Social distancing certainly seems scary. It can leave us feeling stressed and anxious, wondering if we’ll ever feel safe again. Thankfully, there are actions we can take to help make the experience a little easier on ourselves and everyone around us. Here’s six social distancing supplies that both businesses and people can use to keep life a little cleaner, safer and saner in uncertain times.
Hand Sanitizer & Hand Soap
These are the first supplies everyone reaches for during social distancing—and with good reason. Our hands contact so many surfaces during the day that keeping them clean and germ-free is important.
Hand soap (along with a good handwashing regimen) helps rid your hands of unwanted germs and bacteria. Hand sanitizer, on the other hand, kills viruses and bacteria by softening their membranes and using alcohol to render them inactive.
When you’re at home or prepping food in a restaurant, hand soap is what you’ll use. When you’re visiting areas like hospitals, where health hazards are more common, sanitizer is your better choice.
Protective Face Masks
Personal protective equipment (PPE) plays a big role when it comes to stopping the spread of viruses and biohazards. Some of the most sought-after equipment in a crisis are face masks.
Face masks cover your mouth and nose and reduce contact with bodily fluids. Surgical-quality masks (often made of polypropylene) are mostly used in hospitals—but during social distancing efforts similar versions are used by the public.
It’s important to use face masks properly. That means securing it around your ears or the back of your head and ensuring the mask is covering your nose, mouth and chin fully. It’s equally important to not touch the front of the mask with your hands.
Protective Face Shields
Another in-demand form of PPE are face shields. A clear piece of strong plastic film covers the face, secured by a foam forehead spacer and a re-adjustable head strap. Used properly, it reduces contact with bodily fluids and maximizes visibility.
Healthcare workers often use one along with a face mask.
Sanitizer and Disinfectant
Soap and elbow grease are always a winning combination. But there are times and situations (like social distancing) where surfaces should get more than just a good scrubbing. That’s where sanitizing and disinfecting cleaners come in.
They’re meant for surfaces and areas you’ve already cleaned with soap and are looking to sanitize, disinfect and deodorize. They’re used most often in hospitals, health-related offices, food and dairy processing plants, restaurants and other high-traffic areas.
Social Distance Floor Decals
Leaving space between you and someone else sounds simple in theory, right? But in practice, we’re so accustomed to sharing the same space that it can be easy to forget social distancing rules. Luckily, a quick reminder (especially a visual one) is all it takes for us to reset our thinking.
You’ve probably seen decals on the floors of supermarkets and drug stores. They’re bright and bold, designed to catch your eye and convey messaging quickly. All it takes is a strong color (like yellow) and simple but effective graphics (like silhouettes of shoes) to grab your attention and get you to slow down.
Social distance floor decals are a valuable addition to any business’s social distancing strategy.
Safety Tape for Floors
Conveying information quickly is all about simplicity. Add too many elements to a floor decal and it won’t be as effective as it could be. But, use printed floor tape along with floor decals and you’ve got a great visual system—especially in high traffic places like supermarkets.
Grocery stores reduce the number of people using an aisle by laying down striped vinyl tape. In the shape of arrows, it turns the aisle into a one-way lane. Used as one long strip going straight down the middle of the aisle, it creates two lanes that keep people and carts away from each other.
Studies have shown that people sub-consciously follow lines and often won’t cross over them, even when nothing is physically stopping them. That makes safety tape incredibly useful.
Whether you’re operating a business or simply a citizen doing your part, it’s important to know about the social distancing supplies that are available to you. Using even one option improves cleanliness, sanitation and safety for you and everyone around you.