With the death toll increasing as we speak, the COVID-19 epidemic has instilled terror and havoc all over the world. Also, the infected population has exceeded a million in the past 2 weeks. We have yet to know whether the COVID-19 is an air-borne virus, but reports have likely matched to that of one. Thus there’s a high chance that it can transmit from one individual to another through the air. These transmitting mediums can be sneezing, talking or even having a conversation in less than 2 meters. So, this easy transmission through the air has become the main reason for the widespread phenomena of the COVID-19 virus.
Here in this article, we will be discussing Personal Protective Equipment and Protective Environments and how are they helping the fight against COVID-19.
What is PPE and how does it protect us?
The PPE is an acronym for Personal Protective Equipment which consists of helmets, goggles, respirators, and masks along with several other garments that protect the wearer from infection or any kind of injury. The PPE differs as per their use and can be termed as protective clothing. The main purpose of the PPE is to protect the user from being exposed to hazardous elements such as the pandemic COVID-19.
As for the PPE against COVID-19, the WHO has stated that PPE for corona, in particular, should include respirators, goggles or visor, long-sleeved gown, waterproof aprons to protect against small airborne particles in AGPs such as during intubation.
However, this PPE is not meant for general people and now we can see why hoarding lots of PPE’s has a negative impact now. Amidst the confusion, people now are hoarding masks and PPE’s which has resulted in the shortage of PPE for health workers and their lives are being compromised.
So as a general public, we need to focus more on creating a protective environment rather than hoarding PPEs, which is more useful to health workers rather than getting piled up in our homes.
So, how can we create a protective environment which helps to fight against COVID-19?
Here are several ways on how you can create a protective environment to help you fight against COVID-19 in this time of turmoil.
- Your workspace or home space must be reviewed
The surrounding areas of both your household and workspace must be reviewed thoroughly. Just like a part of your casual cleaning and maintenance, the place can be moped using detergents and soaps. Efficient cleaning is a part of the defense against this epidemic. Regular inspection of your areas where there could be a high possibility of contamination should be carried out immediately. You can disinfect the tools and surface of this area.
For the protective environment, it will be better if you clean possible contaminated surfaces in your house. For cleaning, you can use household disinfectant to kill the virus. After cleaning, you need to wash your hands using soap and water or you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. If you are using a cloth to wipe the surfaces, then wash them with hot water and soap. After wiping, let the damp clothes dry properly under the sunlight. Doing these will create a protective environment against the COVID-19 Virus.
- Providing the right equipment
It is not possible for everyone to wear PPE’s as now they are getting scarce. So, put on general equipment such as masks, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, tissue papers and no-touch containers to dispose of them. These types of equipment should be placed in the entrance for proactive purposes. As for the absolute defense against the virus you can get dust controlling curtains also known as PVC curtains.
The Dust Controlling Curtains are your best bet if you intend to keep the dust or any kind of hazardous fumes coming inside the workplace. These curtains come in several kinds, suiting their purpose. The DCC curtains have strip doors for access, which means that the curtain only allows a minimum of the inlet of microorganisms when somebody enters or exits. These curtains are made up of Polyvinyl Chloride plastic stripes which are now popular with its extraordinary features against COVID-19.
There are several advantages of the PVC curtains, which makes it a must-have in any workplace to protect against COVID-19. First, the PVC curtain blocks any incoming micro-pollutants present in the air effectively. They are portable and easy to install in any area. The curtain just needs a few nuts and bolts to install in any place you like. These curtains help in easy partitioning of the workspace which now, more than ever, is much needed.
Another main feature of this curtain is that it has strip doors that comprise heavy-duty polyvinyl plastics of 8” wide. If you have forklifts and light carts in your workspace, then these strip doors can give easy access to the approximate surface area.
- Prevention in high-traffic areas and social distancing
There will be some places in your workspace where you or most of your employees will spend their work time during the input hours. So, this is a big red flag when it comes to COVID-19. These high-traffic areas are highly prone to the virus, so disinfect these areas as soon as you can. It is advised to stagger work time so that there won’t be high traffic flow in the workplace.
If your workplace is still in operation and employees need to come to the work regularly then social distancing will be of utmost importance. Your workspace should be placed in such a way that there’s at least six feet distance from one individual to another. If any of the workers are showing any signs of illness or discomfort, then it is advised to send them home and isolate themselves completely. This action will help in creating a safe zone against the COVID-19.
- Consider how staffs travel and arrive
If your office is running during these times, then you must consider how your staff travel and arrive at the workplace. If the staff is using public transport to go for work, then he or she should socially distance on their arrival. Also, the practice of thorough washing of hands-on arrival should be implemented. If possible, advise your staff to travel in their vehicle rather than public transport.
- Look for your available options and areas
Now that the COVID-19 outbreak has become a pandemic, you need to look out on how you can prepare you and your family to defend against these diseases. Foremost is on creating a protective environment and looking for options. You might have detergents and liquid cleaners to clean your surroundings. Also, you can order disinfectants from online stores to disinfect the areas where you have your suspicion. Your TV remotes, fridge doors, doorknobs, kitchen cupboards, taps, and outdoor shoe racks are some things that need to be disinfected.
- Plan for the future
Even though you might have disinfected your surroundings and house, you need to plan for the future on how you can keep the household free from the same or any new coming viruses. If you feel like disinfecting the area periodically, then you must. Better safe than sorry.
And if any of your near ones or employees show symptoms, you should report to relevant authorities so they can get proper attention and advise you on what to do next.