Miss Rona is still out there!

We’re well into GCQ (General Community Quarantine) now, with all guidelines intact. Many of us have returned to the office, and for those still working from home, our areas of errand-running have expanded to at least a few cities away. But we need to remember that all isn’t well, at least not yet.

Here at Booky, we want to be the best guide for you in all things food, beauty, fitness, and more around Metro Manila. And that includes how to keep safe when you go outside. As much as we want to support our favorite brands and malls that have reopened, it’s more important to protect ourselves by not only following social distancing, but also following these safety precautions to protect our loved ones at home.

1. Our masks are our shields.

It’s no coincidence that reusable, non-medical grade masks are all you can see for sale nowadays. It’s important to invest in masks (plural), so you can use one for every time you go out and bring extra with you in case of sweat! But make sure that it fits comfortably because as much as possible, DO NOT touch or fix your mask when you’re out. Bonus: Make sure it has filter pockets because of #2.

Photo from Booky
Insider tip: It doesn't hurt to choose cool masks from our favorite local brands or designers, both for aesthetic and because most use the profit to donate to different causes!

2. #YesFilter

They say wearing a mask without a filter cancels out the use. We don’t want to test that theory out, so we’re not taking any chances. Using a filter not only extends protection to you, but also those around you! The key is selecting the right filter to catch aerosol-sized particles. What to use: 80% quilter’s cotton, dried baby wet wipes (either air-dried, dried by hair blower or iron), or ready-made disposable filter pads.

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Note: A common misconception is using a damp sheet of tissue as a filter. Because the material is thin and tearable, moisture can cause more chances of particles to break and make contact with your skin, according to Health Analytics Asia.

3. Anong (am)bag mo?

In our past lives (pre-lockdown), most of us had that one bag we’d always use. But now when we go out, it’s highly recommended to use cloth/tote bags because they’re easier to wash (unlike leather and other materials). And if possible, using different bags every time you go out is ideal!

When you get home, make sure to empty your bag and soak in water and soap detergent.

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4. Swap your phone for alcohol!

Don’t underestimate how much you use your phone, potentially spreading the virus every time you touch it, make a call, etc. When in transit, put your phone in your bag and in exchange, keep your alcohol or hand sanitizer in your pockets READY AT ALL TIMES.

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Note: You’ve had months to listen to music at home…your desire to listen to more music outside isn’t worth getting infected.

5. Keep your own “black box” in your bag.

This is to make sure all your clean personal items STAY CLEAN: essentials and things you constantly touch both at home and work. Examples: your phone, pens, earphones, extra mask, your keys, etc. ALWAYS wash or disinfect hands before taking them out.

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For the box in question, a canister or any container that can be washed with soap is recommended!

6. Normalize social distancing.

It’s safe to say that most of us have been deprived of social cues for months… but it’s still our instinct to think it’s rude to abruptly step away from others. But by social distancing, we’re actually being POLITE. 

Maintain distance with people around you and take it seriously. If you’re worried about seeming snobbish, try to smile (with your eyes, DON’T take off that mask).

7. Stop the chika during lunch break.

Talking even with our masks on should be minimized, which means it’s safer to keep the kwentuhan via chat. It’s also a surefire way not to be overheard. Jokes aside, there is a real threat of infection, especially during lunch break (because you obviously can’t eat without taking off your masks). We can live a little bit longer (literally) eating at our own desks.

Bonus: Speaking of meals, Bring Your Own Baunan (BYOB) is recommended! Whether you bring packed lunch or buy from establishments, it's best not to trust other containers.

8. Prepare your set-up for when you get home.

A small, daily step could go a long way! Prepare a bucket with water and soap or bleach. When you get home, disinfect shoes in it and leave outside the house. If you use house slippers, make sure it stays inside!

Photo from Booky

9. Disinfect EVERYTHING.

It might seem like we’re overreacting, but it’s better to be safe than sorry because you missed disinfecting ONE thing. Put all the objects you’ve held in a box or basket (i.e. phone + case, keys, money, change, pens, etc.) and carefully disinfect. Then put in a clean container to signal that they’re already clean.

Photo from Booky

10. Clean the dirtiest thing in your house: YOU

Disinfecting all your clothes and items is the first step, but we can’t forget that the only living organism that exposed itself to the outside world is you! Retrace your steps and disinfect everything you held: door knobs, tables, objects, everything in your path leading up to the bathroom.

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Separate your dirty clothes you wore outside (recommended to put in another basin with soap and water and NOT in the hamper). Then take a bath!

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While we’re all grasping for any source of normalcy, especially seeing all of our loved ones after months inside, we need to STAY ALERT and remember why we’re in quarantine in the first place. The threat is still there and very real. If you can, stay at home and keep everyone safe. We can get through this! ––The Booky Team