Isabel Goes Back to Work After Covid-19

Rebecca Dutton

As a 74 year old with a brain-stem stroke who lives alone I was terrified about getting covid-19 from my cleaning lady.  A teleconference with my primary doctor helped me let go of my fear that only massive repeated testing would keep me safe until a vaccine is widely available.  After listening to a few suggestions from my doctor I was able to calm down and think.  Below are nine strategies that make me feel safer when my cleaning lady spends two hours in my house.

1.  I insist that both my cleaning lady and I wear masks.
2.  I put away all the knick-knacks that Isabel used to pick up and set down as she cleaned.
3.  After washing the sheets I make my bed so Isabel does not touch bed linen that comes close to
my face.

4.  Before each visit I gather some items I touch every day. Bathroom items go on a tray.
I cover this pile with a towel to let Isabel know not to touch it.  Make-up items on my dresser go in a shoebox in a drawer.

5.  I walked Isabel through my house to show her where I wanted her to use disenfectant wipes to
clean door knobs, light switches, and handles on the toilet, shower, refrigerator, stove, cabinets,
and faucets.
6.  If the weather permits I leave my front door open with the glass panel that covers the screen
in the up position.
7.  When I eat lunch I need to take off my mask.  To keep my droplets from accumulating in the air
in the house I eat outside on my patio.  I bring my ipod to listen to music after lunch.  I have an
awning to protect me from the sun and rain.
8.  After Isabel leaves I turn on exhaust fans in the bathroom and kitchen to clear the air while I
take a short car ride.

9.  After I use a mask I put it on a window sill for a few days with
the hope that sunlight will kill the virus.  I turn it over to expose
all surfaces to sunlight.