States across the nation are entering phase one of reopening their economies. However, this does not mean we should ease up on the work we have been doing for the past few weeks to contain COVID-19. Here’s why.
We have to remind ourselves where we’re at right now; we still have the disease circulating in our communities, the virus still has a high level of transmission, it can always be very deadly for people at risk. Hence, as we move to reopening, we all have a weighty responsibility not just to ourselves and our families but to one another to do the best we can to mitigate that transmission of the virus.
What we have been doing IS working. The numbers are going down, but they can go back up just as fast as they have come down if we don’t’ remain vigilant. As I have mentioned in previous posts, here are the top things each of us can do to stay safe and contain the virus.
- When you go out in public, wear a mask. The virus is spread through droplets that come out of your nose or mouth when you sneeze. The mask protects you from others who might not cover their mouth.
- Physical distance: Don’t go into crowds. This does not mean you can’t go outside or see your family and friends, but don’t go out into groups of hundreds of people. The officials are saying we should not be in crowds with more than 10-15 people. This allows everyone to have some distance and spread out. The coronavirus is thought to spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets from coughs and sneezes, which is why keeping at least 6 feet of space from one another is “absolutely essential” to prevent infection.
- If you feel sick, stay home from work if you can. Ask your doctor to get tested. If you are positive, you will have to self-quarantine for 14 days. 14 days is the number of days the virus is thought to live, so quarantining yourself for 14 days allows the virus to die.
- If you learn someone you were around has tested positive, you have to self-quarantine yourself as you might be infected.
- You have to look at everyone as positive. We know that people can be carriers of the virus and have no symptoms. As a result, you can become infected even though you have not been around anyone who you know is positive. This is why it is vital to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, clean surfaces in your house.
- Most people, if infected, will weather the virus with minimal problems. Some will not, so if you are high risk, over 65, have an autoimmune condition, are immune-compromised, or have a chronic medical disease, you need to be vigilant.
So as our country starts opening up, remain vigilant. Your life and the lives of your family and friends depend on it.