For millions in self-isolation, hygiene seems to start becoming less and less of a concern, even though anxieties of catching the virus and its impact on society remain at large. However, maintaining proper hygiene is not only important to reduce the transmission of the virus, but also a beneficial lifestyle choice.

The coronavirus pandemic is odd in how it has brought a sense of ambivalence to the personal hygiene of many self-isolating. Many experts confirm that increasing hygienic responsibility will go a long way in combating the virus but motivation to do so has decreased with each passing day. Of course, this is fairly reasonable as it can be difficult to adjust to a new daily schedule or lack of a schedule. People’s anxiety over the pandemic, in combination with self-isolation, can easily contribute to bad habits and patterns. Furthermore, keeping track of the time, and even the day, can be hard without typical “time anchors” as we are stuck at home.

While I have done my best to stick to my routine and maintain a sense of cleanliness, as I usually prefer, I have noticed a trend that overtime, my motivation and attention to self-care has decreased as the amount of time spent in isolation has increased. Many times I have wondered why my face feels dry only to realize that I have forgotten to put on lotion or face wash. Small slip-ups like these will only snowball over time as I may forget more important motions, ones that are absolutely necessary for my well-being, especially during a pandemic.

Personal hygiene is an important part of the U.S. response to the international emergence of COVID-19 and our best weapon till a vaccine is found. Maintaining a proper hygiene regimen is an effective way to prevent the spread of pathogens and infections. There is a significant risk of getting the virus by touching surfaces, such as desks, handrails or doorknobs, where those droplets of the virus may have settled.

With all of this to consider, here are some tips to improve hygiene during the coronavirus pandemic. First and foremost, do your best to stick to your daily routine. Mine usually involves a regiment of skin care and washes for proper maintenance as well as additional quarantine measures, such as antibacterial soap and hand sanitizer and wipes and face masks when going outside. You may be tempted to omit certain parts since you are staying at home but you must put forward the effort. Many simple yet effective measures can be taken to prevent the spread, such as not touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth without washing your hands or not coughing or sneezing out in the open.

However, your body is not the only thing that needs to be maintained as it’s always a good idea to clean your home when it is possible. High-touch surfaces should be a top priority when cleaning. Common high-touch surfaces include: door handles, tables, chairs, toilets and much more. Cleaning laundry should be done with caution. Clean bed sheets, towels and clothes regularly and if you need to use laundry facilities outside of your home, take sensible precautions. Furthermore, be cautious when bringing in items such as groceries and goods as it could become infected by touching a contaminated surface or object.. Following any of the tips that have been listed is a step in the right direction to combat and reduce transmission, while also allowing you to be  fresh and oh so clean!

The novel coronavirus still maintains its impact on daily life in the U.S. and the world as a whole. These adverse times greatly necessitate people to be responsible about their personal hygiene for the well being of others and of themselves. Doing so may not seem important at first, but the effort is absolutely necessary to remain healthy and resilient during these trying times, if not clean and comfortable.