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Why are germs such a cause for concern during the holidays?

It’s no coincidence that peak flu season, constant coughing in the office, and sniffling at school fall during the cooler months in the northern hemisphere. Johns Hopkins Medicine states that colds, flus, and other respiratory illnesses are significantly more common in colder months for a few reasons, namely that people stay inside to keep warm during these months, and that our bodies’ resistance to illness might be weakened through colder, drier air. Between the holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Years, the increased travel, hugs, and meal-sharing only furthers the already heightened risk of illness-spreading. Below are a few easy tips to follow to ensure that you prevent germs from spreading in your home.

Tip #1: Consider habit-stacking.

Habit-stacking is a trending concept pioneered by S.J. Scott, author of Habit Stacking: 97 Small Life Changes That Take Five Minutes or Less. The key idea of Scott’s piece is that by combining “mini habits” into a simple, repeatable routine, we can lighten the cognitive load of a long checklist and make our everyday tasks less daunting. By linking together habits, which Scott suggests should all take less than five minutes to complete and easily fit in your life, it becomes much easier to incorporate the tasks into our daily routines. If cleaning the whole house feels daunting, consider looking more into habit-stacking, which could make doing cleanliness-related chores such as vacuuming, disinfecting, and dish-washing a bit more manageable.

Tip #2: Involve the whole family.

Consider getting the whole family excited about age-appropriate tasks of cleaning and disinfection in the home. By having a collaborative discussion about which family members get to complete different disinfecting measures, everyone feels like they have a stake in keeping the home clean and safe. Age-appropriate chores can be important for allowing children to feel responsibility and autonomy; tasks such as an 8-year-old wet-mopping the floor or a 12-year-old taking the trash to the bins can be helpful for both the child, and consequently the whole family.

Tip #3: Regularly disinfect all surfaces.

Whether you’re hosting an elaborate friendsgiving event or simply have little ones running in and out of the house, routine disinfection of commonly-touched surfaces is key to preventing the spread of communicable illness during the holiday season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that during this season, high-touch surfaces–such as doorknobs, keypads, sinks, and countertops–should be cleaned at least once a day. If someone with a confirmed illness has been in the house, it’s best to wear a mask and gloves while cleaning and disinfecting, whether this is on a high-touch surface or during more of a “deep clean.” The CDC also recommends using a product on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s List N, which is a verified list of disinfectants published by the EPA which are expected to kill all strains of COVID-19 when used according to the label directions. One example of a powerful yet gentle disinfectant on the EPA’s List N is Pure100, a two-ingredient spray for all surface use. Pure100 has a neutral pH, contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and is free from harsh chemicals and nauseous fumes. The spray kills key viruses and bacteria, preventing the spread of many respiratory illnesses that are common during the holiday season. Pick up a bottle of Pure100 today to arm up your home against germs during the holidays.