Becoming the Antivirus – As the coronavirus continues to spread, people continue to consider what measures they need to take to combat the virus and COVID-19, the disease that can stem from it. Antivirus software includes programs that are designed to protect computers and computer networks by detecting, preventing, and removing computer viruses. State and federal governments that are monitoring the unprecedented health crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic are making attempts to apply another antivirus of sorts to protect citizens from the spread and transmission of the coronavirus: they are issuing executive orders and mandates regarding face coverings and social distancing. These directives focus on everything from travel restrictions to healthcare services, from access to education and childcare to closing and reopening businesses. As a result of the health and safety measures enacted, how we operate as a society on a day-to-day basis has changed drastically and continues to be fluid, from individuals to businesses. Responsible business owners and those who work for them are being called upon to join the fight, to become the antivirus in their workplace, including home offices…

Many businesses that have been impacted by the current pandemic now require major modifications to what were once routine operations. One such modification is the necessity for a very large number of employees to work from home, as businesses and companies reduce on-site open hours of their physical offices or close those offices altogether. This allows businesses to deep clean and sanitize their office spaces more frequently and efficiently. But what can their employees who are now teleworking do to help combat the coronavirus in their home offices?

First of all, to protect against the current coronavirus and the resultant respiratory illness of COVID-19, teleworkers should follow standard recommendations to prevent infection spread of all types of viruses, including regular and thorough hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and avoiding close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness. Further, more focused measures can be taken by people working from home offices. It is especially important to clean and disinfect the frequently touched objects and surfaces of work areas to prevent the transmission of the virus, including light switches and doorknobs, phones, desks, and computer mice, screens, and keyboards; the coronavirus may remain viable for extended periods of time on those hard surfaces. Other things in a home office that should be cleaned and disinfected that are often forgotten or taken for granted include the office chair(s), writing utensils and office supplies, framed documents and photos, and even some books.* Deep cleaning a home office regularly will help keep coronavirus germs at bay. And consistent use of disinfectant wipes between those deep cleanings is also a good addition to that plan of action.

Now more than ever, people need to step into battle against germs. They have the ability to make an impact in the fight against the coronavirus by becoming the antivirus their homes and home offices need. Frequent deep cleaning and disinfection of work environments, with an eye towards containing coronavirus germs and mitigating spread of COVID-19, is their weapon in the arsenal against the pandemic.

* Books can be cleaned and disinfected if they have covers or bindings that can withstand cleaners and disinfectants. Packing them into clean, sealed containers is the best protection for books known at this time.