Everyone is getting paranoid about COVID-19 virus (corona virus disease of 2019).  It's been mutating fast and its exact pattern of transmission is still unverified; on top of that, the incubation period is quite long too.

As per WHO:

People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

Since, it is possible to catch COVID-19 from someone who has, for example, just a mild cough and does not feel ill, it is imperative that you practice good hygiene and be vigilant when around other people.  

What we do

Here, I'm sharing with you some of the practices and rules we've established at our home to prevent a possible transmission.

  • IMPORTANT: Keep all footwear taken outside in just one place.

 This is important because this is the first thing that enters your house.  The virus will fall on the ground from an infected person's cough or sneeze.  We have no data on the length of time it stays there, but this is a step to mitigate spreading them inside your house floors.

A dedicated rug as shoe bay for footwear taken outside
  • IMPORTANT: Provide a quick access to alcohol near the door.

 Before touching anything at home, we quickly use alcohol to kill/minimize viruses, germs and bacteria on object we are about to touch.  We strategically placed this near the door so that it won't be easy to miss.  It's a practice we do before we even set down our belongings.

  • IMPORTANT: Keep bags and clothes brought/worn outside in just one place.

 Next up, after we have already sanitized our hands, we have a specific area at home where we put all the things that came from outside.  Immediately, taking off the top and pants and setting them on one side, ensures we don't carry around "possible carriers" at home.  Our utility room is still 2 rooms from the main door, hence, to minimize exposure, this is what we found is best for us.

  • Keeping a plant(s) nearby.

 Plants do take in carbon dioxide that we exhale and convert them into oxygen.  While it does not do any benefit of removing virus from the air, it helps provide fresh O2 for us to take in.  Imagine if you have asthma, this would be extremely beneficial; moreso if you're having difficulty breathing.

  • Use a humidifier / diffuser to keep the air moist.

 Do you notice yourself coughing more without reason when the air is dry?  This happens when it's too hot (summer) or too cold (winter).  Having a humidifier will add more moisture to the air you breathe in and help you to breathe a little easier.  A little bonus is if you have one that also doubles as a diffuser.  You can infuse the water with your oil of choice for relaxation or aromatherapy to alleviate other conditions (like anxiety).

  • Disinfecting the floor 3x/week.

 This is a no brainer.  If anyone missed practices #1, 2 and 3, you'll still be able to mitigate the spread by mopping the floor.  Why is the floor important? If you have kids, they'll probably move around more and play by the floor.  Their toys might be on the floor most of the time.  I for one, I do some animal moves and do yoga.  Sometimes, I just move spontaneously on the floor.  So, this one is really important for me.

  • Killing viruses, bacteria and germs using UV light.

 I got this one for quite some time now and I usually sanitize my phone, keyboard and other personal items on a regular basis.  Since the COVID outbreak, I've been doing sanitation on most high touch objects, especially at our sala area and kitchen area.  If we ever missed anything from previously mentioned practices, I'd still catch the virus at some fool-proof method.  You can get one from UV Care.  Although, I must warn you, most of their items are sold out due to a high demand (brought to you by Corona 😛)

  • IMPORTANT: Take your vitamins and supplements

 If by some twist of fate, you still get infected (maybe not from the virus getting to your home), your immunity will be your last defense.  Most people, especially here in the Philippines (as we're a 3rd world country), vitamins and supplements come as optional for the average household.  However, not for me.  I'm a health enthusiast since I was quite sickly when younger.  I learned to bank on my good health and learned a lot about nutrition.

 Taking vitamins and supplements may be the easiest shortcut for people who want to start working on their health right now.  For long term, you may read on to my "optional habits" list below.

My essentials atm, right here. ❤️
  • IMPORTANT: Hand washing habit.

 It's imperative that I put the word "habit" there.  On regular circumstances, you wash your hands before & after going to the bathroom / preparing food / eating.  Now, with the presence of the invisible corona virus, you might want to add hand washing whenever you came from a public place, or a communal area (like elevators, mailboxes, comfort rooms, etc).

 An important habit to accompany this is also to avoid touching your face.  It's a challenge for most, especially to those who wear glasses / contact lenses.  I believe, nobody sane picks their noses in public, so we're good with that.  Practice makes perfect!

Other activities that help minimize stress and manage anxiety throughout these trying times are:

  • Do yoga everyday; or any exercise for that matter.

 Why you ask? Because our bodies crave movement.  When we are stagnant and do not work our bodies our muscles atrophy; memory gets blunt.  Exercise strengthens our immune system and the lack of it leads to chronic diseases.

 Exercise doesn't have to be very long.  However, a minimum of 30 minutes of movement per day is advised.  This is why wearers of the Apple Watch requires 30 minutes in its ring per day as a goal.  Varying your exercises will also do good for the body and the brain.  Remember, we are intelligent beings and our body and mind adapts to routine, which is why we have some difficulties with experiencing plateaus (in weight, goal achievements, etc).

  • Meditate to keep calm.

 Meditation doesn't have to be complicated.  A minute at the top of every hour dedicated to just focusing your attention to how you breathe is considered meditation already.  Just by "pausing" the monkey mind with the millions of thoughts we have in a day helps to activate our parasympathetic nervous system.

Our bodies need to swing back and forth the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.  However, our days are always busy and we are bombarded with a lot of stimuli every minute.  Taking a moment to pause will tell our nervous system that we aren't always needing the "fight or flight" mode.

As a response to the quarantine mode we are currently in, I'm going to do Instagram live sessions of my meditations.  Join me if you can catch me, every 6AM PHT.

  • Healthy habits: eat clean, drink water, observe sleep hours

 Do you really need me to explain this? This is what your doctor would tell you when you come and visit to report / complain about stress related problems.  I've been there, really.  The funniest thing I heard was him telling me to resign from my job because my body was inventing illnesses that didn't come from a virus or bacteria!

When you keep the body healthy, all the functions of each bodily systems will work hand in hand and there would be ease of flow.  Your blood quality will improve, sleep will improve, mindset and perspective follows.  Remember, we are complex animals with awesome evolving intelligence.  Let's start treating our bodies with care.

Need some help with what to eat? Check out what I have in my stories: Meals 1, Meals 2

What now?

We're currently in quarantine.  The whole of Metro Manila is in a community quarantine.  It's a challenge for a vegetarian like me.  While I was able to get some of my staple greens (and froze them), I am worried that I might run out of food to eat at some point (since authorities say the quarantine is not yet guaranteed to be lifted by April 13).

I'm a full time remote worker for about 6 years now, so I'm still working.  It's life as usual for me, except for some added chores (doing more laundry as laundry shops are closed, more sanitation efforts).  But, watch here for some tips you can do while on quarantine: my tips on Instagram.

These are trying times, people.  Let's adapt to beat this.  Stay safe everyone! 💖