How to Stay Safe from Coronavirus (COVID-19) Carriers (Vegetables & Milks etc?
Created by Narayan Updated on Apr 20, 2020
As the mysterious Coronavirus onion is peeled, each layer is revealing it’s astonishing characteristics of persistence and capability to spread. Studies define COVID-19 as an RNA (science: Rhyboneucleus Acid) enclosed in a shell of fat. While RNA should ideally be a building block for life, this one is hellbent on corrupting it. One thing, though, should provide some relief to you, this is not a living organism like bacteria. So, it doesn’t move from one place to another on its own. It needs a carrier, a living breathing carrier with an environment that can sustain it and even help multiply.
However, even without a living breathing carrier, this virus can survive for long enough time to stay active and harmful. Thus, COVID-19 can be transferred not only by people but also, common objects like boxes, packages, handles, ATM machine buttons or touch surfaces.
Everyday Household Coronavirus Carriers
Coronavirus is a serious and highly infectious virus, which is now threatening the world economy, as social distancing and isolation become the mainstay to slow down the spread. Here’s a list of common objects inside our homes which could be a carrier for the virus, and how you can stay safe from it...
Vegetables & Fruits
As much we know about the virus, it can survive on almost all surfaces and even in the air for different periods of time. Though it is still debatable if fruits and vegetables can carry the virus long enough to cause infection, it can’t be denied either. So, better safe than sorry. So how do you disinfect the vegetables and fruits? At least, not by using the normal methods of disinfection. Do not try the following methods to disinfect the vegetables and fruits:
Washing with soap and water: Soap is not meant for the digestive tract, only for external use and can be toxic if ingested. So better not to use soap on veggies and fruits.
Using bleach or chlorine solution: Requires expertise and has potentially more dangerous consequences than any other solution. It's better to avoid
Using Isopropyl Alcohol or Disinfecting Wipes: Also not recommended. None of these chemicals should be ingested in any way and can cause more harm than good.
How to Disinfect Veggies and Fruits?
The method of disinfecting veggies and fruits is simpler than all the above. Follow the simple process below:
Use lukewarm water (slightly above 30 degrees celsius is just about right for washing edibles without wasting them)
Soak the vegetables/fruits in it for about 30 seconds to 1 min (before the water starts to cool)
Rinse thoroughly under running water (better if it is warmer; i.e. more than 26-degree celsius)
Let the water dry before to disinfect veggies and fruits for storage
[Note: Wash Your Hands with Soap & Water for at least 30 seconds after this]
What If Veggies or Fruits Are not Washable?
Agreed that you cannot or should not wash all fruits and veggies, for example, potatoes, onions, and garlic. So, what do we do about them?
Actually, pretty much nothing. We deal with the possible virus presence on these veggies by not handling them with bare hands, and not using them for at least 24 to 36 hours. Also, since most of such veggies will need peeling, you need to ensure that you wash your hands after peeling them. Unless you are consuming these veggies raw, you need not do anything else, as cooking will anyway kill any remnants of the virus. But, if you plan to use them raw, as in a salad, etc. Make sure to rinse them under running water for about 20-30 seconds. Also, wash your hand after handling the veggies, washed or unwashed.
Milk Packets & Bottles
Milk packets or bottles have a high chance of being contaminated, as the COVID-19 virus can survive on these surfaces for 16 hours on plastic and about 4 hours on the glass. You can try washing both of these with soap and water. That should reduce the presence of the virus to a great extent.
Still, make sure you wash your hands after pouring the milk out of these packets. Boil the milk well before use and avoid using raw.
Other Packaged and Unpackaged Stuff
Depending on the surface material you can plan a disinfection drive before you start to handle these packages. Best is to keep the newly brought package at a safe place away from the children (educate them about COVID-19) for about three days.
Only then you should start to handle them and unpack etc. but do wash your hands afterward, before doing anything else.
Some Frequently Asked Question on COVID-19
Q: What if You Have a Sick or Elderly at Home?
Chances are you may already have someone in your family who has an existing health condition or is aged above 60. Try that they don’t handle anything coming from outside directly before you have disinfected these. The COVID-19 infection has proven rather dangerous for people with an existing health condition or compromised immune system.
Q: What if You Have a Possible COVID-19 Patient at Home?
Since the first recommended step of COVID-19 discovery is to self-quarantine, that would mean you cannot meet or come into contact with any other person in the family or from outside. In such a scenario you need to ensure that you have a mask on all the time, you sneeze or cough using a tissue that you dispose securely immediately. Also, you need to wash your hands before you touch anything that’s coming from or going to your family members. Until the infection is confirmed non-existent, eating in isolation away from family is better. [Explore - Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection, Precautions & Test Centers for Families & Child]
In the meanwhile, for the rest of the population, stay at home, maintain social distance, and keep washing your hands. Stay home, stay safe!
| Apr 07, 2020
Hi Gagandeep, Please refer your question to an Expert through the app. You can download the app https://bit.ly/2WDmWtS here. Or you can follow this link https://www.parentune.com/expert-corner and follow the steps to download the app and get an expert to answer your question.