Then & Now: How COVID-19 Protocols Have Changed in the Past Year
What a difference a year makes. At this time in 2020, we were in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were still learning about the virus, how it is transmitted and what to do to mitigate it around our businesses. And many companies had moved to work-from-home scenarios for employees.
In the months since, we have learned so much more about the Coronavirus. And as a result, we’ve changed many of the systems and processes used to clean and disinfect our work facilities.
Now, with life (hopefully) returning to “normal” in the next few months, it seems a good time to look back at where we’ve been and where we are now. While some things are returning to the way they were before March 2020, some haven’t yet.
Here’s a look at how life has, and hasn’t, changed.
What Has Changed Since the COVID-19 Pandemic Began
1. Surface cleaning and disinfection
A year ago: Remember when we were wiping down all of our groceries? A year ago, we cleaned every surface. And then cleaned them again and again and again.
Initially, there was concern about the virus living on surfaces for days. The thought was that surfaces needed diligent cleaning and disinfection to prevent virus spreading through surface contact.
That’s why we spent a lot of time helping our clients clean and disinfect surfaces––especially high-touch surfaces––using our SaniShell Surface cleaning system.
Today: All that cleaning? In theory, it was good. But as it turned out, the virus is spread primarily through airborne particles.
And while all that surface cleaning is still important, it didn’t necessarily mitigate the spread of Coronavirus.
Today, facilities are focused more on air ventilation and filtration and improving indoor air quality. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) offers up guidance on how to do this here. Some of their recommendations include opening doors and windows to let in outdoor air and adjusting HVAC systems to increase total airflow.
2. Stay Home to Stop Spread of COVID
Then: Soon after March 11, 2020 (the day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic) the world shut down. Businesses shuttered, delivery companies were in demand and Zoom was the word of the day. Every. Day.
Even if your business couldn’t operate remotely, your employees were facing new challenges, either with spouses and children working or schooling from home or in dealing with customers who were.
Now: Kids are returning to school and businesses are welcoming employees on site. That’s presenting its own challenges and questions around cleaning. At DPM, we are constantly working to ensure that our services and processes represent best practices and are designed to keep your facilities clean and disinfected every day, not just during a pandemic.
3. Six Feet Keeps the Virus Away
Then: When the pandemic started, the CDC recommended that one of the best mitigation tools was avoiding crowds.
That ushered in a 6-feet social distancing rule. Everywhere you look there are signs and measuring tools to keep us separated (including floor signage that we are now helping companies remove).
Now: Is staying six feet apart still a rule? For the most part, yes.
The CDC still recommends distancing because the virus can spread with people who are in close contact for a prolonged period of time. The recommendation for school children changed as the pandemic has continued. Today, they only need to be three feet apart in school. Hopefully, the rest of us can be close together soon, too.
4. Limited Live Events & Entertainment
Then: No NCAA basketball tournament. No NBA. No NHL. No MLB. No live music concerts or festivals. No movie theaters. No Broadway. No fireworks. No holiday fun. It was really rough going there for a while in 2020. Slowly, beginning in the summer with NASCAR and baseball, some activities started coming back.
Now: While the calendar still isn’t completely full of events, it’s getting there. There were college sports. The NFL completed its season. Major League Baseball has started. In Nashville, country music artists are planning for summer concerts. If you are looking for what’s coming up in Nashville and Knoxville, start with https://www.visitmusiccity.com/ and https://www.visitknoxville.com/.
5. Get the Shot to Prevent COVID
Then: When the pandemic started, it was hard to imagine how it would play out. At the time, the only way to prevent the spread of the virus was to keep wearing masks and social distance.
Now: Thanks to the work of several pharmaceutical companies we have a vaccine to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. After a slow rollout at the beginning of the year, it is now widely available to any Tennessean over the age of 16.
Future of COVID-19?
Are you going to see a blog post like this in May 2022? Hopefully not. It would be great to be back to normal soon and have COVID-19 be a thing of the past.
In the meantime, if you and your team need to talk about your cleaning and disinfecting processes, please give us a call.