COVID 19 is still raging, and it is unclear when we will move to our new normal. Two of the unintended consequence the pandemic has brought are communication challenges and social isolation. In this week’s post, I would like to offer some ideas to help address both.
- Keep in touch with people. Call them on the phone, send a card, stopover for a visit. Many people are working very hard to avoid getting COVID-19. They are staying at home and missing family events and other things that they would normally do. We know this is the right thing to do, especially if you are at risk, but it is not easy, and we need to remember that a phone call or card could mean a lot to someone.
- Form/find your bubble. As the months go by, people realize how to be safe. Many have formed bubbles that consist of family and friends doing what they need to do to stay safe. These are the people you can meet with from time to time, as they are taking the same precautions as you are. As a result, you can meet and celebrate a birthday or just a family event. Remember to wash your hands frequently, wear a mask when not eating, and try to gather outside.
- If you have a family member or friend in the hospital, keep in touch with them and the nursing staff. Delegate one person to be the spokesperson. You should be getting daily updates on your family member from the nurse and by the doctors. COVID-19 should not impact communication, care coordination, or transition of care. If you are not getting daily communications, call and talk to the Nurse Manager on the floor, the patient is on. If that does not improve things, find out if there is a patient advocate or patient experience officer and talk to them. They are in place to hear issues that people have when someone is in the hospital. COVID-19 has put up barriers that we have never faced before, and all need to be aware of it and work to break those barriers down.
- Listen to trusted sources to get information on your City/State infection rates. My go-to source of information is Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, the World Health Organization, and leading doctors such as Dr. Fauci. These are trusted sources and will help you understand and stay safe during these challenging times.
- Watch the news in short segments. Don’t get caught up in the rhetoric or the politics of the times. If you are feeling stressed, turn the TV off and listen to music or call a friend.
- Take a walk and get some exercise!
- Take a ride and enjoy the sights in your area.
I hope these points help you to stay safe. If you have other tips, please add them to the chat.
Have a good week.