An Ohio-based nurse on the front line of the coronavirus outbreak took to TikTok to share her routine for protecting herself and her family after a day of work with sick patients, reminding people that even those in the health care industry are adhering to strict procedures outside of the hospital to limit the spread.
Jess, who has asked Yahoo Lifestyle to only use her first name for privacy concerns, has been working as a nurse for eight years, spending the majority of that time in the ICU. But as she continues to care for patients impacted by the current pandemic, she is taking proper precautions to keep herself healthy and safe. She’s even demonstrating her post-work routine for people on social media.
“Just got home after having a suspected COVID-19 patient on our unit. Commence the decontamination routine,” the text in her TikTok video reads. She then shows herself taking off her shoes “to sit in bleach water overnight,” pulling out disinfecting wipes to clean her phone, watch and keys, and finally taking off her scrubs, all while in the garage, before putting them directly into the wash.
The video, which Jess posted last Thursday, reached 2.2 million views as of Monday evening. She explains to Yahoo Lifestyle, however, that the clip only captured a portion of the extensive routine that starts as soon as she leaves the hospital and gets into her car.
“I sit on a bath towel, place a bath towel on the floor for my shoes, and upon getting out of my car remove both bath towels and then wipe down the surfaces with a sanitizing spray,” she says. “I also wipe down my steering wheel, cup holders, door handles and anything else I may have come in contact with.”
After taking care of her shoes, clothes and on-hand belongings in the garage, Jess finally goes into her house and takes a shower. From there, she says that she does her “daily home wipe down,” which includes “all doorknobs, all light switches, remotes, toilet handles, fridge, microwave and sinks.”
Each step, she explains, is imperative in making sure that she doesn’t bring the virus home or spread it to other patients. Now, with the viral video, she hopes that others may be encouraged to do their part as well.
“I just wanted the general public to understand that though we are on the front lines of this pandemic, we are not in any way careless in our efforts to prevent the spread. We are all taking the restrictions put upon us very seriously [and] are monitoring our own symptoms on a daily basis,” she says. “Aside from going to work, getting food or putting gas in our cars, we are adhering firmly to the stay-home mandate.”
Fellow health care workers commented on Jess’s TikTok video to point out the similarities in their own routines.
“X-ray tech here, and I have a VERY similar routine post-shift! Stay safe!” one person wrote.
Another commented, “My dad’s an ER doctor, he does the same.”
Others that replied to Jess’s video offered their appreciation for her and nurses everywhere doing the same.
“Just want to take a moment to thank you for your hard work and dedication,” someone said. Another wrote, “God bless you.”
“Nursing is, and always has been, a relatively thankless job. None of us go into it for the money or the thanks. We do it because the act of caring for others feeds our soul in a way that nothing else does,” Jess says. “We just want to come through this with as few losses as possible.”
For the latest news on the evolving coronavirus outbreak, follow along here. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC and WHO’s resource guides.
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