EXCLUSIVE: Medically approved tips and guidelines for working mothers to be safe amidst COVID 19

Updated on Dec 15, 2020 05:14 AM IST  |  659.8K
EXCLUSIVE: Medically approved tips and guidelines for working mothers to be safe amidst COVID 19

The pandemic has had an enormous effect on all our lives and has changed the way of living and working. Before the pandemic hit, many women with jobs and family life often felt that their busy work schedule kept them away from their children and loved ones. But when the lockdown was imposed, working mothers found themselves juggling with multiple things that would usually be handled by others (domestic help, schools, grandparents etc). Responsibilities related to childcare increased with an intensity, which was never seen before.  

Just when working mothers were learning to balance their work along with family responsibilities during the lockdown, the country has officially opened. Now many are faced with the situation of going back to their offices, amidst a pandemic that is still raging. This scenario is quite scary because after all, even if the restrictions are lifted, the number of cases is multiplying every day. How can you be sure of your safety? Going back to office will undoubtedly involve interactions with different people. While your employers will follow all the necessary precautions laid down by the Government like thermal scanning and proper sanitization of the workplace, it is important to remember that your office will not be the same once you rejoin. You will have to follow certain precautions to stay safe. You must think twice about doing activities that you took for granted before Covid.

While people already know about the need for safety, below are some guidelines for mothers who are stepping out and have rejoined office.

On the way to work
Remember precautions need to be taken the moment you step out of your house and not just when you reach your workplace. 

Cover your face with a mask and do not take it off at any point. Carry a ziplock to put the mask in if you have to remove it for some reason. Mask can be used for not more than 4 hours, so it is important to have a couple of masks handy.

Carry a hand sanitiser and tissues in your bag. It is also a great idea to wear gloves and face shields.

Try to go to your workplace alone, do not share vehicles with co-workers especially two-wheelers. If you are hiring a cab, make sure to wipe the door handle or apply hand sanitiser after touching it.

Do not stop to buy something unless it is essential. If you do stop somewhere, make sure to stay at least six-feet-away from people.

Entering the workplace: 
Since the workplace would have changed drastically as there are new safety protocols in place that needs your attention. One must be mindful on all the important aspects of safety and hygiene, which must be the new way of your life and cannot be taken for granted any longer. Meeting co workers after a long gap is a good feeling at the same time one must be cautious while interacting with colleagues, or stepping out for meetings etc. Be extra careful while using common touchpoints like elevator buttons, door handles etc. Try to avoid them as much as possible. If you cannot, then make sure to sanitise your hands after use.
After reaching your office immediately head to the washroom and wash your hands for almost over a minute.

Do not start your work immediately after reaching your desk. Sanitise your monitor, desk, keyboard, mobile etc, anything that may have been touched by others.

While working the entire day:
Now comes the hard part, while working the entire day, keeping all precautions in mind. But as they say, prevention is better than cure, so make sure to follow these steps while working:

Goes without saying, do not remove your mask while at work.

Greet co-workers from a distance. Do not shake hands. At least six feet is essential between people.

Carry your own water bottle and lunch box. Eat separately maintaining a safe distance from others.

Remember to wash your hands 2-3 times for more than a minute at the workplace. Set a reminder on your phone if necessary.

If you feel like sneezing/ coughing, make sure to cover your mouth with an elbow or upper sleeve. If you feel like you are developing cold/cough, go home immediately.

Returning from work: 
This part is most essential as, after a day of interacting with several people and touching unknown surfaces, you will be entering your house again. To ensure the safety of your children and the rest of your family, take the following precautions:

After entering the house, immediately wash your hands for 1 minute after disposing of the hand gloves safely.

Remove your mask, gloves etc and wash them with warm water and dry them.

Stay away from family members for a while.

Change your clothes and give them for a wash as well. 

Take a shower.

Sanitise everything that you carried to work. Your purse, your phone, keys etc.

Some dietary advice:
Fluids and citrus fruits, tender coconuts, lime juice and any vitamin C enriched fruits are advisable.
One should stick to the basic food, plan a meal involving less cooking. Eat more of salad, sprouts, fruits, milk, curd etc. to keep yourself healthy.

One should work smartly, chalk a plan, share a household with other family members, involve the child in the household.
This may seem like a lot of work for one day. But we are living in troubled times and not every working mother has the good fortune of working from home during this time. At some point or another, we will all have to step out and perhaps living with Corona will be the new normal and so accept that this is a new reality. For a mother, the safety and wellbeing of her children and the rest of her family is the top priority. Following these measures will ensure the same. These guidelines will reduce your anxiety and let you resume your work in peace and ensure smooth sailing amidst the pandemic.
About the author: By Dr Deepmala, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynecologist, Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bangalore.

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