With constant news updates about the global spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus and increasing numbers of confirmed cases being reported daily, it can be difficult to know how best to react. Shoppers empty supermarket shelves of hand sanitizer and fight over toilet rolls in a pre-apocalyptic state of panic; whilst keyboard warriors ignite social media with conspiracy theories centred on mass government control through the smoke and mirrors of an exaggerated threat. A rational mind could be forgiven for questioning whether it is our health or our sanity that is in danger.
Should we take action to protect ourselves and our businesses, or should we ignore the media frenzy? With the declaration of a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, perhaps it’s time to separate fact from fiction.
The following article will debunk common myths surrounding coronavirus, and provide practical steps we can all take to protect ourselves and our businesses.
What is COVID-19 and will it affect me?
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China, that has spread rapidly across the globe over the last 3 months. Typical symptoms include fever and a cough, which may in some cases progress to severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
Although it’s expected that many people infected will experience only mild symptoms, generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease. So far, around 1 in every 5 people who catch it need hospital care; around 10% require intensive care.
If cases continue growing exponentially this could result in health services rapidly becoming overwhelmed; becoming unable to provide enough medical staff, beds or ventilators for those in need. If large numbers of the population become incapacitated simultaneously, through either illness or isolation measures, it will also have a negative impact on our economies. It is, therefore, our collective responsibility to try to slow transmission of the virus; to protect vulnerable and elderly loved ones and our communities as a whole.
What can be done to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19?
• Regular handwashing with soap and water is the best defense against coronavirus, and central to slowing its spread. Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds; then dry them using paper towels.
• Wash your hands when you arrive home or at work; after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose; before eating or handling food; or after coming into contact with frequently used surfaces such as handrails, worktops, or kitchen and bathroom fittings.
• Use hand sanitizer gel if soap and water are unavailable.
• Preferably cover your mouth and nose with a tissue (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; if without a tissue cough or sneeze inwards, towards your elbow.
• Put used tissues in the bin straight away (preferably a closed and lined one) and wash your hands afterward.
• Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell (including handshaking, hugging, kissing, high-fives or fist bumps).
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth or open wounds if your hands are not clean.
For current health advice regarding COVID-19 see:
How can you protect people in your office or workspace?
• Clean light switches, door handles, and other high traffic areas daily.
• Clean all work surfaces including desktops, telephones, and computers daily.
• Flip computer keyboards and tablet screens over when out of use to prevent additional contact with germs.
• Clean all shared spaces such as bathrooms, kitchens, and staffrooms daily.
• Remind staff to wash their hands more regularly, and particularly before making cups of tea or distributing food.
• Wash hands or use hand sanitizer before and after using Smart-boards or distributing papers.
• Thoroughly wash and dry mugs, cutlery, and other household items after use, to prevent virus spread.
• Clean surfaces using the ‘S’ method to prevent re-spreading germs over cleaned areas.
• Ensure all cleaning cloths and items such as tea towels are clean; then laundered thoroughly after use.
• Provide recycled tissues, paper towels and plenty of soap for the use of all staff; also hand sanitizer where there is no access to water.
• Dispose of rubbish in closed bins and ensure that all rubbish is emptied at least daily to stop virus spread from used tissues and paper towels.
• Keep your workspace well ventilated.
• Hire a professional cleaning company to relieve the stress of additional cleaning and to ensure that all cleaning is carried out thoroughly and efficiently.
For the up-to-date UK business advice see:
For further information, you can refer to the World Health Organisation factsheet ‘Getting your workplace ready for COVID-19’:
We all need to act now to change our daily routines if we are to slow the spread of this potentially deadly virus and limit its impact upon our families, our businesses, and our wider communities.
The responsibility of ensuring exceptional levels of cleanliness in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus may seem daunting, particularly in the workplace.
At Eco Cleaning Fairies we offer an efficient, effective and reliable office cleaning service. We take pride in being able to alleviate client stress levels by improving and managing the cleanliness of their work environments. Our Eco Cleaning Fairies are all fully trained in effective cleaning techniques including use of the ‘S’ cleaning method and are vigilant to potential health hazards. If you need extra help in combating the spread of coronavirus and you think you could benefit from our services then please contact us for a no-obligation quote. We would be happy to help!