With COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations on the decline, many states are beginning the re-opening process. Businesses are gradually opening and more people are re-entering their communities. While this is an exciting time, it is important to remember that the coronavirus is still present and can become an imminent threat once again if we are not responsible. If you do not want to get infected or infect anyone else, it is important to follow certain steps that will help keep everyone safe. Read on to find out the four main tips you should follow as the coronavirus quarantine ends:
1. Wear A Mask
There has been some resistance to this aspect of re-entering society, but it is hands-down the most important. If you are going out around other people, make sure you wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. This does not need to be a medical-grade mask. Many people are improvising by wearing cloth masks or bandanas around their mouths and nose. The mask will protect you from breathing in or ingesting infected droplets from others. On the flipside, it also helps prevent you from expelling potentially infected droplets out into the air where they can be ingested by others.
2. Wash Your Hands Frequently
We know, we know. You have been washing your hands compulsively for months now, but you must continue. As you re-enter the community, you’re going to be touching a lot of surfaces that could potentially contain virus bacteria. Establishments are going above and beyond to sanitize and clean surfaces, but it is impossible to keep every surface clean 24/7. For this reason, it is up to you to make sure that you are washing your hands frequently to kill any potential bacteria. If you haven’t gotten it down by now, the proper handwashing technique involves washing your hands for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) with an antibacterial soap. Always be sure to get in between each finger and under your nails.
3. Practice Social Distancing
Now more than ever, you need to give people some space. It is recommended that you stay at least six feet away from anyone in public places. You do not know if a stranger in the store is a carrier who may pass the virus to you or vice versa. You have no idea who else other people out in the community have been around. For this reason, you need to protect both yourself and others by keeping your distance. Many businesses are helping to make social distancing possible by only allowing a small number of people into their establishments at any given time. When you are outdoors, it is up to you to make sure that you are practicing social distancing on your own by remaining six feet away from others.
4. Retreat At the First Sign Of Illness
We cannot emphasize this one enough: If you begin experiencing symptoms, stop going out immediately and get tested. You do not want to be like the hairstylist who continued working when they did not feel well and exposed 91 other people to the virus. Whether it’s a little sniffle or a light cough, you need to stay home until you can get tested and find out what is causing your symptoms. You do not want to take the chance of going out and passing the illness to someone vulnerable. Once you have been cleared by a medical professional and your symptoms are determined to not be from COVID-19, feel free to resume your life as usual (but again, responsibly.)