Keeping You Safer During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Most of you are probably tired of hearing about the coronavirus pandemic. Some countries are already on lockdown – and more are sure to follow. So you might be spending a lot more time on your computers, laptops, smartphones, and tablets over the next month or two.
But our mission is always the same. We’re trying to keep you safe, whether that be keeping you safe from tricksters and scammers or malware online or helping you stay a little safer during this worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Having done a lot of reading on how to best way fight off the coronavirus personally and in my home, I found a lot of conflicting advice – and a lot of conspiracy theories floating around. For instance, one conspiracy theory says the coronavirus that escaped from a Chinese laboratory. That kind of misinformation is not helpful. The current coronavirus pandemic is but a ripple in the ocean compared to the Spanish flu of 1918.
It is estimated that about 500 million people or one-third of the world’s population became infected with this virus. The number of deaths was estimated to be at least 50 million worldwide with about 675,000 occurring in the United States. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
I don’t think anybody accused Spain of creating this deadly virus in a laboratory. There was no TV or Internet or Social Media to foment this kind of hysterical thinking.
Anyway – we all want to stay as well as we can and try to keep from falling victim to coronavirus. Some products – like sanitizers and hand soap can help lower our risk of becoming infected with the coronavirus. Yesterday, I went out to look for some of these products. I learned that all of the stores in my area are sold out of the things that are most needed during this pandemic. They’re out of hand sanitizers, isopropyl alcohol, hand soap, disinfecting cleaning agents, tissues, and for some odd reason – toilet paper. How do I know? I spent hours yesterday going from one store to another.
But in my tour of all the stores in my town that carry the kind of supplies I’ve mentioned, most of them had plenty of dishwashing liquid (a substitute for hand soap), hydrogen peroxide (3%), and bleach on hand.
According to the CDC via Consumer Reports, hydrogen peroxide 3% (the over-the-counter kind) works well as a household disinfectant.
According to the CDC, household (3 percent) hydrogen peroxide is effective in deactivating rhinovirus, the virus that causes the common cold, within 6 to 8 minutes of exposure. Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time. Pour it undiluted into a spray bottle and spray it on the surface to be cleaned, but let it sit on the surface for several minutes.
Hydrogen peroxide is not corrosive, so it’s okay to use it on metal surfaces. But similar to bleach, it can discolor fabrics if you accidentally get in on your clothes. “It’s great for getting into hard-to-reach crevices,” Sachleben says. ‘You can pour it on the area and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.’… (Consumer Reports)
A quick search online for homemade recipes for hand sanitizer showed most of the homemade recipes for hand sanitizers, disinfecting agents, and the like all call for isopropyl alcohol and/or vodka. But the stores in my town are sold out of isopropyl alcohol. And most of the vodka sold in the USA is 80 or 100 proof, that’s 40 to 50% alcohol — not nearly strong enough to kill coronavirus. If you want to go the alcohol route, you can buy Everclear – 190-proof grain alcohol – and that is strong enough to kill coronavirus. But experts seem to think homemade hand sanitizers made with alcohol and aloe vera gel may be ineffective and therefore give people a false sense of security regardless of the mixture. I’m not sure about that.
Like we always tell you — the best way to stay safe is to stay informed. And it’s just as true when it comes to using your computer as it is to lowering your risk of getting the coronavirus during this pandemic.
Many trustworthy and informative sites tell you how to disinfect your home, smartphone, computer keyboards, household surfaces, and other sources of contagion. In the case of coronavirus, there’s no sure way of being safe short of complete isolation and quarantine – and none of us want that. But staying informed can go a long way toward keeping you safer.
In our quest to help you stay informed and given that we are not doctors. chemists, scientists. immunologists or epidemiologists, we’re going try to help keep you safer by providing you with a shortlist of trusted sites where you can learn some steps you can take to keep your home and personal items clean and disinfected during this coronavirus pandemic. We’ll help you be safer by helping you stay informed.
Here is our shortlist of articles and sites that will help keep you informed.
WASH YOUR HANDS!
And finally, almost everyone agrees that the number one thing you can do to keep the coronavirus away is to wash your hands, wash them often, and wash them correctly.