The slow trickle of coronavirus rumors from the east soon exploded into massive changes in the west; bare toilet paper shelves, telecommuting, and our conception of what is considered clean. Through these shifts, schools, hospitals, and homes have developed new disinfecting habits and what we know about eliminating germs during a global pandemic.
The fight of an invisible threat portrayed dangers on every surface making gloves and face masks part of the everyday wardrobe. In earlier months, photos of hazmat travelers taking full precaution in airports went viral (no pun intended) as many retreated into their homes canceling future plans. As masks became mandated in many states, sewing machines were pulled from basements, retailers were quick to produce fashionable face wear, and even street graffiti characters bared painted face coverings. This effort to minimize the spread of liquid particles containing the virus was a step most of the population took. Audiences have also seen television shows address the pandemic by putting face masks on their actors.
CLEANING WIPES/ HAND SOAP
Aside from protective face masks on top of consumer lists, JP Morgan’s research reports found that household cleaners and soaps, predictably, saw a growth in sales during the first three months; a 100% increase for cleaning wipes and a 74% increase for hand soap. Along with these patterns, spirits and coffee sales also jumped as stay-at-home orders were enforced. These findings can portray how human hygiene and coping mechanisms have morphed during the last year of coronavirus. As complaints of dry and chapped hands move into the conversation, it means that the national campaign for frequent handwashing is working. Hand sanitizer became easily accessible, almost expected when local businesses began to reopen and supermarket carts were mandatory wiped down.
Hospitals may be the ultimate epicenter in need of thorough cleaning methods and updated technology. Antiseptic spaces mean the difference to faster recovery and keeping patients’ exposure to other infections low. Visiting hours in the hospital are closed, many minor injuries or illnesses are dealt with at home, and nurses pull double shifts to meet with coronavirus demands. The biggest change for many hospital workers was the communication between clinical and non-clinical staff, information about new hospital procedures is now essential to every member. Air ventilation is key when stopping the spread of coronavirus. The CDC recommends waiting 24 hours before cleaning a contaminated room then following up by opening windows and doors or using ventilating fans. Janitorial service workers say not much has changed in the diligence of cleanliness but rather how frequently they clean and cautionary steps they take to protect themselves have evolved.
Children are known as vessels for disease, especially with asymptomatic signs of coronavirus. Runny noses and curious fingers touch and play in every crevice and corner. It’s essential, as classrooms become in-person, that teachers and family at home don’t become infected through their children’s school. It first begins with a new schedule, part-time in person, and part-time online for many across the country. The need for an experienced janitorial service is prevalent in the safety of our young ones and the educators who teach them. Children have made a large adjustment to their daily schedule. Many hands-on toys or activities have been transitioned to coronavirus friendly games and more outside the recess.
Needs for robotics in cleaning service has rapidly developed in recent months. The hurdle for re-opening means meeting regulations and ensuring a sanitary environment for customers and employees. Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT has partnered with Greater Boston Food Bank and Ava Robotics to enhance surface cleaning measures using UVC light on the underbelly of a mobile robot. As told by Forbes, researchers found that “roughly 90% of the coronaviruses on surfaces would be neutralized” after a controlled study. This alternative would ensure a repetitive service was instilled helping janitorial workers remain safe in essential places like warehouses or factories.
Similar to the black plague, Spanish flu, or other diseases that broke out across time and land people have adapted and grown to protect themselves and others. This will be a time that we can learn from and archive progressive expansion in our knowledge about novice viruses. We can be grateful to rely on essential workers as they tackle coronavirus by new methods and techniques of cleaning, disinfection, and distancing.