January 13, 2021
How has COVID Changed Everyday Living?
Even before the pandemic physicians constantly reminded people about the importance of hygiene and paying attention to everyday health risks, but 2020 turned the world upside down. According to experts, during covid-19 40 countries initiated a full lockdown. Governments also prepared new rules for everyday living. Some of these have such a positive impact on people's health that they should be kept even after the pandemic's end.
Handwashing is essential for reducing the spread of germs - this is the first defense line against illnesses. Proper technique, soap and correct water temperature can change the result drastically. It can prevent minor infections like the common cold, but also serious ones - meningitis, salmonella, flu, or hepatitis A.
Before the pandemic, sometimes you could find some guidelines hanging in the bathroom regarding proper handwashing techniques, but it was so rare that most people probably didn’t even notice it. Nowadays, you can see them everywhere - not only over the sink but in public transport, billboards, etc. CDC states, that since the beginning of covid-19 the odds of remembering to wash hands was 2.3 times higher among respondents after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose, 2.0 times higher before eating at a restaurant, and 1.7 times higher before eating at home (you can find the full report here).
If you think about social distancing, the first thing that pops to your mind is likely to be something associated with loneliness. Yes, pandemic and lockdown are hard for people, especially when you can't come to your friends, spend holidays with family, or just go to a restaurant with your other half. But is it all that bad?
The positive sides of lockdown and social distancing exist. A lot of people learned new skills during their time at home. More free time has brought more online courses, some of them even free of charge. Libraries, art galleries, and even cinemas shared parts of their resources with communities.
The need for social distancing and limitations created new opportunities (but also demands) for adapting to the new style of living. Covid-19 compelled employers to adjust to the latest technological solutions, especially in the medical field. For example, in dental care, most offices had to prepare new dental patient communication software in order to reduce the number of patients present in the office.
The culture of wearing face coverings could have been observed in Asian countries for a long time now, but until Covid-19 it was very rare to see people from Europe or America wearing them on a daily basis. Covid-19 isn’t the only droplet-transmitted disease we know. In most moderate climate countries, winter is a season of flu or a common cold.
Society doesn’t consist of only healthy people. Some people, especially ones whose immune systems are compromised, must worry about their health more than others. Auto-immune diseases can be fatal when making contact with even the least serious viruses. Masks can offer more freedom for a lot of sick people around the world.
Even for the healthiest of us, this can be a game-changer. Have you ever wondered how many times you got sick and couldn’t go to work after getting in touch with a sick person? It’s not very hard to catch the flu after a handshake or small sneeze directed at another person.
Hopefully, after the pandemic, people will take greater precautions when they get sick. Before, going to school or work with a cough is not uncommon - Covid-19 may change practices forever.
Disinfecting and Workplace Design
Do you know this situation when you are going to a bathroom and the toilet paper is missing, the soap dispenser is empty and paper towel has never existed in the first place? This was (and still is) a big problem, especially in public places.
After new guidelines from government health agencies, a lot of facilities started caring more about basic sanitary products. Under the threat of fines, soap and sanitizers appeared not only in bathrooms, but also near the exits with pamphlets reminding people about proper hygiene.
Employers were also reminded of how to maintain proper sanitation in the workplace. Additionally, all desks had to be rearranged, so no one faced another person in close distance. That way, when an employee is sitting ill, the chances of infecting more people in the office considerably decrease.
Finally, a lot of people started carrying their own sanitizers. It is a great comfort to know that even when someone doesn’t care about public health safety, you can always reach into your handbag and take care of it yourself. The bottom line is - always be prepared.
Health is one of the most important things you have. Remember that even flu can have serious complications. You can significantly reduce the risks of infections just by changing your habits a little bit. Sometimes it’s not only about you, but about the whole society.