Cleaning House: Corona Style

Dear Rich Lifer,

With the Coronavirus rapidly becoming the center of our world’s attention, it is important to note the many things we can do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from illness. This Coronavirus may not be the black plague, but there is no denying how rapidly the virus is spreading.

The main thing you can do at a time like this is prevent the spread of this virus. Preventative care is the best way to fight Coronavirus. But how do you use preventative measures to keep yourselves safe?

Wash, Wash, Wash

While we should always be in the habit of properly washing our hands, it is even more important to do so now. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently, with soap, for at least twenty seconds at a time. You should be able to sing the ABC’s in your head twice within the duration of each handwashing session. Johns Hopkins Medicine put out a video tutorial for those who would like to brush up on their handwashing skills. Young and old alike, handwashing is something we could all stand to practice at a time like this. Click here to find out what the CDC has to say about keeping your hands germ-free.

Don’t Be Misled By Language

Did you know that there is actually a difference in definition between the terms ‘quarantine’, ‘isolation’, and ‘social distancing’? There is also a big difference between “cleaning” and “disinfecting”.  

When a person goes into quarantine, it does not mean they are sick. A healthy individual that has been exposed to the virus should go into quarantine to avoid potentially spreading the illness, even though they themselves are not necessarily showing symptoms.

If an individual falls ill from the virus, they should then stay home and avoid spreading the illness to others. This is referred to as isolation

Social distancing is an entirely different term altogether. Social distancing is the act of a healthy person that has not been exposed to the virus avoiding large crowds or gatherings. If you have to visit the grocery store, or if you absolutely must go into the office, make sure you are maintaining a space of at least 6 feet between yourself and others.

Throughout the course of this pandemic, it is important to keep in mind that it is our responsibility to “socially distance” ourselves from others. Even if you are not particularly worried about getting sick, you may still become a carrier for the virus, infecting those you come in contact with. Someone over the age of 60, or someone with an underlying health condition, may not have the same ability to fight off the virus as you. Keep them in mind during the times where you feel frustrated over an event being cancelled, or your favorite restaurant becoming “carry out only”. If we take social distancing seriously, our events and restaurants will be back up and running much sooner than if we pretend otherwise. 

The difference between cleaning and disinfecting is a bit more straightforward. When you clean something, you are simply removing dirt, grime, or dust from the area. Disinfecting, or sanitizing, an area involves the removal and destruction of bacteria. If you stop and think about it, most of us should be disinfecting much more than we typically do. 

Everyday Items You Should Disinfect More Often


Our phones touch just about as many surfaces as our hands do. Think about it – we set them on tables, counters, floors even, without so much as a second thought. Giving your phone (even a landline) a good wipe down with a disinfecting wipe will not damage your phone, but it will eliminate germs!


Lysol wipes can be used to eliminate germs from your computer’s keyboard. Wipe down the mouse too while you’re at it. In fact…just disinfect the whole computer. 

Handles – And Not Just Door Handles

Think about the number of hands that touch the handles you use on a daily basis. This is not limited to door handles! Consider disinfecting the door handles of your car (inside and outside), doors, faucets, refrigerators, drawers and cabinets, and toilets.


Television remotes, video game controllers, garage remotes, fan/light remotes… regardless of the type, give them a wipe. 

Steering wheels 

Your steering wheel, along with the buttons and knobs that you regularly interact with in your car are absolute breeding grounds for germs and bacteria. Use a clorox wipe to really disinfect the areas your hands typically touch. If you have a steering wheel cover, now is the time to remove and give it a wash. 

Credit Cards

Your credit cards, though small, actually carry more bacteria than cash and coins did. In fact, AZCentral reports credit cards as  having more germs and bacteria than “the urinals in a train station”. (Click here to read more.) Be sure to sanitize credit cards regularly in order to avoid coming in contact with all the dirt and bacteria your cards have to offer you.

Why Should I Care?

Sure, COVID-19 seems to be spreading quickly, but I’ve heard that the flu is deadlier. Why even bother with all of this? The answer, friends, lies within our healthcare system. Should too many people fall ill to COVID-19, hospitals will quickly run out of space, resources, and the ability to effectively treat and cure patients. To read more about the Coronavirus, click here

It would be an understatement to say that we are treading uncharted waters with this Coronavirus. While it may just seem like another cold or flu, please note the differences with this visual. Now is the time to socially distance yourself from others. 

Stay home as much as possible, disinfect your home and the items inside, and keep washing your hands. Call your healthcare provider if you experience the onset of possible Coronavirus symptoms (fever, dry cough, shortness of breath). Hopefully we can soon say that this virus is behind us. 

To a richer life,

Nilus Mattive

Nilus Mattive

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Nilus Mattive

Nilus is the editor for the daily e-letter The Rich Life Roadmap and a Paradigm Press analyst.

Nilus began his professional career at Jono Steinberg’s Individual Investor Group, where he published his original research through a regular investment column. Later, he worked for a private equity business and spent five years editing Standard and Poor’s...

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