Asian friends talking and eating in outdoor restaurant

As establishments reopen and curfew loosens, there’s a lot of talk going around about the return to the carefree life of 2019 and earlier. This illusion of normalcy, however, shouldn't prompt you to discount the events of the past two years. Medical experts, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even believe that periodic mask-wearing is here to stay – at least for the foreseeable future. So yes, you can start going out with friends. But no, you are not back to your old life.

Don’t let your guard down. If anything, you should keep your (face) shields up. Make sure that your mask fits properly, sanitize your hands diligently, and avoid touching your face. When going out with friends, follow standard hygiene protocols. Here are some tips on how to protect yourself and your family when you come home after a long-awaited barkada reunion.

Improve Your Oral Health

You haven’t eaten with your friends for a while so you owe it to yourself and to them to keep your breath in check. You owe it to yourself, too, since breathing stale breath under your mask isn’t exactly a pleasant experience. closeup All Around Fresh Cool Mint Toothpaste gives 12 hours of fresh breath because you know you’re going to be chatting all night.

If you think dental hygiene has nothing to do with catching illnesses, recent research proves you wrong. According to a British Dental Journal study published in December 2020, toothpaste containing zinc or stannous fluoride neutralizes viruses by 99.9%. Closeup All Around Fresh has zinc that provides antibacterial protection as well as fluoride. It also has deep-cleaning silica to keep your mouth spick and span. 

Launder Your Clothes, Stat

Synchronize your laundry schedule to when you go out.

In the old days, going out with friends was a regular Friday-night occurrence. These days, it’s an event that requires some careful style preparation. How long has it been since you wore pants and heels? Regardless of what you wear, be more meticulous about your laundry. Don’t linger in the clothes you wear outside. According to a 2020 study in The Lancet, viruses can stick to fabric for up to a day.

You can wash your clothes right away, of course, but it’s not always practical. Instead, have a separate hamper for your “outside clothes.” Disinfect them as well as the hamper in the days leading up to laundry day.

Since laundry has become a bigger chore these days, don’t make it harder for yourself with needless stains from sweat. Rexona Advanced Brightening + Anti Stain Dry Serum Deodorant not only keeps you feeling fresh, confident, and comfortable as you brave the outdoors, but it also doesn’t stain clothes. It’s one less thing to worry about.

Wash Your Hands

According to the CDC, washing your hands with soap and water is a better option than using hand sanitizer. If you have a tap outside your house, like in your garage or your dirty kitchen, properly clean your hands before even touching your front door. If you don’t have a running water source nearby, try installing a hose from the nearest faucet instead.

Set up a hygiene station around the premises, complete with a reliable hand soap that can get rid of major germs. Lifebuoy Antibacterial Handwash Total 10 does this better by eliminating 99.9% of germs thanks to its powerful and protective Activ Silver+ formula.

If you can't find a way to wash your hands, sanitize with alcohol instead. Lifebuoy Hand Sanitizer even has moisturizer and Vitamin E. They protect the skin not just from certain bacteria but also potential consequences of rightfully obsessive hand hygiene. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, cracked and dry skin is prone to infection, which makes you more susceptible to germs.

Jump Into the Shower

While hugs and kisses to your partner or kids are in order whenever you return home, current situations require a bit more restraint. Hop into the bath to wash off whatever dirt you picked up outdoors.

Don’t neglect your hair either. While there have been no conclusive studies on how long raging viruses last on hair, you know that your tresses can catch a lot of dust and other debris that can lead to other issues, such as scalp acne, itching, and flaking.

TRESemmé Detox & Nourish Shampoo has ginger and green tea to help deep-cleanse your scalp and hair, freeing them from impurities and buildup as well as nourishing your locks.

Invest in Disinfectant Products

Making bringing and using sanitizing products a habit.

You’re now approaching an era of persistent sanitation, so you might as well arm yourself accordingly. From cleaning supplies to UV wands, you must prepare for any hygienic situation. Line your bathroom sinks with anti-bacterial hand soap. Make sanitizer or alcohol a regular in your purse. Bring extra masks.

Going out with friends used to be a casual activity, but now it requires a concerted effort to stay safe and healthy. Doing a few extra steps, however, shouldn’t prevent you from living your life. Be careful and have fun.