How to Prevent Germs from Spreading in Your Flat

People are more germ-conscious than ever these days – and for good reason. The global outbreak of COVID-19 has many concerned about how to keep themselves safe.

In a flat, space is confined, and your options are limited. It can be difficult to stay on top of cleaning when you’re juggling responsibilities; this is especially true when renting or living with other people. But by taking these precautions, you can reduce the spread of germs and viruses, which will keep you and your roommates safe:

Wear a mask in public

Despite the controversy that surrounds it, it’s easy to wear a mask when you’re out and about. It can help protect you from catching a bug or spreading it to others.

Due to COVID-19, many businesses require that patrons wear a mask, so investing in one that you like is a good idea. 

Don’t invite friends over when they are sick

Social distancing, which has been the buzzword this year, means staying away from those who have fallen ill.

Even when you miss them, or they’re going through a tough time, avoid spending time with sick friends. Doing so puts yourself and those who you live with at risk. If you want to speak with close friends, you can always do so digitally using popular video chat services. 

Open windows so that air can circulate.

A fresh breeze can flush out pathogens from the stagnant air in your flat. Not only will it smell nice, but it will help you and your flatmates remain healthy. 

Purchase a certified disinfectant.

To clean effectively, it’s important to understand the difference between sanitizing and disinfecting. Cleaning involves removing dirt from a surface using a mix of soap and water.

Sanitizing eliminates bacteria; it’s a procedure used often in restaurant kitchens that handle raw meat. But to prevent the spread of viruses like COVID-19, you’ll need to disinfect the surfaces in your home.

This can involve a solution with alcohol, water and bleach, or hydrogen peroxide. For guidelines on how to properly disinfect a contaminated surface, view the guidelines posted here.

Stay up to date on vaccinations.

Getting the flu shot is a quick and easy way to protect yourself against this annual sickness.

Since it changes every year, you’ll want to get another one as soon as it becomes available. Whenever the day finally arrives that we have a COVID-19 vaccine, make sure to opt-in for it!

Wash your hands!

You may be sick of hearing this one, but that doesn’t make it less important. The easiest way to spread germs is by touching your face with dirty hands.

If you have to scratch an itch or eat finger food, make sure to thoroughly wash your hands first. 

Don’t share personal items with roommates.

Designate belongings so that you avoid touching the same dishes, shampoos and soaps as your flatmates.

You may need to label your things to keep it straight. This might be an inconvenience when you’re used to sharing common items, but setting boundaries will prevent the spread of germs.

Hire an exterminator for pest control.

You already know that people can spread viruses when they’re sick, but what you might not know is that pests can do this, too.

Mice and cockroaches carry diseases; when they enter your home, they can easily spread them around.

Yuck!

Keep an eye out for any signs of an infestation – when you live in a residential building, this is especially important. If your neighbours have a pest problem, it can easily spread to your flat. Pay attention to any scratching noises you might hear at night.

Look for any mouse droppings in your dresser drawers or cupboards. Finally, check your kitchen at night; cockroaches only come out when it’s quiet and the lights are off. If you have a critter issue, call an exterminator.

If you’re renting a property, ask your letting agent or landord to manage the pest situation. Pest commonly warrant a breach to standards of living and agreed upon tenancy agreements.

Place hand sanitizer around your flat.

Make it easy to disinfect your hands by placing bottles of hand sanitizer around your place. A few key areas are by the front door (so you remember to use it as soon as you get home), near the kitchen, and in the loo. 

Adopt a rigorous cleaning routine.

Keep your flat germ-free by remembering to clean the high-touch points in your home.

Think about the locations that you come into contact with most frequently; these include your cell phone, coffee pot, and light switches. Any surface that is commonly touched by both yourself and your roommates should be cleaned daily.

Stay healthy.

Preventative measures can be effective in fending off the flu. If you avoid falling ill, you won’t have to worry about spreading germs around your flat in the first place!

Drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated; orange juice is one drink that contains plenty of vitamins which will help defend your body against viruses.

Try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Finally, adopt a regular exercise routine – this can be challenging in a time where most gyms are closed, but you can purchase a bike or practice at-home yoga. 

Wash towels, clothes, and sheets.

We use the same bed sheets every night, which means that if there are germs within those sheets, we’re exposed to them each time our head hits the pillow.

Washing your linens weekly will save you from cozying up with a virus. The same goes for your bath towels and clothing. To help motivate yourself, keep in mind how soft freshly-washed sheets are, and how good they smell!

Isolate sick roommates.

In a small flat, quarantining roommates to a single room can be challenging. Offer to run errands for them so that they can stay home instead of spreading their germs to the outside world. You can even bring them meals to leave at their bedroom door. If possible, try to use separate bathrooms. 

Cough or sneeze into your elbow.

Viruses are easily spread through respiratory droplets. When you blow your nose, discard the tissue as soon as possible, and don’t leave it lying around where others might touch it. 

To keep your flat free from germs, you’ll need to devote some extra time each day to clean it. But your efforts will be worthwhile – it will help keep you and your roommates safe from viruses.

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