Before November 2019, almost no one heard of COVID-19 or SARS CoV-2, otherwise known as the coronavirus. Today, we continue to struggle with new cases and deaths reported daily across the globe.
Though we still know relatively little about the virus, we know much more than we did a few months ago. We do know for sure that things about all aspects of our lives will change forever.
In London and throughout Europe, the curve measures optimistically flat. Businesses and offices continue to open back up. But, as people return to their physical workstations outside their homes, we must keep vigilant as we continue to fight and keep coronavirus at bay.
Preventing other airborne diseases:
Our struggles with airborne diseases don’t represent anything new. COVID-19, with its devastating numbers involving illness and death, caused us to take a closer look at airborne diseases in general. Much of the regiments we put in place to control the spread of coronavirus will also help stop or slow down the spread of other infectious diseases.
The viruses associated with airborne disease hang in the air and sometimes land on surfaces. Action that causes the illness to spread include coughing, sneezing, talking, singing, and laughing.
Some other diseases that originate from airborne viruses include the following:
- Common cold
- Influenza- The flu virus becomes contagious one day before the carrier’s symptoms appear and remains contagious five to seven days after that. Influenza vaccinations offer some relief, but with so many strains of flu, it’s challenging to keep the vaccines current.
- Strep throat
- Measles, mumps, and chickenpox- These diseases all respond to widely used vaccines, yet measles remains the leading cause of death in children worldwide. Measles also causes numerous side effects such as blindness, hearing problems, and respiratory difficulty.
- Whooping cough- Across the globe, over two million cases of whooping cough happen each year, which result in over 160, 000 deaths.
The General symptoms for most airborne diseases include inflammation of the nose, throat, and sinuses, coughing sneezing, sore throat, headache, and swollen glands.
Continue a cleanliness regimen:
The severe effects of COVID-19 serve as a harsh reminder of the importance of proper hygiene and overall cleanliness. Encourage employees to retain the habits they enforced during the pandemic:
- Keep common areas such as the bathrooms and kitchen clean and disinfect daily.
- Disinfect door handles daily and encourage employees to use a paper towel or tissue when opening a door.
- Continue handwashing for a minimum of 20 seconds and keep hand sanitizer readily available.
- Keep the unnecessary paper to a minimum and ask employees to keep personal workspaces tidy.
- When coughing or sneezing, do so in the crook of your elbow or into a clean tissue.
Changes in the office:
As the curve keeps flattening, offices will continue to open. But, you will notice differences in the layout of the office as well as the office culture:
- Employees will need to practice social distancing and stay approximately 1.83 meters apart.
- Gatherings in common areas such as the water cooler and coffee machine won’t take place.
- Some offices will insist on weekly or even daily health checks from taking temperature to requiring testing.
- More hybrid scenarios where the work week consists of both time in the office and working at home will take place.
- More leniency toward sick days will lower the chances of the spread of any airborne disease.
- The availability of educational resources to improve the physical and mental health of workers will increase.
Sociability represents an essential part of the human condition. But, we need to protect ourselves and each other by remaining vigilant in stopping the spread of this deadly virus. In maintaining reasonable practices surrounding health and cleanliness, we will also curtail the spread of other illnesses.