Covid-19 has changed the way we clean and disinfect our homes, offices, stores, and even our healthcare facilities. The viral pandemic has also changed our perception of sterilization.
Sterilization provides an increased level of protection from viruses and pathogens as it destroys all forms of microbial life, including viruses, fungi, spores, and bacteria, within 2 minutes. Sterilizers can be liquid chemicals or equipment such as a UV sterilizer cabinet that sterilizes using ultraviolet rays.
The pandemic is an eye-opener on the importance of following the proper sterilization guidelines in our healthcare facilities and beyond. It has been established that the novel coronavirus stays on surfaces for hours and sometimes for days, which is why proper sterilization is so important.
So, how has this virus changed our perceptions of sterilization?
1. We Are More Knowledgeable About Sterilization
During this pandemic, we have seen sterilization in play and understood its importance. The use of face masks, sanitizers, and hand wash help to stop the spread of the virus.
Unfortunately, this knowledge has made us a lot pickier when it comes to visiting stores, healthcare facilities, and even homes. We are today worried about more than just dirt as we are protecting ourselves from a highly contagious virus. Thus, we prefer to go to the cleanest and safest buildings that have adhered to the recommended sterilization procedures.
On the other hand, businesses that are looking to reinstate their operations are doing their best to leverage the high hygiene standards provided, some of which require sterilization of equipment to mitigate the spread of the virus.
2. Sterilization Is Now More Commonly Used
For years, many of us believed that sterilization was only useful to the medical industry. We thought sterilization was best used to clean scalpels, catheters, IVs, needles, and wound dressings. But with the outbreak of the pandemic, we now know sterilization can be used in other industries as well.
For instance, hydrogen peroxide gas sterilization is being used for the decontamination of used face masks. The Dutch National Institute of Public Health and Environment (RIVM) recently reprocessed FFP2 face masks using this low-temperature sterilization process.
Radiation has also been shown to be effective in sterilizing Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) that are in high demand in different sectors during this pandemic. Strict surface sterilization procedures given by the CDC are also being followed by different dental clinics to ensure the virus does not spread. Besides, there has been an increase in the use of UV sterilizer cabinets and autoclave machines to disinfect frequently handled items in laboratories and industries.
Hotels, industries, and laboratories that use high volume laundries, shoes, and fabrics are also using sterilization to get completely safe and dry loads. Contract sterilization services are also in high demand among industries such as hospitality, laboratories, pharmaceutical, and healthcare.
The coronavirus has changed our perception about many things, one of which is sterilization. We are now more aware of how sterilization works, and we have even embraced it in our homes and offices.