Moving during the pandemic poses certain unique challenges otherwise unimagined of. Thankfully, one need not subject all their stuff through the UV tunnel or spray liters of disinfectants and sanitizing solutions on their household goods to keep away infection. Right sanitization methods and precautions rooted in common sense can help prevent the infection. Medical bodies and agencies around the world including the WHO have found that the transmission of the novel coronavirus happens through close contact with an infected person mainly via respiratory droplets or smaller aerosols while coughing, sneezing, breathing heavily, speaking or singing. However, the virus tends to remain live or active on hours and days at stretch depending on the types of surfaces and materials. It therefore is essential to clean and disinfect surfaces in your house to stay safe. While cleaning means removing dust, dirt and infectious agents from an object or environment, disinfecting on the other hand involves use of chemicals (disinfectants) to destroy, inactivate or reduce the concentration of pathogenic agents. A thorough cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces across your house during a move can significantly lower the risk of the virus spreading. Here are a few easy and practical tips to sanitize your things during a move. Get it right Getting the right cleaning supplies and disinfectants is critical when sanitizing surfaces and items during a move. The selection of disinfectants should take account of the microorganisms targeted, as well as the recommended concentration and contact time, the compatibility of the chemical disinfectants and surfaces to be tackled, toxicity, ease of use and stability of the product. Hypochlorite-based products include liquid (sodium hypochlorite), solid or powdered (calcium hypochlorite) formulations. These formulations dissolve in water to create a dilute aqueous chlorine solution in which undissociated hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is active as the antimicrobial compound. Hypochlorite displays a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity and is effective against several common pathogens at various concentrations. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a List N for disinfectants that can be used against the novel coronavirus. If you are unable to procure these products, you can use alcohol or a diluted bleach solution to make a disinfectant at your home. Identify and clean high-touch surfaces first High-touch surfaces should be identified for priority disinfection. These include door and window handles, kitchen and food preparation areas, counter tops, bathroom surfaces, toilets and taps, touchscreen personal devices, personal computer keyboards, and work surfaces. The disinfectant and its concentration should be carefully selected to avoid damaging surfaces and to avoid or minimize toxic effects on household members or users. Its recommended to disinfect these areas first before proceeding to deep clean your home. Protect yourself and others To prevent the spread of germs, it is recommended to wash hands with soap and water whenever possible because it reduces the amount of many types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not readily available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Choose hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol (often listed on the label as ethanol, ethyl alcohol, isopropanol, or 2-propanol). During a move, keep hand soap available for use within easy reach as you may want your family members and the movers to frequently sanitize and clean their hands. Keep sanitizers available should water supply be a constraint during moving. Wipe away woes Covid-19 is an enveloped virus with a fragile outer lipid envelope that makes it more susceptible to disinfectants compared to non-enveloped viruses such as rotavirus, norovirus and poliovirus. Studies have found that the COVID-19 virus can remain viable for 24 hours on cardboard and up to 72 hours on plastic and stainless steel. The COVID-19 virus also survives in a wide range of pH values and ambient temperatures but is susceptible to heat and standard disinfection methods. Therefore, it is advisable to wipe clean cardboard boxes and plastic wraps used while moving with disinfectant wipes. This should kill the viruses on these surfaces making it safer for subsequent handling. Do not forget to wash or sanitize your hands immediately thereafter. Keep the doors open Avoiding touching surfaces that are repeatedly in use during a move can help you stay away from harm’s way. The virus can spread through touching infected surfaces such as doorknobs and keys. As the mover’s crew bring and take out cartons in and out your house often wading through various rooms, it’s easy to prevent them touching doorknobs and keys by keeping the doors open throughout the move. This simple act can help prevent the transmission of the virus through high contact surfaces. Things to consider Frequent washing of hands using soap and water, wearing a mask at all times and using the right disinfectant solution to wipe clean your stuff should keep you safeguarded during a move. Before zeroing in on a moving company, it is advisable to check their SOPs during the pandemic and how often the crew are subjected to medical tests. Also, it pays to ensure that the crew practices good hygiene and frequent washing of hands on the moving day. By following standard pandemic rules, practicing social distancing and upholding sanitization requirements, managing a move becomes a bit easier. If you have queries regarding your upcoming move, please get in touch with our Hong Kong movers at +852 2636 8399 or get a free moving quote.