CHENNAI: You’d hope it wouldn’t take a pandemic to have people taking a good, hard look at their hygiene practices. Yet, here we are, holding on to the ‘better late than never’ pacifier and learning to revise age-old habits for a cleaner way of life. These Chennaities share the additions to their daily routine
Dr P Padmini Vishwanathan professor
Wearing a face mask before stepping outside the house has become a routine already. This has eventually helped in stopping my habit of biting my nails. Besides, using salt and tamarind to clean vegetables before storing them in the fridge is a habit that I will definitely continue even after the lockdown.
Kanchana Manavalan, entrepreneur
After the virus took us by shock, I have gotten busy ticking off procedures on my hygiene checklist. Now, disinfectants and masks have got prime spots on my shopping list, which calls for a need to reconsider the monthly budget plan. I have learnt to give/receive air hugs from friends, exercise in the open, and bathe regularly, which will continue even after all the lockdown is over.
Pranathi Ramadorai, Pranathi Ramadorai,
My work requires me to travel. After the lockdown, I will not take buses and trains. Even if I take cabs, I will not take share cabs. I will try to schedule meetings during a non-peak hour to avoid encountering a larger number of the general public, and prefer to keep these meetings in the mornings. Even If I attend concerts, I will try to sit two seats away from the other person. As a dancer, I will not share my make-up with anybody. Once I am home from any outing, I will go for a shower before I do anything else.
Sruti Harihara Subramanian, filmmaker and entrepreneur
One habit that has become a part of my routine now is having longer baths. I have started oiling my hair every day, using traditional bath powders and hair packs. After every bath, I have noticed that I come out fresh and refreshed. It has considerably reduced my stress levels too. Washing hands regularly and sanitising them — before and after stepping out and coming back inside the house, collecting the grocery/any package has become a habit. Earlier I never used to spend too much time washing hands. Now I ensure I wash them for a longer time and clean every part of the hand — from the fingertips, palms to the wrist.
Lydia Sonali Diaz, content marketer
I will continue to wear face masks when stepping out to decrease the chances of getting infected. Footwear will not be brought into the house and will be left at the garage of our house, instead. I will also continue to make a conscious effort to disinfect doorknobs, gates, the doorbell, house keys and locks. I will always keep my hand sanitiser with me while travelling. I will avoid salon visits that involve them touching my face. But, I wouldn’t mind it for pedicure or manicure. I will also continue to wash hands, vegetables and meat extra well to stay safe.
Oviya Balan, content marketer
Ever since the lockdown was announced, I have stopped buying food from outside. The possible transmission of the virus was the sole reason behind the decision. I have been making better and healthy food choices, with no outside food available. So when I go back to my normal routine, I will still try to avoid eating outside as much as possible. This way, I will not be going to crowded places, and become a possible threat to the world. I will also ensure that my personal health is maintained by following a nutritious and balanced diet.
Sandhya Subramanian, quality control manager
There are a few things as a family that we never used to do before — rinsing milk packets before bringing it inside the house, washing vegetables and drying it under the sun for hours before cooking it, washing hands before and after doing any chore, maintaining distance even at home. The coronavirus scare has introduced this hygiene routine in us. However, maintaining physical distance while even talking to my mother is something I haven’t been able to get over. But, I think this has become the new normal for most of us.
Priyadarshini Rajkumar, actress, entrepreneur and social worker
If I have to go to public places and attend events, I will not shake hands unless and until it is required. I will just say ‘namaste’. I think I will limit my daughter’s outdoor activities, too. If she has to be in any public place for long, I will ask her to wash hands every half hour, use a sanitiser continuously and ensure that she does not touch her face.
Manessa, marketing executive
I will try to not go to the salon for services that require them to touch my head as I think it’s the most vulnerable area. When I go to the supermarket or any other shop, I will try to make card transactions instead of cash transactions. I do not want to handle notes and coins. I will also not take public transport for any local travel. I will not eat out at as far as possible and ensure everyone in my family follows this for the next few months at least.
Swathi Nahar, artist
This lockdown has been an opportunity to learn and practise new habits that will continue for a lifetime even after things bounce back to normalcy. I will ensure that I shall maintain strict social distancing for approximately two metres. I will drive instead of relying on public transport. I will take home-cooked and nutritious food.
Manepalli Vinay Babu, entrepreneur
I am a cyclist. As soon as the pandemic broke out, we started pulling out the cycling face masks at home and started using it every time we left the house — to purchase essentials. This has become a habit now. We usually don’t let the provisions or groceries soak under the sun once bought. But that’s become a practice now. They are washed thoroughly and taken into the house after an hour. I think this practice will continue even after this lockdown is over. We have started washing our legs, hands and the masks every time we come back home. While we continue to offer tea to the corporation workers in our area, it is ensured that the glasses are washed with hot water before they are reused.
Prerna Asrani, businesswoman
Changes in seating arrangements have been made at home to ensure that we maintain some distance from each other. When people start visiting us, we shall allow them inside only after making them wash their hands and legs. Shoes and chappals shall no more find a place inside the house.
Shishir Ramnath, wedding photographer
Sanitising gadgets, especially the mobile phone, is as important as washing hands frequently. By using ear/headphones regularly, I will ensure that my face does not come in direct contact with the phone’s touchscreen. At my workplace too, I will see to it that the landline phone is cleaned periodically.
Vijayalakshmi R, businesswoman
One habit that I will not change is washing vegetables in turmeric water and drying groceries in sunlight before using it. At public places, it will become a rarity to spot someone spitting or urinating as coronavirus has taught us the value of health and hygiene the hard way. Also, there are more chances of people like me to take the stairs to avoid coming in close contact with people in the lift.
(With inputs from Roshne Balasubramanian, Sri Vidya RK, Vaishali Vijaykumar, Veena Mani)