If we know one thing about fending off COVID-19, it's that killing the virus — and its chances of infecting us — is one of our best weapons against getting sick. That means masks and social distancing as a baseline, frequent hand-washing, and wiping down everything, even deliveries and groceries, as a top-level precaution. As you maintain your perimeter, so to speak, be sure you're also upholding quality over quantity. More disinfecting doesn't necessarily mean decreased risk of coronavirus.
A new study from Ohio State University looked into how much effort it takes to truly keep an area clean enough for veterinary medicine. For nearly six weeks, researchers tracked how often and how thoroughly a vet's office was cleaned by using fluorescent dye; any residue meant the surface needed more work. Overall, only half the practice's surfaces were sufficiently wiped down, and places that humans regularly touched were cleaned less often than those touched by animals.
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This may seem disheartening, but there's a silver lining to this study: The researcher recommend outsourcing your cleaning process, letting your brain stop worrying about whether you've been thorough enough, and relying on written checklists to ensure you've hit every necessary area to be cleaned. Checklists are vital to professionals from surgeons' rooms to cockpits; they're a sign of high organization, not dottiness. When you develop routines and give yourself the structure to succeed, you can rest easier, knowing you're doing everything you can to halt the spread of this deeply nasty bug.