Sometimes a little hygiene goes a long way, especially when it comes to prevention of viral infection.
1. Wash your hands with soap any time you come into contact with others, and any time you walk in your house. Antibacterial gels are not a substitute for a good hand washing. Hand washing standards call for at least 30 seconds of washing with soap under water, or, as they teach the preschoolers, while singing the ABC’s twice through.
Oh, and you do not need to use antibacterial soap; regular old soap is plenty fine. Antibacterial soaps, gels, and other products are likely contributing to the emergence of super antibiotic-resistant bugs in our hospitals and water supplies.
2. Clean all sheets and towels often, and especially after any illness. Don’t re-use washclothes between washings. Some virus germs, like the norovirus that causes “winter vomiting bug,” can live on fabrics for as long as twelve days! Remember the infamous story of early American colonists delivering smallpox-infected blankets to a Native American village? The entire village was shortly wiped out from smallpox.
3. Replace your toothbrush regularly, and especially after any illness.
4. Get the air ducts cleaned and sanitized in your house, particularly if it has been longer than five years since this has been done. Virus germs, mold spores, and other types of filth can live in your air ducts and be re-circulated through your indoor air every time you turn on heat or air conditioning.
5. Wipe down your phone and keyboard with cleaners. Do this on a regular basis with other objects that you touch constantly after you’ve been out and about as well, like your steering wheel, tablet, television remote control, etc.