It snowed! We celebrate, not only for our ski areas, but because our recent temperature drop brings much-needed moisture to Colorado. Our hearts are with our neighbors in Boulder County who recently suffered catastrophic fire loss.
Unfortunately, our colder temperatures also firmly place us in the heart of cold and flu season.
The best ways to prevent illness
Why are colds and flu so common in January and February? As you know, when it’s chilly outside, we retreat indoors, crank up our thermostats and close our windows. We hang out more with our family and friends. Our physical closeness passes around germs in enclosed spaces. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), this is especially true if we:
- Don’t stay away from others when we are sick: Gone are the days of “powering through” a cold or sickness. Stay home when you feel rotten and don’t gift your crud to others. Also, rest and let yourself truly recover. Your immune system will thank you by staying strong.
- Touch our faces a lot: This one got hilarious meme treatment early in the pandemic, but frequently touching your face, nose and mouth for whatever reason (mask, itchiness, fidgeting) is a serious habit to break NOW.
- Forget to wash our hands often: Plain old soap and water (yup, for 20 seconds) are still the best defense against sickness. Use hand sanitizer when you cannot access a sink.
- Don’t cover our mouths and noses when we sneeze or cough: This is disrespectful to others and gross.
- Neglect other good habits: The CDC recommends getting enough sleep, exercising, eating right and ensuring our living spaces are properly cleaned and sanitized.
Reduce infections at home
Which brings us to our main subject. As Sir Isaac Newton discovered in 1665, what goes up must come down (AKA don’t sit under a fruit tree in the autumn). Gravity enables all those viruses and bacteria to drift down and eventually settle into our carpets and upholstery.
Some viruses, like norovirus (think nasty stomach bug) can stay in carpeting and upholstery for up to a month if not removed, according to the National Institutes for Health (NIH). Thankfully, studies show the COVID-19 virus does not typically cause infection from soft surfaces after 72 hours. According to livehealthily, the flu virus sticks around for 24 hours and the jury is out about just how long strep bacteria can survive on a surface to make you sick.
Fear not. Our houses help us out and there are things we can do to reduce infections!
Carpets are actually our friends. According to the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI), carpeting “plays the role of an air filter: carpet traps dust, pollen and other particles, taking them out of the breathing zone until they can be removed easily…”
Regularly vacuuming your home, 1-2 times per week, as well as routinely cleaning and disinfecting your upholstery and carpeting can help keep your family well during the cold and flu season.
Fight the flu and other bugs with steam
A Personal Touch Carpet Cleaning recommends steam cleaning your carpets every 18 months with a reputable high-temperature, truck-mounted steam cleaning service.
One of our own employees testifies that regular carpet cleaning keeps his family healthier, “I have 5 kids and 2 dogs and now 5 grandkids. We don’t get colds and flu like other families.”
But, don’t take our word for it. Recent studies like this one at the NIH report steam cleaning works to minimize germs in carpets. The NIH reports, “…our results support a previous finding that steam vapor can reduce viruses beyond the EPA standard in short contact times…”
A Personal Touch can sanitize your chairs, ottomans and couches as well. Our trained technicians are knowledgeable about many different kinds of upholstery from canvas and corduroy to silk, lace and leather. They will clean your upholstery’s fragile trim and piping with care. Upon request, they can apply a special fabric protector to help extend the life of your furniture.
Stay healthier during cold and flu season. Call us at 720-344-2870 for a free estimate or simply schedule an appointment.