For the last few months, we have been in quarantine and practicing social distancing. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, much of the things we are used to doing were placed on hold and the places we frequented were closed. Businesses were shut down. Parks and recreational areas were off limits. Restaurants resorted to take-out orders only. Theaters turned off their lights indefinitely. School classrooms went completely digital.
The pandemic changed everyone's daily routines and everyday life. Both adults and children had to adapt to new lifestyles during the quarantine. We all have been patiently waiting to resume some sort of normalcy. Now that some places and businesses are reopening their doors, it is important to continue practicing some of the measures we have been practicing since the start of the pandemic. Slowly but surely, businesses and are starting to open their doors under certain regulations as are many social places and areas. While we are all eager to get back to life as we knew it before the pandemic, we are all still responsible of our own health and for being considerate toward the health of those around us.
We can do just that by doing the following:
Take your temperature before leaving home: One of the first indicators of an illness is having a high temperature. Normally, a child’s body temperature should be around 97.4° F and an adult temperature should be at around 98.6°F. If your thermometer is showing a reading higher than those temperatures, it would be wise to simply stay home. If your body temperature exceeds 100° F, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Wear a mask: Wearing a mask which effectively covers both your mouth and nose is one of the most important and responsible things to do when going out. The coronavirus can spread from person to person simply by being in close proximity to someone who is speaking, sneezing, or coughing. This is true even if the person is asymptomatic, meaning they show no apparent symptoms. Wearing a mask helps you avoid the spread of germs while protecting yourself from the germs of others. The CDC recommends wearing a mask in areas of "significant community-based transmissions," including grocery and retail stores, restaurants, and pharmacies. The CDC also recommends wearing cloth masks since they can be washed, sanitized, and then reused.
Travel with hand sanitizer: Because water and soap aren’t always available, it is wise to travel with hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer should be used after touching surfaces such as door handles and knobs, store counters and products, and especially after sneezing or couching. It is recommended to use hand sanitizer with an alcohol content above 60%. Many brands make travel-size hand sanitizer bottles, which is convenient for when we are away from home.
Practice social distancing: While many of our favorite restaurants, stores, and public places are opening after being closed for a few months, it is still important to practice social distancing while in public. Remember to stay six-feet apart from other people and other groups. When out in public, imagine a large mountain bike between yourself and others. That is what six-feet apart looks like. Try to keep from visiting relatives in person and continue doing so digitally. Avoid areas with a large amount of people in one condensed area such as restrooms or restaurants. Along with wearing a mask, this is one of the most effective ways of preventing yourself from getting sick and getting others sick as well. And, most importantly, stay home is you are feeling the slightest bit ill.
It has been a challenging few months for everyone. While many of us stayed at home for the most part, it is reasonable that people want to get out of their homes and visit places such as restaurants and stores. However, to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and helping businesses remain opened, we have to continue following the guidelines and regulations set in place by medical and civic professionals. If we all do our part, we can help our communities reopen while keeping everyone safe and healthy.