We’ve gotten used to the idea that there’s a virus out there and many aspects of our lives will not be the same, at least for a while. We’ve got the masks to protect us in indoor venues, in crowded places where social distancing is not an option, we’ve got strict hygiene rules in restaurants and supermarkets, but what about our homes?
Even after the coronavirus pandemic subsides, we might still need to be wary of certain things we allow into our homes. According to health experts, here are 10 things you’ll never bring in your home after the coronavirus pandemic is over.
Remember that old teddy bear you got from your friends to cheer up your children or grandchildren? What about that secondhand puzzle from your neighbor’s yard sale? You thought nothing of it when you got them back then, but now, in the times of the coronavirus, you might want to give up such habits and keep used items out of your home.
“The coronavirus pandemic has taught us that kids are especially likely to be carriers of certain diseases and illnesses that can harm adults. So, avoiding buying secondhand toys is a good call, as it’s unclear where those toys have been before, and they can later easily wind up in your child’s mouth,” says health and wellness expert Linda Morgan.
Metal is not the only surface the coronavirus can live on for several days. This dangerous virus can survive on cardboard for up to 24 hours, so, you might want to rethink your strategy next time you order something online and have cardboard boxes get dropped off on your porch.
“Realizing that even cardboard boxes can help bring viruses and germs into the home will make people much more likely to toss the boxes before they reach the front door,” says Morgan. And if you really want to stay on the safe side, You’ll NEVER Want to Touch These 7 Things Again After COVID-19.
“[One] very important item to avoid is currency notes and coins,” warns Urvish Patel, MBBS, MPH, a medical advisor for eMediHealth, who recommends using contactless forms of payment, such as online or Apple Pay transactions, whenever possible.
That’s because the virus can survive on copper coins for up to four hours and it can live on bills for up to four days, according to a study in The New England Journal of Medicine. As if it’s not enough, the coronavirus is not the only virus you should watch out for when it comes to currency. There’s also MRSA bacteria and E.coli, which were discovered on a sample of international currencies among which the American dollar, according to a study published in Antimicrobial Resistance & Infection Control in 2013.
Giving or getting gift baskets from/to friends or neighbors was usually a nice gesture. Theoretically, it still is. But amid the coronavirus pandemic, and even after things will not be as tense, it might be better to leave such presents into the past.
According to Giuseppe, “people will have to be especially careful with these as they could have been in multiple homes and areas, thus having more chance of holding virus particles on their surfaces and promoting the further spread of infection”.
Restaurants and caterers have to comply with strict hygiene rules in order to open their business again. The same cannot be said about your friend’s kitchen. It’s not that it is not clean, but it can represent a risk you should not be willing to take. “Any dishes that a neighbor may have popped around with should not be kept as these have been touched by other people who may not be as vigilant [about hygiene] as yourself,” warns Giuseppe.
Apart from accepting lasagna from friends, here are 7 Risky Activities You Shouldn’t Be Doing With Friends Right Now.
You might want to refrain yourself from opening takeout containers in your kitchen, next time you order something from your favorite spot. According to Patel, they are not major sources of transmission but “plastic bags and food storage containers… come in contact with many people”. If any of the restaurant staff have the virus, they could pass it on to you via the containers or silverware packs. The coronavirus can stay on plastic surfaces for up to seven days, so, you definitely don’t want plastic takeout containers something in your house!
You might be tempted to send someone you haven’t seen in awhile a nice greeting card to show you’re thinking of them. Or receive one yourself from your friends or family. But before you accept it into your home, you should know that the coronavirus can survive on paper for three hours. Instead of choosing the traditional greeting cards, save the plane, your friends, family and yourself and use e-cards, text messages, or Skype calls.
Secondhand clothes may be cheaper, but they might also come with unexpected surprises, especially with the virus that’s causing COVID-19 going around undetected.
“You should be mindful of things like clothes and handbags,” says Aragona Giuseppe, GP, a medical advisor at Prescription Doctor. Washing your clothes can reduce the risk of contracting coronavirus but “you should ideally be throwing out items that could have particles on them… to ensure that there are no droplets left sitting on any surfaces.”
You don’t want to expose yourself to unnecessary risks, do you? Speaking of exposure, here are 5 Surprising Ways You Might Still Be Exposing Yourself to Coronavirus.
Rented gym equipment
Most gyms around the country are still closed. To keep their business afloat, some are providing equipment rentals to help fitness enthusiasts stay in shape. But if you accept the offer, you might get more than you bargained for. That’s because, according to GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, there’s a high probability that someone touched the weights or other metal equipment after coughing or sneezing, contaminating them. To make sure you’re safe, don’t use any rental equipment or, if you do take something from the gym home with you, sanitize it before you use it.
Grocery store flyers
If you used to bring the weekly flyers from your local supermarket home with you, you might want to stop doing that from now on. Chances are that these papers have been touched by multiple hands before you. With the virus being able to survive on printing paper for up to three hours, it’s best that you don’t take any chances. If you’re curious about the discounts, check their latest deals online or through a mobile app.