With the rollout of vaccines against the coronavirus met head-on by new and more infectious strains of COVID-19, experts state that herd immunity in the US can be delayed until 2022 or later.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that even after receiving full vaccination, people must continue to avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces away from home. They must also continue to wear a mask in public and stay six feet away from others.
According to the CDC, full vaccination is effective only two weeks after the next dose of a two-dose vaccine or a couple of weeks after the first dose of a one-dose vaccine. Before that period, you must follow the same precautions as those who have not yet received their shots.
These updates mean that people will still be spending more time at home to keep safe. It also means that you must ensure that your home truly keeps you safe and healthy as well as comfortable.
The transmission of COVID-19 is through droplets in the air. You can use portable air cleaners to make sure that you are continuously purifying the air inside your home. The CDC recommends the use of this equipment in childcare programs; hence they must be effective. The CDC also recommends keeping windows open whenever possible for maximum ventilation.
You can further support the work of air cleaners by putting indoor plants in every room of your home, including the kitchen and bathroom. NASA studies show that indoor plants help detoxify the air. They also serve to lift your mood by giving you a feeling of being outdoors. Furthermore, taking care of greenery adds to your sense of purpose and fulfillment every day. These little pleasures help boost your immune system.
The air quality in your home and your level of comfort are also determined by the proper air temperature. Your heating and air conditioning systems must keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It is prudent to maintain your furnace and air conditioner through regular inspections and tune-ups by professionals. This will save you from the inconvenience of having to rush emergency repairs or replacements. Inefficient heating and air conditioning systems also cost you more in your energy bill.
Guidelines for Workers
Air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical services are the most common needs that require you to hire professional services. During the pandemic, you must follow the CDC’s guidelines for home services or repairs.
Check with your service provider about the pandemic protocols they follow, such as whether they screen workers for COVID-19 before deployment. To limit the time that the service provider will spend in your home, do prior online consultations detailing the work needed and sending photos. Arrange for the service provider to wear a mask for the duration of the work and to bring spare masks in case the one they are wearing gets wet or soiled while they are working.
If anyone in the house has a high risk for severe illness from COVID-19, such as the elderly or someone with a current medical condition, make sure they are out of the house and in a safe place during the work period.
Keep windows open during the work visit. Anyone in the home must also wear a mask. Limit interactions with the service provider to one person. Everyone must keep six feet or more away from the service provider, and if possible, other household members must stay in another room.
It is best if payment is touchless and done online. If this is not possible, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or more right after handling money, a card, or a keypad.
When the service provider is gone, thoroughly clean and disinfect the rooms they have been in, making sure to sanitize all surfaces.
Home as Your Haven
Amid the risks and uncertainties of the pandemic, home is a refuge. This is where you can retreat for comfort and where you feel most secure.
It looks like you will be staying in your domain for quite some time as scientists are still racing to meet the challenges of new COVID-19 variants appearing across the globe and spreading to the US. There is no guarantee against the emergence of even newer variants in the future.
It would be best if you kept your haven safe by keeping out the coronavirus in all its mutations. You can never be too careful in protecting your home and yourself during a pandemic.