Even if you have had you have had your head in the sand for a while, we are sure you have heard about the Coronavirus.
But, is the CoronaVirus something that the notary needs to obsess over?
The answer to that, if you take proper precautions, is that you can reduce the chances considerably.
Notaries Aren’t Large Corporations
As we watch large corporation after large corporation suspend events and some workplaces, it has led to people being very concerned.
But, the average notary is not a large corporation. While the corporation can withstand a few months of this, the plain fact is that the vast majority of notaries cannot.
And, if at all possible, we need to protect our businesses.
Common Sense Steps for a Notary in the CoronaVirus Outbreak
The first thing everyone should know, is to wash you hands more often that usual. Do not use antibacterial soap, just regular soap. Wash your hands and bottom of forearms in warm water for thirty seconds. That is the most effective way to kill germs.
What about Purell?
Only use Purell if you have to. If you don’t have access to properly wash your hands, then use it, but still wash your hands as soon as possible.
Editors Note: We are not throwing shade on Purell. It is much better than nothing, just not effective as washing your hands in warm water for 30 seconds.
And you need to be aware than antibacterial soaps or sanitizers kill a lot of the healthy bacteria on your skin. And that healthy bacteria helps you fight off a lot of different infections, though we cannot directly state that for the CoronaVirus.
We’ll let the scientists continue to figure it out. They are doing testing on different concentrations of sanitizer now, to find the most effective. It has to do with alcohol and chemical reaction with the skin, and what the best mixture is for this virus.
Invest in some latex or nitrile gloves. They are sold out in many places, but there are other places you might not expect to find them.
For example, Harbor Freight sells the gloves, and their shelves are still stocked. Same thing with auto parts stores like AutoZone.
It is also recommended at this time that you avoid large gatherings. That is why we are seeing sports leagues and concerts shutting down.
How About the Signing?
We know this is beating a dead horse, we say it all the time.
But, notaries instill trust in signings.
When you attend a signing, put on gloves when you get out of your vehicle. Use your own pen, and do not let anyone else use your pen. If you have to bring a couple of extra pens to be safe, do so.
Just realize once you give someone a pen, you do not want it back. Make your signers realize you take this seriously, and that will in effect, make them feel safer and instill trust.
When returning to the vehicle, take off the gloves before you open the car door. You do not want to get any virus in your vehicle. Keep a large Ziploc that you can put them in and seal it. Then throw it out at your earliest convenience.
Clean the handles of both your car doors and home doors every couple of days.
And this is not notary specific, but if you have children, bath time is right when they get home. Not after they’ve run around the house for hours.
What about masks?
It is still not recommended you need them, which is good because they have pretty much sold out. But, if you feel you need them, this is a good time to use your business tax ID and order them directly from a medical supply company.
What About the Cost of All This
Sometimes the cost of doing business is better than not doing business at all.
But, under current recommendations, the cost of gloves and pens is probably not going to put you out of business.
Also remember, any supplies you buy for your business to deal with the CoronaVirus is a business expense, not a personal one. You may want to speak to a tax professional on this.
Other CoronaVirus Tips
The most common ways to get infected moving forward may not be on your radar.
The biggest one is any shopping cart. So wash the handles before you grab it, and if you have a child in the seat, bath time when you get home.
Do not use re-usable bags at stores, unless you are going to thoroughly clean them every time you shop.
Get the single use bags and throw them out once the groceries or other shopping goodies are removed. Remember, these bags touch your shopping cart.
In public restrooms, do not use the air blower to dry your hands. They have been shown to spread germs. Partly because people don’t wash their hands well, and also because they have filters that almost never get changed.
Some models, like the newer ones you put your hand in, instead of under, are worse. They cause water droplets and germs to fly back up into your face. The same germs from the people who did not wash their hands properly and used the dryer anyway.
This means carry some paper towels with you, or Purell as a backup.
There have been a lot of people saying to elbow bump, instead of shaking hands or fist bumping. Do not do this. Many people are trained to cough into their elbow, so we don’t think you want to expose yourself to that.
How about instead we just smile at everyone and say hello.
Keep all of your handles in your house clean. Doors, cabinets, etc. Same for your vehicle, even if you are already taking precautions with gloves.
And don’t forget about things like gas pumps or other devices you may use that a lot of people touch, like the credit card machines at checkout. Really, when was the last time you think your gas station cleaned the handles?
Does this mean you will be 100% safe? No. And we do not want notaries thinking that. We all need to stay on the ball, and protect ourselves and our families.
CoronaVirus and Notaries Summed Up
Is the CoronaVirus something we should all have on our radar? Yes.
We should take every precaution to keep ourselves and our families safe.
And our signers, too.
So, if you take away one thing from this article:
- Be Alert
- Be Educated
- Take Precautions
- Be Safe
This is part one of our series on the coronavirus and the wider effects it has on our industry. It is amazing how quickly things have changed.
- Part 1 – Coronavirus and the Mobile Notary, Static Notaries Too
- Part 2 – Are Notaries Essential Business?
- Part 3 – Notaries and New York 202.7
- Part 4 – Oklahoma, COVID, the Election and Notaries
- Part 5 – The Pandemic and the Notary Swimming in the Storm