Normally, we view the approach of the festive holiday season with smiles of delight, but not this year.
Thanks to the global pandemic, this year’s holiday season is sparking some intense debate about how to balance personal safety with popular customs and traditions.
It nearly goes without saying that no one wants to catch COVID-19, but with no end date in sight, and still no solid news about a vaccine, it can be equally hard to fight that restless inner feeling that panics at the thought of a never-ending lockdown.
So what should you do? Go out or stay in? Say yes or say no? Plan ahead or scrap all plans?
In this post, we share our CleanAir Solutions knowledge as well as what research is saying about the five riskiest group activities to avoid and the five best strategies to staying healthy this winter.
Reviewing What We Know Now About How COVID-19 Spreads
Do you remember way back in January of this year when news about the new novel coronavirus was just starting to trickle out of China and into the world?
We had so many questions and exactly zero answers. Now, thankfully, that is beginning to change. So let’s take a moment to review what we now know about how COVID-19 spreads.
1. COVID-19 spreads through close contact and airborne transmission.
COVID-19 primarily spreads through the air, both through close (less than two meters) social contact and by aerosol airborne delivery at greater distances.
2. COVID-19 spreads through direct contact with contaminated surfaces.
COVID-19 infectious droplets can transmit when they land on a surface such as doorknob, light switch or counter top.
3. COVID-19 may spread from people to animals.
The Centres for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a statement saying that COVID-19 potentially spreads from infected people to animals.
Meet the Five Riskiest Group Activities You Need to Avoid During The Holidays
With COVID-19 cases once again on the rise here in Ontario, the spotlight is now firmly focused on indoor group activities as the most probable cause.
Research into new COVID-19 outbreaks is looking closely at patient age as an indicator of where to look next to find the riskiest group activities.
These are the five top activities to avoid if your priority is to avoid exposure to coronavirus droplets.
1. Eating indoors at a restaurant.
By far, the riskiest activity is eating indoors at a restaurant. Why? Because you have to take down your mask to eat and drink.
Recent research indicates newly infected individuals are three times more likely to report eating at a restaurant indoors during the 14 days leading up to diagnosis.
2. Participating in indoor group sports.
Indoor group sports such as ice hockey and boxing are considered high-risk because they require close physical contact – to the point where both airborne and surface contamination becomes possible.
3. Working out in a gym or fitness club.
The high-profile Hamilton Ontario SpinCo “super-spreader” incident has now been linked to more than 80 new primary and secondary (friends and family) COVID-19 infections. It all started from a single non-symptomatic infected patron.
4. Visiting a bar or club.
According to local Hamilton Ontario health officials, the index patient linked to the SpinCo outbreak had previously visited a Toronto-area bar…
5. Attending indoor holiday gatherings.
This is going to be a tough one to navigate for many of us. However, the recent Thanksgiving holiday readily spawned a number of new confirmed COVID-19 infections, which makes indoor holiday gatherings a clear high-risk activity.
Meet the Five Indoor Air Safety Helps You Need to Adopt
On the one hand, it is nice to see new mask designs coming out that permit better airflow and respiration.
On the other hand, it is not so nice to realize we have these new designs because we will likely be wearing masks for a long time to come!
The reality is that masks can only do so much to protect you and your loved ones during the holiday. This is especially true now that winter temperatures are here to stay for the next long while.
These five indoor air safety pointers can step in when even your mask can’t protect you.
1. Keep your furnace filter clean.
How often should you change your furnace filter? It is vital to change your furnace filter every 30 days.
Our CleanAir technicians in Hamilton are happy to replace your furnace filter during your annual furnace preventative maintenance tune-up and safety inspection service.
2. Improve indoor fresh air ventilation.
Ventilation is the number one means of reducing the concentration of toxins inside a space.
You can leave your furnace fan to the “on” setting, open a window or add a heat recovery ventilator as a reliable set of artificial “lungs” for your space.
Contact CleanAir Solutions technicians in Hamilton for more information on how to check the air quality in your home.
3. Add ultraviolet light purification.
Why are we all being urged to hold group meetings and gatherings outdoors? In a word – it=t’s because of the sun. Our sun produces ultraviolet light. And ultraviolet light damages organic matter like the viral RNA that causes COVID-19.
When you add ultraviolet light purification inside your space, you get a synthetic version of that same benefit indoors.
Are you interested in installing a UV air purifier system? CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton has the highest quality UV air purification systems. Let our team of qualified technicians install and maintain your indoor air quality professionally throughout these upcoming cold months of winter.
4. Install a HEPA filtration unit.
HEPA filtration is the gold standard to remove microscopic airborne solids that could be transporting aerosol coronavirus droplets.
Do you have a HEPA filter installed in your indoor heating system? CleanAir Solutions in Hamilton can help you decide on which HEPA filter to purchase, install it on your behalf and provide service maintenance for the duration of the winter months.
5. Add a central humidifier.
Humidity is positively correlated with a reduced risk of contracting COVID-19. Winter air is traditionally dry, which is why winter is called “cold and flu season.”
Adding a humidifier helps your tissues manufacture more beneficial mucous to trap toxins, including active virus droplets, before they can make it down into your lungs.
CleanAir Solutions supplies whole house humidifiers in Hamilton, Ontario. Contact our HVAC technicians today for more information or to schedule an appointment with our indoor air specialists.
Get in Touch With Our Hamilton Indoor Air Specialists at CleanAir Solutions
Here at Clean Air Solutions Hamilton, we are considered an essential business and remain open to serve you safely with contact-less options during this difficult time.
Give our indoor air quality specialists a call at 1-905-549-2470 or visit us online.