Depending on where you are, your local economy might be re-opening. But does that mean its necessarily safe to begin re-engaging with your community?
Retailers and restaurants will be required to practice safe-distancing measures. Doctor’s offices and other institutions will too. But even still, some are being warned to stay home.
For example, my mother recently had a phone-in physical appointment with her doctor. Right before they hung up, the doctor advised her to avoid any trips to the dentist or doctor for at least six weeks following any economic reopening.
Why? For one thing, my mother is 68 years old and considered “high-risk” for COVID-19. The other was that her doctor seemed to believe a second wave was likely following the reopening and that unless it was an absolute emergency, leaving home was not a good idea.
This is likely true for a majority of the population. Heading to a local restaurant or shopping mall (to stand in line) might sound like it will offer a break from monotony, but it’s highly unlikely North America is out of the woods just yet.
Unfortunately, those hugs from your grandchildren and the coffees from the café’ might have to wait just a bit longer—or until there is a vaccine for this virus many experts expect to recur seasonally.
But if you have to go out, what should you do? Depending on where you live, there is going to be a varying set of community-specific guidelines. That said, it is likely a good idea to wear a face mask, gloves when necessary, and to maintain social distancing.
Regular hand washing/sanitizing is also of the utmost importance.
Wearing a cloth face mask can help limit the spread of COVID-10, but it is not a replacement for social distancing. It also must be applied properly to be effective. That means it should cover both your nose and mouth while being held in place with ear straps. It should also fit tightly to your face.
A few important things to remember about wearing a mask:
Once it’s on, don’t touch it. The virus could be on it.
Wash hands before taking it off.
When removing, don’t touch the mask itself. Use the ear straps.
Hold it by the ear straps until removed and discarded or put down to be washed.
Wash hands/use sanitizer after it’s off.
COVID-19 can be particularly dangerous for people with compromised immune symptoms and inflammatory conditions like type-2 diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and heart disease.