It seems so long ago, when news wires were burning up in late January 2020 warning the world about a new killer disease called coronavirus. It’s interesting when you reflect on 2020 articles that the end-of-world was at hand. And, maybe it still is but at the very least we’ve got a better grip on what to do.
World pestilence isn’t new. The earth has been bombarded with all types of diseases killing a countless number of people since the beginning of time. Biblical history shares about gnats, flies and locust. Fast forward to1918 and the Spanish Flu crushed the world along with other diseases throughout recent history like Chicken Pox, Diphtheria, Polio and Typhoid Fever. Today we are going to explore some of those epidemics, the uncanny relationship they all have in common, and what we can do to head if off to the best of our ability.
Let’s talk diseases!
Chicken Pox. This is one we’ve probably all have experienced. If you didn’t get it as a child you’re sure to as an adult. A person inhales or touches viral particles when a sick person with the disease coughs or sneezes. The particles can stick to all kinds of nooks and crannies and you’ve got it.
Diphtheria. Diphtheria affects the nose and throat. Bacteria spreads through air droplets and shared personal items. Spread through contaminated objects is common. This one is so nasty some 10% of those that get will die.
Polio. You might have heard that Polio has been eradicated but, in July 2022 the CDC was notified of a case of polio from Rockland County, New York. The virus that causes the disease enters the body through the mouth, commonly picked up from hands that have been contaminated with the stool of an infected person. The virus can be picked up by contaminated feces left on toilet seats, toilet handles, doors, wash basins, etc.
Typhoid Fever. Typhoid is typically transmitted through contaminated food or contaminated water, most commonly contact with an infected person's feces, food that hasn’t been washed in clean water and tap water itself. We normally hear of typhoid fever when traveling abroad but a quick trip there and back can have illness written all over it.
Do we need to continue? I think we get the idea as all of those infectious diseases, along with the following: Swine Flu, Monkey Pox, Influenza A, RSV, and what we currently call COVID, have something in common. You can catch it from surfaces that are contaminated. Think of it this way, if it can be touched it can be diseased (toilet handles, stair rails, door knobs, toys – oh, how the list goes on!).
It’s Better to be Safe than Sick!
An idiom that Benjamin Franklin resonates is when he said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, preventing a problem, illness, or other occurrence is preferable to trying to stop or correct it in panic once it has begun.
"The best thing about unexpected company is the way stuff gets cleaned right away. Kill them before they make you sick – germs that is, not the company."
Soap Meets H2O. Mom might have had it right when she washed out your potty mouth with soap, (oh, come on – everyone experienced that at least once. Or, was it just me?), because soapy water is a key to smothering and cleaning those disgusting disease particles.
When water and soap collide an amazing thing happens. The water will give the soap a big hug. In turn, the soap molecule will poke through the water. It kind looks like a sea urchin. Those pokies, in turn, will smother and pick up the disease particles and before you know it whatever you’re cleaning is…clean! Just wipe and dry.
Now we don’t want to get sloppy with splashing soapy water all over the place. It’s best to strategically place a cleaning solution by following the directions on the brand of soap you’ll be using in a sprayer of your choice.
"My house is dirty enough to make me happy, but clean enough to keep me healthy."
Many cleaning solutions come in a ready-to-use (RTU) formula which are quite expensive. In fact, you’re buying more water than cleaning solution. Regardless, you simply pour it in a sprayer and you’re on your way. Or, a more frugal way is to find a concentrated cleaning product that you can mix yourself. Now you’re in control. Either way, you’re going to need a sprayer that best suits your needs.
Trigger Sprayer. Imagine shaking someone’s hand and then pulling three or four of your fingers towards yourself while pulling a lever or trigger. The nozzle adjusts from a spray to a stream. The bottle holds a hefty 32 ounces but is light enough for someone with limited strength to use.
If you have some tricky areas that need to be cleaned there is a model which can actually be turned upside down! And, for deep cleaning and disinfecting there’s a trigger sprayer build to use with mild bleach solution. Just remember to always follow CDC guidelines for a proper bleach-to-water ratio. Oh, and this also can be used upside down.
Handheld Multi-Purpose Pump Spray. These are able to hold a whopping 48-ounces of cleaner. With just a few pumps you're ready to spray a fine mist to a course spray with an ergonomic handle to assist in preventing hand and wrist fatigue. Hands down, not before cleaning though, these are one of my favorite sprayers for their versatility plus they are just downright fun.
Certain essential oils can have natural or even organic disinfecting properties. Plus, for the person that's not feeling well the scent is always much more pleasant than a clinical commercial cleaning solution. Ask your doctor about: Tea Tree, Pink Grapefruit, Lemon, Peppermint and Eucalyptus oils.
1-Gallon SureSpray Spayer. With an Anti-Clog filter this is the perfect cleaning companion. It has a translucent poly tank so you can see how much material is inside and the adjustable nozzle is attached to a 12-inch tethered to a 34-inch reinforced hose. It's small enough to handle big jobs and is easy to reload with the large funnel-top.
I can’t stress enough to follow the mixing directions along with the type of material you can spray. It’s possible you’ll need a couple of different sprayers with different types of cleaners.
In the words of Walt Disney “The way to get started is to quit talking and start doing.” But, don’t bite off more than you can handle for the time you have. Start with one room then move to the next and so forth. It’s best to sweep the room with your eyes first then attack the room with a vengeance. Always wear gloves. Avoid spraying yourself (sounds silly but it happens) and go with your gut feeling. If you think it has to be cleaned it probably does.
As for the person who is ill try to confine them so they have less of a chance of spreading their sickness. Ask their doctor what the best treatment is for them and try, try, try to keep your immunity up by resting, eating well and as the saying goes “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Much success in helping the sick and please stay healthy.
Award-winning radio & TV garden communicator
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