How to be confident when returning to the 'new normal'.
Currently driven by efforts to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, daily life has changed considerably. Terms such as social distancing, community spread, flattening the curve, and the new normal have become part of our everyday vocabulary. Life has shifted to working from home, protecting the vulnerable, and vigilantly washing hands. However, with the number of COVID-19 cases declining, more businesses and workplaces are opening their doors. As restrictions begin to ease, what worries do you have about returning to public life? Do you feel confident in returning to your pre-COVID-19 activities?
According to a recent ABC News/Ipsos opinion poll, 69% of Americans are concerned that they, or someone they know, will be infected with COVID-19. Despite this, the same poll shows a shift in attitude across America. More people said that they are now willing to go to a salon, restaurant, or church than they were last month. So, with more people venturing out, what can you do to stay protected and feel confident when going out in public?
Do what is right for you.
Nobody knows you, or your family situation, better than you do. Whilst returning to everyday, public activities might be right for one person, it might not be right for the next. You may be considered 'high risk' or care for a vulnerable relative, in which case, staying close to home and taking extra precautions is the right decision for you. Maybe you have embraced homeschooling and find it works better for your children's needs. You certainly wouldn’t be alone - a survey by Real Clear Opinion found that just over 40% of families will continue to homeschool after lockdown ends, regardless of whether or not schools re-open. Perhaps working from home has proven to be more productive in your job, or you have realized that you need an office environment to thrive. Remember you do not have to do what everyone else is doing, you should do what is right for you. If it ain't broke, don't fix it!
Navigate with confidence.
If you are concerned about returning to a restaurant, shop, school, or workplace, then why not speak to them first? Find out what safety measures have been put in place and what has changed. Remove the element of surprise by being informed. Do they have a mask policy? What are their public bathroom policies? Do they offer cashless payment options? Knowledge is power, and you will feel confident about attending a new environment if you know exactly what to expect.
There are several tools that you can carry with you to ensure that you are prepared for any public space. A no-touch tool, like No Knob, can help you avoid touching public door handles, toilet handles, and faucets, reducing hard surface contact. Not keen on using the tissue in public bathrooms? Then carry a discrete pack of tissues or flushable wipes with you. Pull out your hand sanitizer if the sinks don’t look too clean, and carry a small pack of antibacterial wipes if you are worried about hard surfaces. Why not keep a small bag of tools like this ready, so that you can throw it into your purse/pocket, and be on your way, avoiding any worry?
Look for an alternative.
High touch surfaces, such as door handles, ATM buttons, card machines, and elevator buttons are more at risk of housing germs. Try to avoid touching these with your fingertips and look for an alternative. Why not use your fingertips? Well, touching a contaminated surface won’t give you COVID-19, but the act of then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes could transfer the virus. Which means it’s best to avoid using your fingertips where you can. Instead of grabbing the door handle, look for automatic doors, or automatic buttons that you can press with your elbow. If you need to press smaller buttons then use a no-touch tool or a pen so that you don’t have to use your fingertips. You can use the stylus of the No Knob to navigate ATMs and grocery store key pads so that you don’t have to touch the buttons. Most places are also accepting various types of contactless payment so that you don’t have to handle cash. Some restaurants even have electronic menus that you can access on your smartphone to avoid transferring menus between customers. By scanning a QR code on your table, you can bring up the entire restaurant menu on your phone. There are new and innovative ways being introduced all around us to reduce hard surface contact, so keep your eyes open for the alternatives out there.
Follow the guidance.
If in doubt, check out the current guidance from the World Health Organization or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when going out in public:
- Regularly and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water, or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Maintain at least a six feet distance (two arms' length) between yourself and others.
- Avoid going to crowded places.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Make sure you follow good respiratory hygiene. Cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately and wash your hands.
- Stay home and self-isolate even with minor symptoms such as cough, headache, mild fever, until you recover.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a cloth facemask when in a public setting, but do not use a facemask meant for a healthcare worker.
Remember, preparation breeds confidence.
We are social beings who need to connect with others, and there is no reason why you can’t safely and confidently return to many of your usual lifestyle activities. Being prepared will give you peace of mind to return to public spaces. Just remember the top tips:
- Do what is right for you, your family and your circumstances.
- Navigate with confidence - find out exactly what to expect before returning to public places.
- Be prepared with your handy no touch / antibacterial kit.
- Look for alternatives to using your fingertips.
- Wear a No Knob on your belt buckle, backpack or purse strap. This way you always have your touch guard and surface protection at the ready.
- Keep an eye out for smart technology.
- Follow the guidance from regulating health bodies - but remember it does change so stay up to date.
A better alternative for protecting hands
The No Knob™ is more convenient, more effective, more sustainable, and more hand- friendly than disposable latex gloves, wipes, paper products and sleeves/clothing. It is easy to use, always at your side, waste-free, repels germs and is great for sensitive skin.