While restaurants, fast food chains, and food courts make sure to wash their utensils thoroughly, sometimes it isn’t as clean as we’re led to believe. Why do you think customers take several minutes picking spoons and forks before deciding on a pair? Avoid using these shared utensils and bring your own from now on. We also don’t recommend turning to plastic spoons and forks for the obvious reason that we shouldn’t neglect taking care of the environment and we should still minimize our plastic waste.
Cosmetics and skincare testers
Those lipsticks and palettes have been on another person’s lips, fingers, and face. Look up the product online and gather information from there. Or if you must try it, ask for testers in small packets if they’re available.
Public touch screens and ATMs
You don’t need us to tell you that — even long before COVID-19 was a thing — the touch screen information booths in malls are probably breeding grounds for bacteria. The same goes for the Beep card touch screen machines in LRT stations. Since the COVID-19 virus is now known to linger in surfaces for a number of days, someone might be unknowingly sick and touched those machines making everyone else vulnerable to getting the virus.
Take caution also when using ATMs, which give you a combination of touching public machines and money. These are both handled by hundreds of people carrying who knows what kind of germs. After using the ATM or any public touch screen, avoid touching your face and sanitize your hands immediately.
Workout equipment, karaoke bars, microphones
Going outside is inevitable especially with the weekend fast-approaching and summer just around the corner. But it will do you good to be mindful of public spaces such as the gym, bars, and malls. At the gym, try sanitizing the machines you’re going to use by wiping down with disinfectant wipes the parts you will touch. Immediately after working out, make a beeline for the washroom to clean yourself up.
The same goes for karaoke machines and microphones. Give them those buttons and handles a thorough wipe down before you touch or use them.
Using public restrooms
Avoid public restrooms as much as you can for a while. Do your business at home or in your office comfort rooms before heading out. While some malls have now issued their employees to sanitize public restrooms a couple of times a day, it would still be better to not visit one at all. Or if you do have to use one, bring a sanitizer with you and make sure that you thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.
Handrails in public transportation
Literally thousands of people a day touch the handrails in public transportation and you don’t even know where their hands have been or if they have the virus. It’s bad enough that the idea of “personal space” isn’t a thing in public transportation, so don’t endanger yourself more. If you must touch handrails, you can use a tissue paper or immediately sanitize your hand afterward. Nobody will be offended because dangerous times call for OA measures.
Door knobs, handles, elevator buttons
One of the things that we’re probably not aware of touching daily are doors and doorknobs. Since we can’t avoid it anyway, simply remain mindful and spray alcohol on your hands afterward. The same goes for pushing elevator buttons that have been touched by everyone else in the building. (Protip: Use your knuckle instead of your fingertip to push elevator buttons.)
Classes in all levels have been suspended by the government and the majority of offices have also implemented work from home schemes. There’s a reason the usually busy streets will be empty for a while — we’re all doing our best to eliminate further cases of COVID-19 in our country. So make sure you do your part to protect yourself and your loved ones.
What other measures can we implement to avoid COVID-19?