The coronavirus doesn’t give up and it seems that it’ll stay with us for some time. Its emergence has already forced a change in hygiene habits in many places. What can car users do about this, obviously in addition to developing a habit of washing their hands regularly and thoroughly?
PWe’ve prepared a handful of tips for car owners for the near future, when we can expect a
periodical increase in the number of coronavirus infections. Of course, the risk of contagion isn’t
high (at least for the time being) but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here is what every driver
can do to minimize the threat and to get used to the whole situation.
- Decontaminate the car regularly, especially the steering wheel, gear knob, buttons, door
handles, i.e. all the places touched by the driver and the passengers. A professional
alcohol-based disinfectant is best suited for this. Although it’s difficult to find now, its
availability should improve with increasing production and supply capacity in the near
future. Surely it’ll be possible to buy such supplies at most petrol stations.
- Before refuelling, put on disposable gloves, which need to be disposed of in a mixed
waste bin at the station (usually a black container). When removing the gloves, you
should pull the middle part of the glove with one hand to remove it. Then put two fingers
under the other glove and remove it, and roll in both gloves. Before throwing them away,
it’s good to wrap them in a disposable bag, just in case. This way, you are protecting the
people who handle waste. Too complicated? You can always drive to a station where an
employee will refuel your vehicle for you.
- Don’t use the restrooms at the station if you don’t have to. The virus is airborne, which
means that it can be present in a public toilet, for example on the door handles or the
toilet seat. This applies to all public toilets but remember that many people pass through
a gas station everyday, so the potential risk of infection may be higher there. What’s
more, many people don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. If you really have to
use a public toilet, wash your hands thoroughly and, when leaving, open the door
without touching the door handle or use a disposable towel. If you can’t wash your hands
at the station (e.g. because the liquid soap has not been refilled), disinfect your hands as
soon as you get in the car.
- At the time of coronavirus, be sure to have a drivers toolkit, which consists of an alcohol-
based disinfectant with an applicator (preferably spray), disposable gloves for refuelling
(not always available at the station) and a non-contact thermometer. If the infection
symptoms emerge (e.g. dry cough, fever), you’ll be able to measure your or the
passengers’ temperature immediately. Disposable wipes and bags for waste disposal
are useful, too. A protective mask is also worth buying (as soon as they’re available in
shops again). If you have a high fever or for other reasons suspect you’re infected, you
should preventively use a mask so as not to spread the virus in the case of an actual
- Is it better to pay electronically because the virus can spread on the banknotes?
Theoretically, yes, but if you are refuelling for more than 50 PLN, you usually have to
enter your PIN anyway (except for some virtual cards which let you set higher limits) and
touch the keyboard of the terminal. That’s why you should wash or disinfect your hands
after each transaction regardless of the payment method. It’s also worth remembering
that some chains of petrol stations have mobile applications that allow you to pay by
scanning the QR code on the distributor, so you don’t have to enter the building with
cash registers at all. This is a great solution as it further reduces the risk of catching the
virus by physically separating you from all the people at the station. Importantly, it even
protects you from those who are infected but aren’t showing any symptoms yet.
- When standing in a queue, keep at least 1 or 1,5-meter distance from other people. That
way, you’ll limit contact with people who can spread the virus without even knowing it.
Everyone should adhere to those rules, otherwise the preventive measures become
useless, of course.
Finally, remember to stay calm and reasonable. Each of us can do their part in the fight against
coronavirus if we just follow the basic rules of hygiene in the car, at the gas station, at work, at
home, and literally everywhere else.