In the U.S., we are about to enter the sixth month of our pandemic life. As states and counties gradually lift restrictions, offices and businesses are getting ready to reopen. Many employees have been working remotely since the pandemic began. Now organizations are calling their employees back to the office. But as we all know, the pandemic is far from over. This means going back to the office is not free from the risks of contracting the virus. Commuting is a key part when we talk about such risks.
Commuting to work makes us anxious even without a pandemic. With the risks of contracting a deadly virus, we have not become more reluctant to commuting than ever. But as most public-health experts say, we must learn to live with the virus. With the right safety measures and precautions, you can significantly reduce the risks of contracting the virus. Here’s how.
Wear PPE while using public transit
If you must take public transport for commuting to work, you need to be extremely careful. We are already becoming used to practices like wearing facemasks and washing hands. Such measures become more critical while using public transit. The U.S. government has directed personal protective equipment manufacturers to scale up their production. More and more people will be getting back to work over the coming months. This means the demand for PPE and related products will surge even more.
Wearing a facemask is the best thing you can do while stepping out of the house. Facemasks and face shields also play a critical role in protecting you from infection while working in the office. Multiple studies have now concluded that facemasks not just protect others but also the individual wearing a face covering. Keeping safety concerns in mind, face mask manufacturers are improving efficiency and quality using advanced processes.
Commute alone whenever possible
The latest coronavirus safety guidelines from the CDC suggest people avoid public transit. Instead, the public health agency encourages people to use options like walking, biking, and driving a personal vehicle to work. The agency also suggests employers provide employees incentives for such modes of commuting.
If you share a car with someone you don’t live with, you increase the risks of exposure to the virus. Hence by driving alone or sharing your vehicle only with the people you live with, you dramatically reduce the risks. However, the CDC’s guidelines are not without controversies. Some people have raised concerns about how realistic the guidelines are. Others are spoken about potential issues like environmental impacts and traffic congestion.
Maintain social distancing measures
If you must take public transit to work, maintaining physical distance from others is extremely important. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of maintaining distance throughout your commute. Just wearing a facemask doesn’t guarantee complete safety in a crowded place.
You need to be watchful especially about people coughing or sneezing. Stay away from them, and from every co-passenger throughout your commute. Social distancing is one of the oldest practices for dealing with highly infectious diseases. The countries and cities following such measures have benefitted by controlling the spread. For instance, New Zealand set an example by demonstrating effective public-health safety measures.
Avoid touching surfaces and things
Although the risks of surface transmission are comparatively lower, you shouldn’t take any chance. Scientists are still at the early stages of understanding the SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When you touch a contaminated surface, you increase the risk of getting the virus. We inadvertently touch face and eyes. So, the virus can spread from a contaminated surface to your respiratory system.
Studies have suggested that the novel coronavirus can stay on some surface for hours. Surfaces like doorknobs in public spaces have higher chances of spreading the virus. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer if you accidentally touch any such surface. PPE suppliers in the USA are ensuring that medical supplies like sanitizers and soaps meet the growing demand. But it’s important to buy the right products from verified PPE suppliers.
Improve ventilation in the workplace
It is important to always keep in mind that the coronavirus is airborne. You must keep telling this to people and as well reminding yourself. Hence other safety measures are sufficient in an indoor environment if you are not maintaining the proper exchange of the air. If you must take an Uber, remember to open the windows.
In the workplace, you need to pay special attention to ventilation. The World Health Organization revised its guidelines, citing concerns over the air transmission. Earlier scientists believed that the virus only spreads through respiratory droplets. But it has now become clear that the virus particles can stay in the air, increasing the potential of airborne transmission. Without the right ventilation, your entire office is at higher risks of airborne transmission of the virus.
Most of us will have to go back to work sooner or later. Several big tech companies are announcing long-term plans for remote work. But that’s not the case for many businesses and organizations. Hence stay updated about the risks and taking the right measures are crucial. PPE and personal hygiene are likely to play important roles in controlling this worst pandemic of the century.
Most epidemiologists and public-health experts agree that we need behavioral changes more than anything else to fight this dealt virus. Those changes with personal hygiene habits. Washing your hands regularly, using sanitizers, and wearing masks are the most crucial practices. At Co-Defend, a trusted supplier of personal protective equipment and medical supplies, we are committed to delivering high-quality products. We cut the middleman by connecting you directly with the qualified PPE suppliers in the USA, and elsewhere.
Q. What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
According to the guidelines from the C.D.C., employers must provide a safe workplace with policies that protect every worker. If one of your co-workers tests positive for COVID-19, the C.D.C. suggests that employers should tell their employees.
Q. Is the coronavirus airborne?
Early in the pandemic, there was no consensus among scientists about whether coronavirus meets the definition of “airborne.” But new studies have suggested that the virus is airborne. The W.H.O. revised is guidelines and confirmed that the virus particle can spread through the air.
Q. What do we know so far about COVID-19 immunity?
So far, we know the body starts to produce antibodies five to 10 days after infection. We also know that our immune system follows a standard pathway as it does for most respiratory viruses, which should encourage strong and longer-lasting immunity. However, a mild or asymptomatic case is likely to trigger lower antibody levels, and hence a weaker immunity.