There is no doubt that this COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented experience for all of us
– at many levels.
If you’re like me, your anxiety is fed by the unknown and unanswered questions.
If you have pre-existing medical problems, are in a high-risk age group, live in an area that is asked to shelter in place or to stay home – stay safe, or any other type of self-quarantine – then, I want to help you out.
I have compiled a list of the top 10 critical things you want to avoid during this COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Practice Social Distancing.
While we are all humans and enjoy human contact, now is more about our health and the well-being of those we love.
I get it, it’s boring. You miss your family and friends. However, while avoiding physical contact with your loved ones, I am not suggesting that you emotionally or socially disconnect from them.
Consider using video chat on your computer or smartphone. Call family and friends more often. Set up group texts and share funny tidbits during the day. Use emails and social media more – and, if you are one of those that have avoided all the social networks, now may be the time to try it.
Maintaining this virtual contact will significantly reduce stress levels.
2. Avoid Going To The Stores.
You can’t imagine how many people I have spoken with that says they are self-quarantined at home, avoiding everyone – but then proceed to tell me that they only ran to a restaurant to pick up food or the grocery store to buy this or that.
While Amazon is doing an amazing job delivering all kinds of things you may have never tried buying online until now, however, there is another key service that I share with everyone I know.
This new favorite of mine is called InstaCart.com. I go online or use their app to create my shopping list. They pick up everything you can imagine from a variety of stories – from groceries to prescriptions to personal items and just about anything else you can imagine. Their shopper goes and buys everything and delivers it to me one the day and time I select.
To respect my lack of social interaction, they will even let me know when they arrive and leave it on my doorstep. They have made it so, so convenient, I have a feeling they will be part of my life after we get through all this!
3. Follow Stay-At-Home Orders
If you live in a state where stay-at-home orders have been issued, try your best to leave the house only when absolutely necessary.
For most states, this means leaving the house only for food, medical care, or essential work.
4. Remember to Disinfect at Home.
Do not just wipe down surfaces once a week, clean and disinfect all surfaces frequently, as well as commonly used items in the house – ranging from doorknobs to the tv remotes to your computer and cell phones.
5. Try Not to Share Personal Items.
Do not share dishes, towels, eating utensils, bedding items, even your favorite beverage or other personal items with your loved ones at home.
6. Avoid Entertaining Visitors.
Please, please, please avoid having social visits from friends and family, as well as any other assistance you can minimize, such as housekeepers, dog walkers, etc.
It sounds harsh, however, every person that enters your home may have been in contact with someone who has been infected.
Since signs of the virus may not show for a period of time, they still can spread it – and all your efforts go down the drain.
Even worse, that brief visit or exposure may not only put you at risk – but any loved ones you come in contact with, for the few weeks following.
7. Avoid Assuming Kids Understand.
Kids like routine. All of these changes, being quarantined, not seeing their teacher or friends, seeing the news, hearing conversations of adults all can cause a lot of discomfort for children.
Consider sharing basic information about illnesses and how quarantines can help keep them safe. Make sure they understand that being quarantined does not mean they are exposed or that there is a presence of an infection. Calmly explain to them the situation and the reason for staying at home. Educate them on the precautions to take during that time.
8. Cover Up When You Cough and Sneeze.
When coughing or sneezing, even when home – even when it’s just from allergies, cover with your bent arm, if no tissue is available.
Throw away used tissues and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, applying the 20 second rule.
9. Avoid Handling Food Without Washing.
Always, always, always wash your hands before preparing or eating food.
Personally, I go a step further and use a hand-sanitizer before preparing food and before enjoying it.
10. Don’t Leave Your Health to Chance.
Do not rely on others for knowledge of how to best take care of yourself or your loved ones. Do your homework.
Become aware of what steps need to be taken to best protect you and your family, what you should stock up on and when to contact health professionals. Ask your physician for their protocols, if you determine you have symptoms of the virus.
You do not want to show up unexpectedly and endanger others, you may alternatively be instructed to head to an appropriate medical facility or testing site set up in specialized zones for COVID-19 pandemic-related symptoms.
11. Avoid Self-Medicating.
One mistake people make when quarantined is trying to control or get rid of the first symptoms by self-medicating.
Do not self-medicate or increase dosages if you are already under specific medication. Self-medication or the risk of overdosing will not help fight or prevent suspected infections. Consult a physician.
12. Avoid Infecting Others.
It is safer to refrain from going outside for whatsoever reason while in quarantine – that means even if you are feeling healthy.
Stay at home, especially if you are showing any symptoms, been around anyone showing symptoms or traveled to any of the hot spots or areas of concern.
The goal is to be extremely cautious and limit the potential of spreading the virus.
Above All, Stay Safe and Think Smart!
While these steps may seem overwhelming, however, we are in uncharted waters. We are in a time none of us have ever experienced.
We must work and get through this together.
So, please, after going to the washroom, touching mail or packages, seeing anyone from outside your house, touching a common area or even just throughout the day – wash your hands thoroughly using soap and warm water for 20, follow with a hand sanitizer and avoid touching your face, mouth, or nose.
And, please share these COVID-19 tips with those you love!
Thanks for reading!