These times are exceptionally challenging for businesses and employees alike. Drivers, like everyone, are concerned about their health during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially ones delivering essential goods and services.
In order to persevere through this pandemic, prioritizing the health of your employees alongside revenues is crucial. To that end, it’s important for everyone in your company to be appropriately informed about the COVID-19 virus, how it spreads, and why it’s dangerous.
Unfortunately, the early spread of COVID-19 in the US coincided with the lack of common understanding about it. Chief among the torrent of misinformation is the claim that COVID-19 is flu-like in nature, both in its symptoms and mortality rate. However, this is completely false. COVID-19 belongs to a completely different family of viruses known as coronaviruses, which include MERS and SARS. While it does share some symptoms with the seasonal flu, the deadliest effects of COVID-19 come from how it impacts the human body.
One of the primary targets of COVID-19 is the lungs, which are hosts to billions of epithelial cells that protect lung function. These cells are easy prey for the virus, as they allow it to multiply within the lungs and turn any infected individual into a contagion machine. The immune system responds by attacking the virus, causing inflammation and fever. But this particular virus can manipulate an immune system into overexerting or destroying its resources. These responses are known as cytokine storms.
If a patient experiences a cytokine storm, then they are at a significant risk of bacterial pneumonia - on top of dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath. When combined with any additional factors, such as old age, weak immune systems, or chronic diseases, the virus becomes deadly.
Not only is COVID-19 incredibly effective at self-sabotaging the human body, but it’s inherently skilled at spreading and sticking to surfaces. Once the virus has taken up residence in a person’s lungs, they can spread it with every cough or sneeze. What we’ve only begun to learn in the past few weeks is how long the virus can live on surfaces, such as cardboard, plastic, and stainless steel.
One bit of good news is that COVID-19 particles are surrounded by a membrane that can be destroyed by soap and hand sanitizer. This puts a crucial tool for fighting the virus in the hand of everyone susceptible to it, but only if you wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.
You might be thinking, “So what can we do to fight this and protect our drivers?” As government officials continue to promote social distancing and contemplate shelter in place orders, how can your fleet best function when you have no other choice? The best way to start is by establishing an updated sanitation policy for your vehicles.
This includes, and is not limited to:
- Limiting drivers to assigned vehicles
- Disinfecting vehicle interiors after every shift or day
- Equipping drivers with disinfectant for hard surface wipe downs throughout the day
- Enforcing strict hygiene standards, including routine hand washing, covering mouth to cough or sneeze, and properly disposing of used tissues
- Supporting employees who need to call out of work due to the combination of a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath
Again, these times are extraordinarily difficult, and it’s hard to predict what’s going to happen in the short to medium-term. But ultimately, this too shall pass. How well it goes solely depends on the quality of your response, just like all of us. Your company is only as strong as your least informed employee.
If you’re looking for a flexible disinfection solution for your fleet, then we’re happy to get to work for the health of your drivers. In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, we’ve expanded our disinfection options for fleets to help defend against the virus. They are designed to eliminate 99.999% of bacteria and viruses, including COVID-19, on hard and soft surfaces alike, with continued protection from 7 days to 3 months.
Click below to learn more about protecting your fleet with Spiffy!