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12 Tips to Protect Your Immunity at Home if You Have Cancer (during Coronavirus outbreak)

Mar 22, 2020

As cancer patients and cancer survivors, we have a compromised immune system and need to take care to protect ourselves, especially during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.

In the last week’s blog I shared how to boost your immune system, and boosting and protecting immunity go hand in hand. Today I am providing tips on how to protect your immune system at home within your nuclear family if you have cancer.

If you are not living alone chances are that your family members, roommates, and/or caregivers come and go from your home even though you are staying in strict isolation. Or you may have to leave home for doctor appointments or treatments.

If you are leaving your home wear a mask and gloves in all public places. If you don’t have the supplies, you can wear washable winter gloves and a scarf. When in public, avoid coming into contact with any surface areas with high traffic, and avoid all contact with other people. If you must sit down for a treatment for example, make sure that surface is thoroughly wiped or bring a large towel to cover the surface before sitting down.

I’ve compiled 12 important tips to incorporate into your daily routine (and into routines of your household members) that will make a big difference when it comes to protecting your immunity at home and within your nuclear family.

  1. Take your shoes off at the doorstep. If possible leave your shoes outside of your home.
  2. Remove your gloves (inside out). Dispose of the surgical gloves (setup a trashcan/bag outside or by the front door). Wash the reusable gloves on 140 degrees Fahrenheit (and dry for 30 min in a dryer on the high temperature setting)
  3. Remove your mask. Dispose of surgical mask and wash the scarf (handle in the same way as the gloves above).
  4. Strip-down at the entrance. Remove all clothing at the front door, load the washing machine and wash immediately along with your gloves and scarf.
  5. Wash your hands and then face thoroughly. Wash your hands for 20-30 seconds, and wash your face with soap or facial cleanser.
  6. Use paper-towels. It’s best to dry your hands and face with paper-towels if possible, or designate a separate cotton hand-towel for each family member. Cotton towels need to be washed and replaced daily.
  7. Disinfect your shoes. Without touching your shoes, spray them with any household surface cleaner and leave them outside (or by the door).
  8. Wipe door handles, light switches, keys, doorbell. After wiping, dispose the used wipes in the trashcan and do not flush down the toilet. Once all this is done, wash your hands thoroughly again, and only then greet others in the household.
  9. Wipe all surfaces, handles, light-switches, cellphones and remotes daily. This includes all kitchen and bathroom surfaces, cabinet and storage units handles, faucet handles, and a toilet flushing handle that need to be wiped daily.
  10. Open packages outside. Leave all cardboard boxes outside and wipe package content before bringing it into your home. (Covid-19 virus can stay alive on a cardboard surface for up to 24 hours.)
  11. Wash bed sheets frequently. If you are sharing a bed, especially if the other person leaves the house frequently, wash your sheets every 2-3 days, otherwise weekly.
  12. High-exposure isolation. If a family member works in a hospital or in a high exposure environment, it’s best to dedicate a bedroom and a bathroom in your home to that person, and isolate as much as possible. Wash their sheets and towels daily. Strictly follow tips 1-8, plus this person should take a full shower and scrub down immediately upon arriving home.

Don’t let this list overwhelm you. You may already be doing a few (or a lot!) of these items. Choose one or two that sound easy, try them, and when they’re a part of your routine, consider adding another.

Above all, don’t let fear rule your life.

Do what you can to stay safe - and dwell in gratitude for this life and all the beauty around you.

P.S. If the fear of cancer recurrence is causing you stress and negatively impacting your healing (immune system included), get my FREE guide on how to Face Your Fear of Cancer Recurrence in three empowering steps that actually work.  

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