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COVID Tips To Keep You Safe - in your home and in your sleep!

natural cleaning

How to clean for COVID-19 at home – what to clean and how to clean it.

It is vitally important to clean and disinfect surfaces around the home thoroughly to remove the virus and limit its spread. Cleaning is a two-step process:

  1. clean surfaces to remove dirt
  2. then apply disinfectant to kill the virus.  

The best plan of action is first to clean surfaces by removing the dirt, using an all-purpose cleaner, and then apply disinfectant to get rid of the virus (the first step makes the virus easier to remove in the second step). The Australian Department of Health says you should use a disinfectant that claims 'antiviral activity', meaning it can kill a virus. 

To ensure the product you are using is effective, follow the manufacturer's instructions and, generally, make sure it has contact with the surface for at least 5–10 minutes to ensure it kills any viruses. 

Look for products that contain:

  • Alcohol (at least 70%)
  • Chlorine bleach (0.1% solution)
  • Oxygen bleach
  • Quaternary ammonium compounds

Sorry folks, but most natural or 'eco cleaners' are unlikely to kill coronavirus. If you do decide to use natural cleaning products, it's important that you do not mix these with bleach or other chemical products. For example, don't clean a surface with vinegar then follow up with a bleach-based disinfectant, as it can create a toxic gas.

Surfaces the virus lives on

Studies have shown that the virus can survive for up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel, and less than 24 hours on cardboard. If you think a surface may be contaminated, ensure you clean and disinfect it while wearing gloves. 

If you're worried about the virus living on food packaging, there are four points at which you should wash your hands:

  • After you touch the packaging
  • After you take the food out of the packaging
  • Before you prepare food
  • Before you eat.

    Online shopping: safely receiving parcels and packages

    Although the virus is thought to last longer on hard surfaces such as plastic or steel than on cardboard or paper items, if you're receiving packages from an online delivery person or postie, they'll generally leave the parcel at the door. 

    Australia Post has enabled contactless delivery for parcels and for parcels that usually require a signature on delivery – the delivery driver will just record your name and record delivery if you're home.

    Best way to dispose of gloves after cleaning

    Alabama Public Health on Twitter: ".@CDCgov recommends wearing gloves when  caring after someone who has #COVID19: https://t.co/yVQo51JHQH. In order to  avoid contamination of your hands when removing gloves, follow these  instructions: https://t.co ...

    The other problem with masks lies in the fact that, while they may trap some viruses, they don't kill them. As a result, when people remove and discard of used masks, the viruses could be transferred from those masks and onto their fingers or other commonly-touched surfaces. With these problems in mind, Researchers have designed a virus-killing coating that can be applied to conventional mask filtration material, we've discussed this before - salt. When a droplet of any size comes into contact with the coating, the salts dissolve into it.

    As that droplet subsequently evaporates, the dissolved salts within it crystallize – the sharp edges of the crystals stab into any viruses that may be present, killing them. What Ive started to do in my home and business, is my washable fabric masks are sprayed each side with one of magnesium sprays from the C&A range. I have also added some of the liquid to my body lotions so my skin always has a thin coating of salt crystals.

    Now of course I am not suggesting that these will solve all our covid challenges, but every step helps right!

    Best way to dispose of face mask after using

    NCDC on Twitter: "SAFE USE OF FACE MASKS ✅Wash hands before touching ✅Cover  your nose & mouth; make sure no gaps remain ✅Avoid touching mask while it  is on ✅Replace once it

    Make Sure You Are taking Care Of YOU!

    Coronavirus stress and sleep

    Coronavirus COVID-19 is a new infection that has spread around the world in recent months. This is a pandemic. This virus is very infectious, so it is easy for it to spread from person to person. To prevent COVID-19 from spreading too quickly and too widely, governments all around the world have placed restrictions on what people can and cannot do. There has also been a lot of media reports about COVID-19 and the associated economic impacts and health effects of this virus.

    All of these things can easily make people anxious and stressed. This is natural when there are many unknown factors. Fear and anxiety can cause strong emotions in adults and children, which may result in difficulty sleeping. When our sleep is of a poor quality, or if we cannot get enough sleep, we may not be able to function normally during the day when we are awake.

    Sleep is important

    Sleep is as important as a healthy diet and exercise. Inadequate sleep can induce and/or make our feelings of anxiety and stress seem worse (see Anxiety and Sleep). We may not be able to think clearly or make sensible decisions, making it difficult to concentrate at school or work (see Memory, Thinking and Sleep). We can become upset, angry and irritable more easily. This can all have negative effects on our relationships with family, friends and in our workplaces.

    Inadequate sleep can also affect our physical health. When we do not get enough sleep or if our sleep is disrupted this can negatively impact our diet, physical activity levels and even blood pressure levels. When we do not get enough sleep or if our sleep is disrupted this can negatively impact our diet, physical activity levels and even blood pressure levels.

    Importantly, sleep helps us fight off infection. When sleep is of poor quality it can impair our immune response. In addition, poor sleep might result in 'flare-ups' of other chronic illness/diseases.

    • Sleep is involved in the regulation of immune cells, that is cells that fight off infection.
    • People who are sleep deprived have increased risk of contracting a virus when exposed to it.

    Getting a good night's sleep

    As we try to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important we prioritise our sleep and health.

    If worrying about COVID-19 is stopping us from falling asleep, or keeps us awake during the night, there are things that we can do to reduce the worry and improve sleep:

    1. Limit media exposure. Be sensible about what you learn about COVID-19. Check official web sites (such as www.health.gov.au). Do not pay too much attention to gossip and some media reports, which may be exaggerated, or may simply be guessing what might happen.
    2. Make time to unwind. Spend some time relaxing and watching, listening or reading about things that have nothing to do with COVID-19. This is especially important in the hour or so before going to sleep, so that you can go to sleep with a relaxed mind.
    3. Take care of your body. As much as possible keep a normal routine throughout the day. Get some exercise, eat sensibly, do not drink too much alcohol, and avoid caffeine close to bed. Make sure that you do something fun and have a laugh during the day.
    4. Connect with others. If you have specific concerns, try to deal with them before going to bed. Simply talking to some-one you trust about your worries can often help. Get some advice from a trusted person who might be able to help you solve the problem. Social distancing does not need to equate to social isolation.
    5. Take care of your mind. If the worry is still on your mind as you are getting ready to go to sleep, sit down quietly, think about what the issues are and how you might deal with them tomorrow. It may help to write these things down, including a list about what you plan to do about them during the next few days. You may also like to try using a smartphone app called 'Smiling Mind' which has helpful short mindfulness activities to help you relax.
    6. Your bed is predominantly for sleep. You want to achieve a strong connection between your bed and successful sleep (i.e., falling asleep and staying asleep easily). If you go to bed and find that you cannot get to sleep, or if you wake up during the night and cannot get back to sleep because of worries, get up and do something relaxing in dim light that is quiet and away from the bedroom. Go back to bed when you feel ready to fall asleep.
    7. Keep a regular sleep-wake routine. As much as possible we should keep a normal sleep routine. Going to bed at the same time each night, and getting up at the same time each morning is important for getting a good night of sleep
    8. Managing fatigue. Also remember that even if you did not get much sleep, or it seemed to be poor sleep, it is not the end of the world. You will get through the next day all right and if you are quite tired, you will probably sleep better the next night. 
    9. Sleep is like a butterfly. You cannot reach out and grab it and catch it. If you stay quiet and still, the butterfly will come to you. It is the same with sleep. You cannot force yourself to go to sleep, so do not try. Simply allow yourself to be relaxed and quiet, and sleep will come to you.

    Magnesium – How it affects your sleep

    Because magnesium plays such a widespread, critical role in the body—it’s one of the 24 essential vitamins and minerals—low magnesium levels can throw many of the body’s functions off course, and raise risks for chronic health problems.

    Healthy magnesium levels protect metabolic health, stabilize mood, keep stress in check, promote better sleep, and contribute to heart and bone health. Magnesium is an essential mineral, one of seven essential macro-minerals that the human body needs in large quantities. The body does not produce magnesium. The magnesium your body needs must come from outside sources.

    Magnesium deficiency is common among adults. Estimates suggest nearly half of adult men and women in the United States aren’t getting enough magnesium. Older adults are more vulnerable to magnesium deficiency. Women are also at higher risk for low magnesium, especially with age.

    How does magnesium work?

    Magnesium plays a widespread role in the human body, helping regulate and facilitate many essential functions. One of magnesium’s most important roles is as an enabler of healthy enzyme function. Magnesium is involved in more than 300 different enzyme-related reactions in the body’s cells.

    In addition, magnesium:

    • Plays a key role in energy production, activating ATP, the energy molecule that fuels your body’s cells
    • Regulates transport of calcium, potassium, and other essential minerals, helping muscles and nerves function properly, and maintaining heart rhythm
    • Regulates blood pressure, cholesterol production, and blood glucose levels
    • Aids bone development and guards against bone loss
    • Functions as an electrolyte, maintaining fluid balance in your body
    • Helps control your body’s stress-response system, and hormones that elevate or diminish stress

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