It’s likely that the COVID pandemic aftermaths will always be with us. Most of us are now pretty safe, but obviously there are always exceptions, those with compromised immunity or long COVID still have issues, and of course we may yet have another pandemic, especially if lessons weren’t learned from the last one. Boston University believes that almost certainly, the virus started with a tiny bat tucked inside a remote Chinese cave (and animal welfare experts believe that eating live bats at wet markets is likely how it’s spread).
People last, when they do not apples that were not meant for them. Paul Kingsnorth
If you use one, choose a reusable face mask unless you have to wear disposable – those blue masks have been called ‘the new disposable bottle’ as they are littered everywhere. If you use one (or find one), snip the strips before safe disposal, so they don’t tangle wildlife.
Since the pandemic, it’s become very important to use hand wash and sanitisers, to keep vulnerable people safe especially. But this has led to billions of plastic bottles littering our planet, and some of the offerings are quite toxic, and can harm in other ways. It’s perfectly possible to kill harmful bacteria on our hands and elsewhere using natural ingredients, though most that can kill coronavirus require a little alcohol or other ingredients to make things sterile.
A Which? Best Buy test actually found that Superdrug reusable cotton masks came out near top. They’re 100% cotton and easy to wear with a filter pocket to insert disposable filters if wished (they recommend this as after 5 washes, the filtration efficiency dropped from an impressive 85% to a more average 72%). But with three in each cost-effective pack (in many colours) you can’t really match this for everyday.
Delphis Eco makes reusable face masks, which are engineered with SILVERPLUS® technology provide protection against the transmission of infectious airborne molecules. The outer layer is treated with an antimicrobial and water repellent finish to kill microbes from touching or breathing, and the weave offers more filtering, but to make it still easy to breathe. The white masks include head loop application. Includes 10 filters and a storage pouch. Due to some synthetic materials, launder in a microplastic catcher.
zero waste & biodegradable hand sanitisers
What you want to avoid is any form of bleach, which can be toxic to all life forms, long after it’s rinsed down the drain. And it’s obvious more lethal to all pets, children and wildlife (though you want to keep any of these products away from them, and choose unscented items for pregnancy/nursing and affected medical conditions).
Bio-D all-purpose sanitiser is made from a natural blend of plant-based ingredients and scented with real essential oils. Tested to food-grade standard, to neutralise nearly all harmful bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella and MRSA) while still gentle on skin. The sanitiser is also effective against coronavirus (EN14476). You can also use it to tackle greasy kitchens. Just spray on all hard surfaces, leave for 60 seconds and then wipe off with a clean biodegradable damp cloth. It’s also packed in recycled plastic bottles that are easy to recycle.
Delphis Eco also makes a good commercial anti-bacterial soap, with refills and bulk containers. Specially formulated to avoid cross-contamination, you can use it following contact with patients, surfaces, animals, food or children. It cleans and kills germs, without need to dry on a towel.
a book about viruses (and how to stop them)
Snot, Sneezes and Super Spreaders does the impossible, and makes learning about viruses fun and interesting. Designed for children age 8 to 12 (but good reading for anyone), how do viruses become so powerful, that they can hold the world in their grip for months at a time? What exactly is a virus and where do they come from? What do they do to our bodies, how do they spread and how can we protect ourselves .
If we didn’t know it before, we certainly know after the pandemic that viruses can change the world. Author Marc tackles questions with playfulness, accompanied by quirky enlightening illustrations by Wendy Panders. The book addresses pandemics in an age-appropriate waym and offers history of fascinating icky diseases of the past, and how they still hang around today.
Marc ter Horst studied literature but soon found himself more interested in geology, astronomy and evolution. He has written several books for children, and lives in The Netherlands.