We’ve seen parts of the country devastated by bushfires, and now we’re facing a global pandemic.
The continued spread of COVID-19 has led to many of us questioning what we can do to assist efforts to reduce the infection rate.
The novel coronavirus has caused chaos, death and major disruption to the world’s economies – but scientists have found germs that cause the virus are quite easy to kill.
If you want to keep yourself and your home virus-free, it’s worth knowing where you could be paying a little bit of extra attention.
We’ve taken a look at the places where germs and bacteria linger in the home.
Experts agree that soap is a great tool in the fight against the coronavirus. The virus itself is formed with a thin layer of fat that protects its inner core, and soap loves nothing more to dissolve fat.
So get soap-happy and wipe down surfaces and frequently touched areas, such as doorknobs and tables using your regular household detergents and cleaning materials.
Don’t bother paying extra for expensive products that claim to do more – good old soap has been named as the best in the business.
Scrub your walls with a soapy sponge. Picture: Al Richardson
COVID-19 is transmitted through droplets in the air, so flushing the toilet is now a potential way for the virus to spread.
A study in a Singapore hospital room found that the toilet was one of the ways the virus was being transferred, as well as unwashed door handles, chairs and light switches.
But they were able to completely kill the virus and stop the spread just by closing the lid before flushing, as well as using healthy doses of soap and disinfectant.
So do right by those around you and flush responsibly by closing the lid before you hit the button.
Do the right thing and keep the toilet lid closed. Picture: Ross Campbell
Thankfully, your fur-babies are thought to be safe from this coronavirus, according to vets. While there has been one case in a dog whose mouth-swab tested positive, the virus was very weak and didn’t cause concern with doctors.
However, doctors do recommend limiting contact with neighbourhood dogs and cats at this stage, just like you do with people, as it’s not known whether the virus could potentially survive on the skin and hair of the animal.
Kissing your pets or allowing them to lick your face is also not recommended.
Animals like cats and dogs suffer from their own forms of cold and flu, but if Fido is causing you concern for any reason, you should speak to your local vet.
The good news is, Fido can stay. Picture: Getty
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool during this time of social distancing, bravo.
The good news is that the publicly recommended levels of chlorine in family swimming pools are high enough to kill the virus, so as long as your pool is properly maintained, then you will be fine.
Just remember to follow the safety and hygiene guidelines set by the government for maintaining distances and washing hands.
As long as your pool has the recommended level of chemicals, feel free to enjoy a dip! Picture: realestate.com.au
When it comes to preparing and eating food, you can feel reassured you probably won’t ingest the virus this way.
According to the Vic Health website, “there is currently no evidence that food is a likely source or route of transmission of the virus”.
Which is great because it means you don’t have to stop making your favourite comfort food (hello, Wednesday night tacos) or ordering from your favourite local takeaway, who could really do with your support.
Don’t be afraid to get into your food while practising social isolation. Picture: Unsplash
With many of us now spending huge amounts of time at home compared to normal, it’s a great time to reacquaint ourselves with the local neighbourhood without fear of catching the virus and bringing it home.
Experts agree that nature is a great stress-reliever, so try to get out at least once or twice a day to get the blood flowing. Your body and mind will thank you for it.
Don’t forget to make sure your neighbours have everything they need if they’re unable to get it themselves. Picture: Getty
It’s especially important to check in on those who aren’t able to easily manage their own grocery shopping, whether they’re elderly or mobility-impaired.
As long as you’re practising responsible social distancing, there’s no reason to not go on that walk and give a wave to your friendly neighbourhood yia-yia.