The New Normal: Dos and Don'ts

June 11, 2020

Now that we are in GCQ (General Community Quarantine), bear in mind that going back to “normal” is far from happening soon and as people start to go out of their homes, for work or basic needs, the risk of getting the virus is still high. So if you feel unwell or you know that your immune system is low, then it’s best that you stay home. 

In the workplace, you have to be extra cautious and know the “super spreader” areas where you can get the virus from easily such as: 

Lunchroom - As much as possible, eat in your work area and use your own mug and utensils. It’s better to be paranoid and assume that everyone is infected with the virus than getting infected by being too lax. Also best to always be on guard of your distance from the people around you. 

Elevator - Many people touch the elevator buttons without sanitizing their hands, so make sure to spray alcohol on it before pressing and sanitize your hands as well. Apart from that, the elevator is enclosed which makes it easy for the virus to stay in the air and on the surfaces. Don’t get in a cramped elevator, just wait for the next car where there are few people and maintain social distancing. 

Security Area - Security guards interact with lots of people, taking their temperature or checking their bags. To keep the distance, they should use longer sticks for bag inspection and the building admin and/or company should set-up a hands-free thermal scanner at the lobby as an additional precaution in reducing interactions and avoiding possible infections. If your temperature is high, proceed to the designated holding area or go home immediately. 

Money - As much as possible, go cashless but if paying in cash cannot be avoided, sanitize your hands after holding the cash and if you receive a change, put it in a separate plastic container and sanitize the money before putting it in your wallet. 

Office Ventilation - The building administration should ensure that there is proper airflow in each office to reduce potential transmission and spread of COVID-19

Remember that COVID-19 can be transmitted to people through respiratory droplets. That's why it is important to follow preventive measures to ensure our own safety, as well as the people around us. When physical distancing isn’t possible in the office, always put your mask and face shield on. 

Here are some dos and don’ts to guide you once you step out in the new normal environment: 

Wearing of masks - As much as we want to use surgical masks, we would rather reserve them for the frontliners. The use of washable cloth masks are fine as long as we also wear a face shield or eye goggles. Why? Because cloth masks are not enough. This infectious disease may enter through our eyes, mouth and nose. Experts say that people touch their faces up to 23 times in an hour
✔Wash your hands before touching/wearing a clean mask 
✔Remove the mask from the ear loop if you want to breathe some fresh air 
✔Soak used cloth mask in bleach solution for 30 minutes, soap and water are not sufficient to kill the virus 

XKeep used mask in your pocket or wallet 
XTouch the outside part of the mask with your bare hands 
XTwist the ear loop to tighten the mask as this creates an opening for the virus 

Washing of hands - Did you know that washing your hands is as important as drying them? It’s because viruses and germs can stick to damp hands. 

✔Wash your palms and in between fingers, and nails thoroughly using soap and water; Do the same when using alcohol 
✔Dry your hands well 
✔Continue rubbing your hands, when using alcohol, until they get dry ✔Use keypress when using the ATMs or pushing the elevator buttons 
✔ Use your elbow or foot when accessing the door 

XUse hand towels or hand dryers after washing your hands when in a public comfort room 
XEat without washing your hands 
XTouch your face with dirty hands 

Choosing what to wear - If you missed posting your OOTD on social media, well you can still do so. Just put a little twist in your fashion and strike a pose! 

✔Wear comfortable closed shoes 
✔Disinfect and leave the shoes you wore shoes outside your home 
✔Put your slippers by the door for easy reach when you enter the house ✔Choose button down polo or blouse 
✔Wear drawstring or garterized shorts or pants 
✔Soak your clothes in *bleach solution for 30 minutes before laundry *Bleaching solutions have to be fresh. Don’t prepare them ahead of time as it evaporates and may lose its effectiveness. 

XWear open-toed sandals 
XBring your outside shoes inside your home 
XRely on foot baths or disinfection mats 
XUse belts 
XUse non-fabric bags, accessories such as watches, bracelets or earrings because the virus can stay on these things for 3 to 5 days 

Sanitizing your home - It is important to keep your homes sanitized especially when there are children or elderly living with you. 

✔Sanitize your wallets, cellphones and accessories with a disinfectant spray 
✔Mop the floors regularly 
✔Disinfect the surfaces especially the exposed ones 
✔Create a space in your home where you gather all your things (from the outside) for easy sanitation 
✔Change your beddings and towels weekly 

XPut the groceries or any other things (from the outside) on your dining table 
XBring the deliveries inside your home right away. Let them stay outside and sanitize. 

Taking care of yourself - Having a healthy mind, body and spirit are essential to survive this pandemic, so looking after you and your family’s well-being should be your utmost priority. 

✔Exercise regularly 
✔Eat healthy 
✔Sleep at least 6-8 hours 
✔Drink plenty of water 
✔Take a bath immediately upon arriving home before touching anything or talking to anyone in your family 

XEntertain negative thoughts 
XRead/watch too much news 

Spending money - Before this whole crisis, saving money was our least priority because we have our jobs and we rely on our salaries. But now, with what our nation is going through, we realize the value of how we spend our money. 

✔Stretch your money 
✔Buy essential things only like food and vitamins 
✔Start building your emergency fund 
✔Spend on affordable health care 

XBuy the things you can’t afford 
XUse credit cards on unnecessary things 

Try to look at the crisis and difficulties in a different perspective. Be grateful if you still have your job and have regular income. This is the right time to focus on the most important things. 

The Emergency Fund helps you survive in case you lose your means of income. If you have the means, you may start saving at least 3 to 6 month of your expenses. 

Health care does not only mean proper nutrition, but protection as well. Make sure that you don’t get stressed over your finances when you or a family member gets hospitalized. 

Paramount Direct has designed a health insurance plan called HealthCare Cash Plan which provides you financial assistance for hospitalizations due to injuries, or sickness including COVID-19. Affordable premium starts at P239* for individual plan, P478** for couple plan or P732*** for family plan. 

Application made easy. Just visit for more information and to apply online. 
*Based on insurance age of 20 and Individual Plan 500 
**Based on insurance age of 20 and Couple Plan 500 
***Based on insurance age of 20 and Family Plan 500 

The word “new normal” may be sickening but the only way to survive this pandemic is to adapt to it. Let’s always be careful, vigilant and continue to care for one another.