Staying Safe As Society Reopens
Many people are excited to "get back to normal" as businesses reopen and regular activities resume; I am too! But there's still the need to protect ourselves against COVID-19 while coming into contact with the general public again. Here are some action steps that you can take to help stay safe and healthy as society opens back up.
The COVID-19 coronavirus is transmitted through infected people s microscopic respiratory droplets when they talk, cough, or sneeze. Face masks can provide a protective barrier, making it more difficult for these tiny droplets to get sucked into our air passages when we breathe. Wearing a mask is not convenient, but it is crucial during this time. Wear a mask when you are out and secure it snugly around both your mouth and nose to ensure it's as effective as possible.
It may even be beneficial to wear a hat and long sleeves while out in public. This keeps the droplets from falling on the skin, where people are more likely to unconsciously touch and spread the virus to their mouths or other surfaces.
Be Aware Of Contact With Commonly Touched Surfaces
One of the keys to lessening possible coronavirus exposure is to remain cognizant of what people do and do not touch in public. Research shows the COVID-19 can live up to five days on certain surfaces. So, do your best to be aware and minimize touching common surfaces such as handles, gas pumps, public transportation railings, touch screens, elevator buttons, and countertops. Instead of using your hands, try to utilize a napkin, glove or pen when you touch high-traffic surfaces.
Above all, be sure to also wash your hands or use hand sanitizer when you must touch these surfaces, and remember to refrain from touching your face or putting your fingers to your mouth.
It is extremely important that we manage our expectations in the coming months. We're in uncharted waters; life WILL BE different. There will probably be a lot of trial and error while society reopens. Signs seem to point to the reality that the COVID-19 virus is here to stay and may potentially come in waves on a yearly basis, similar to the flu virus.
However, hope is on the horizon. Oxford University, Pfizer and the president of the United States announced this past week they are highly optimistic they will have a COVID-19 vaccine available, possibly even by early fall. In recent clinical studies, therapeutic drugs like remdesivir have shown promise in treating the coronavirus as well. An effective weapon against the virus will go a long way in easing people's fears related to COVID-19.
Bottom line, do what you can to control what's in your power to control as we all grapple with this pandemic and its aftermath. Don't let your guard down and continue to make smart decisions when protecting yourself. Most importantly, stay hopeful because together people are resilient, and we're getting even closer as a world to overcoming COVID-19.