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Opening our windows

(118 Posts)
MawBe Mon 23-Nov-20 10:21:28

A good article in the DT this morning about something I imagine we all grew up with - the benefit of opening windows. Apologies for a longish cut and paste but I hope it is worth it.

“While we await, with guarded optimism, the much-heralded Covid-19 vaccine, simpler (and much cheaper) protective measures should not be neglected. Hence the concern expressed by Professor Edward Lynch in this paper last week after noting the windows were closed in 78 out of the 80 buses he recently observed passing Waterloo Station. “Good ventilation is extremely important,” he writes, a view echoed in an article in the Journal of Hospital Infection describing the role of fresh air in combating infectious illnesses prior to the discovery of antibiotics.

Fresh air is lethal to most viruses... and loses its potency when outdoor air is enclosed
The twin goals of promoting recovery while also preventing cross-infection and reinfection were addressed, writes Dr Richard Hobday, by nursing patients next to an open window or placing them in their beds outside. He cites too the experience of the Camp Brooks Open Air Hospital near Boston, built at short notice at the height of the devastating 1918-19 Spanish flu pandemic. In good weather, patients spent virtually all their time outdoors, kept warm in their beds at night by hot water bottles and extra blankets. The survival rate was almost twice that of conventional hospitals while just two out of the 150 staff contracted the highly contagious virus.

Subsequently, Dr Hobday reports that scientists in the Sixties identified an “open-air factor” in fresh air that is specifically lethal to most bacteria and viruses, and which loses its potency when outdoor air is enclosed. So, open those windows – and for those lucky enough to have a garden, a firepit – sales of which are booming – should hopefully see them through the winter months unscathed.”

Rosalyn69 Mon 23-Nov-20 10:28:48

I’m a window opener despite my husband trying to close them. ?

Calendargirl Mon 23-Nov-20 10:36:45

Always open bathroom and bedroom windows during the day. Close them as late afternoon comes.

DIL hardly ever opens their windows. I tried to mention this once, tactfully, I hope. She said “Oh yes, I do open them!”

Well, they are never open if I walk past their house, we live not far away, but I never mentioned it again, trying not to be an interfering MIL, but it seems such a simple thing to do.

To be fair, they live on a busy road, and I expect they get much more noise and dust with open windows than we do.

GrannyGravy13 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:09:13

I have always been a window open girl, whatever the weather, bedrooms, bathrooms even the seldom used dining room. Car window open or top down as opposed to air conditioning.

We have a stable door in our kitchen/diner and unless the wind and rain are coming in the top half is open.

Cannot abide that stuffy shut in feeling, if it’s cooler I put on a cardigan.

GrannySomerset Mon 23-Nov-20 11:15:35

I am a window opener (ex-nurse mother trained me well) whereas DH regards all moving air as a draught. Have always assumed it to be a northerner/southerner thing as he follows me round the house shutting them! Definitely a believer in fresh air and abhor devices to make rooms smell nice in lieu of opening the windows. It has to be bitter before I sleep without a window open, however little.

tanith Mon 23-Nov-20 11:31:46

I’m also a window open person DH wasn’t and likewise would go round shutting the ones that I’d opened. Bathroom window is open most of the day and bedroom window rarely shut. I find it a pain to have to go round shutting them every day when I go out to walk but I hate a stuffy house hence my heating thermostat is down low too.
I admit being nosy and I notice most of my neighbours rarely open windows once Autumn comes do their house smell stale I wonder.

MayBee70 Mon 23-Nov-20 11:34:40

As with most things pandemic DrJohn Campbell has been talking about the need for ventilation for months. One of the first things countries that have been successful in controlling the virus did was turn off heating systems and open windows. He has been saying ‘hands, face space ventilate’ for ages now. He is often interviewed on news channels in other countries but for some reason, apart from his u tube followers has been largely ignored in this country.

GagaJo Mon 23-Nov-20 11:40:40

I teach with all the classroom windows open. Most students now remember to come to my lessons with a coat. Yes, it's uncomfortable at times, but it beats having Covid.

ginny Mon 23-Nov-20 11:44:36

Totally agree with the article. We have windows open to some degree all day and bedroom windows open at night.
Apart from the pandemic a good airing stops the house becoming damp.

MamaCaz Mon 23-Nov-20 11:45:37

I get the point about the buses, at the moment, when the benefits of lowering covid infection inside the bus probably outweigh the pollution risk for most passengers.

However, if I lived in an area with heavy traffic, I wouldn't be opening my house windows regularly, certainly not at times of day when the air pollution is at its highest!

FlexibleFriend Mon 23-Nov-20 11:48:51

I've always had my windows open 24/7 so hardly going to change now.

Ellianne Mon 23-Nov-20 11:55:00

Windows always open here, the cats use that method to come in and out. The dog likes the garden doors left open too!
Good on you GagaJo windows open in classrooms. I've been saying this all along, school kids dont feel the cold (even though they like to moan!)

Franbern Mon 23-Nov-20 11:57:24

Whereas it is less likely to see open windows in November, I was very astonished at my first summer in my flat when I noticed that hardly any of the people with south facing balconies ever seemed to open their patio doors onto those balconies, Also few other windows were ever opened.
Mine was open day and night through the summer months. Lovely feeling of security in a flat being able to leave so many windows open.
I also feel that ventilation is always healthy, provided no actual draught involved. So, except for rainy days my bedroom window is opened as soon as I am dressed and stays open until I get ready for bed.

Nanof3 Mon 23-Nov-20 12:05:32

We have lived next door to the same neighbours for 40 years and I have never seen any of their windows open, they always have at least 2 dogs and I have to hold my breath if I go round there.
They probably think we are strange as our windows are open most of the time, especially bathroom and bedrooms.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Mon 23-Nov-20 12:08:26

My bathroom and main back bedroom windows are on a 'night latch' which is partly open almost all the time unless the weather turns very stormy. I feel that at least a little fresh air is beneficial. I never open the kitchen window as it's at the front (fairly main road with the odd bus) and I can't reach it without standing on a box but use the air circulating thingymagig above the cooker when it's in use.

As for the lounge I've only got patio doors so I don't open them unless it's really warm. As a widow it's one of the small compensations that I can please myself.

Alexa Mon 23-Nov-20 12:29:29

I open windows and my son closes them again with regard to my heating bill. In the absence of any other evidence I'd know if he had been here by all upstairs doors and windows shut.

Elusivebutterfly Mon 23-Nov-20 12:40:28

I don't understand why people keep windows shut on buses. I've always opened them if possible due to travel sickness. I've had arguments about this.

I don't drive so have to use buses sometimes and with Covid am nervous using them. It's a small space with several people on and all windows should be open. Maybe the driver/transport staff could open all windows before leaving the depot. Whilst passengers don't open windows, a lot of people would leave them if already open.

Jaxjacky Mon 23-Nov-20 12:44:51

I’m a chilly mortal (Raynaud) but the bedroom window is always open. With workman redoing kitchen, the patio door is open all day.

felice Mon 23-Nov-20 12:59:36

Bedroom window is always open, but I have a large garden room the width of the house fronting it. It is only heated if there is frost. The dog and the cats go in and out all the time.
DGS used to like the bedroom window closed but I notice this year he prefers it open.

Luckygirl Mon 23-Nov-20 13:05:19

I have had workmen in twice in the last week and the poor souls looked freezing as I opened the windows and doors where they were working! But they understood the reasons.

silverlining48 Mon 23-Nov-20 13:41:06

I think in Germany opening windows is more common than here. Because of covid they open all windows for 15 minutes two or three times a day for a blow through. Sensible but brrrrr.

TwiceAsNice Mon 23-Nov-20 13:47:13

All windows own all day on spring and summer. Open part of the day now mad in the winter closed again when it starts getting chilly in late afternoon .

GagaJo Mon 23-Nov-20 14:57:06

Ellianne, one student said to me, 'Miss, I can't write. I can't feel my fingers.' It wasn't even a really cold day.

Fingerless gloves. That's the answer.

I sleep with the bedroom wide wide open, year round, and always have. Can't beat fresh air.

BlueBelle Mon 23-Nov-20 15:02:55

If like most people you have central heating aren’t you just heating the streets?
I don’t have central heating so my house is never over heated bedroom window gets opened in the morning shut later in the day
My granddaughter has an hours bus ride to school and an hour back and with all the bus windows open has two hours of a cold old journey They have the windows open in the school sit they ll probably all go down with freezingitis ?

ElaineI Mon 23-Nov-20 15:13:42

I think the schools are meant to have windows open just now. DD1 has and she teaches P1. Children are allowed coats on. We have windows open most of day and on latch at night unless it is blowing a force 10 gale! Like a freshly aired house.