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Coronavirus Personal Hygiene -- Soap, Alcohol, Habits

A lot has already been written all over the internet about personal hygiene against the coronavirus, such as working on changing habits not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth, not shaking hands, and so on, so I don't want to add filler text here. Instead, I will add some things which you might not have seen elsewhere.

First, a sentence on what you've probably read elsewhere: Cleaning your hands with soap and water is very effective against the virus, and you can then spray your hands with alcohol afterwards. However, keep in mind that whatever you touch after cleaning your hands may still have virus on it, such as your phone, so cleaning hands is not enough. Also, if the water tap is a knob and you touched it before washing your hands, then touching it afterwards can put virus back onto your fingers. Some standard procedures you may want to consider:

  • When you get home, use a sink with a lever instead of a knob, and bump the lever on and off with your elbow, not your fingers.
  • Clean and spray sink knobs and door knobs with a good antivirus disinfectant.
  • Don't touch your phone after touching an uncleaned door knob or other surface which reasonably may have virus on it.
  • Consider using alcohol wipes on mobile phones in places where it won't damage the phone, such as the external case and the thumb screen.
  • Wear plastic or rubber gloves when cleaning things.

Alcohol has been in short supply, and it can be efficiently used in spray bottles. When sprayed, it should stay on the surface for around a minute or so. Some sources have said it takes about 15-30 seconds for alcohol to disable a virus, so I'd suggest adding some time as a safety factor to any disinfectant chemical. For alcohol in particular, I would suggest not wiping alcohol off of a surface, just let it evaporate.

Using a computer keyboard and mouse when your hands are dirty is poor hygiene. If it's just not practical for you to be washing your hands all the time between computer use, then consider getting 2 keyboards and 2 mice, one for dirty hands and one reserved for clean hands.

The most difficult thing is changing habits. That requires reprogramming your mind. Since behaviors are saved in the brain on multiple circuits, this may take repetition, mindfulness, and self-discipline to create stronger habits to override the older habits.

Talking the talk is easy, but walking the walk is what counts.

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Parts of this website are derived from my pollution mask work in 2019.

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