With over 140,000 confirmed cases and the death toll surpassing 5,100, the coronavirus has wreaked havoc on the entire world. The COVID-19 has canceled major sports leagues, cruises, Broadway, and a lot of our ordinary everyday life. But there is no need for panic as long as you take the necessary precautions to reduce your chances of contracting COVID-19. Here are some preventative measures and answers on how to live your life in a coronavirus world.
WHAT IS SOCIAL DISTANCING?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines “social distancing” as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance from others when possible. You can read more about social distancing, how it has been effective in prior pandemics, and more in this article.
SHOULD I LET PEOPLE INTO MY HOUSE?
You should attempt to limit anyone from entering your house that does not have an essential need to be in your home. That includes delivery people and housekeepers. The fewer amount of people you are exposed to means less of a chance to contract the coronavirus. You can have a small party at your house with close friends who don’t have any symptoms. But make sure to keep your distance from one another, thoroughly clean high-traffic areas, and no hugs, high-fives, or handshakes.
SHOULD I LEAVE MY HOUSE?
If you are able to work from home, you should utilize your flexibility. Staying home is part of social distancing, especially when you have the option to work from home. Try to limit going into public places to only necessary situations.
If you go to the grocery store, attempt to stock up on food. Instead of going grocery shopping weekly, attempt to buy enough food that will last you a few weeks or maybe even a month. Since we live in a time of incredible technological advancement, you also have the option of online shopping, which will minimize your potential exposure to anyone infected with the coronavirus or flu.
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SHOULD I TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION?
Try to avoid public transportation. The COVID-19 can live up to 72 hours on hard surfaces such as metal and plastic, which is prevalent on planes, trains and buses. You should try to not take any Lyft or Uber rides since they are people going in and out of the vehicles.
SHOULD I STOP GOING ON DATES?
Dating can be tough already, throw a scary pandemic into the mix, and it is even more daunting. In a time when elbow bumps are thought to be too close for comfort and can spread disease, kissing is a dicey prospect at this moment. It is entirely up to you, but you should avoid a high-risk person who is exposed to large crowds or recently traveled to countries where the coronavirus is widespread. If you trust the person and they show no symptoms, date away, just not in public areas where you are near large groups of people.
Despite all of the media coverage and cancelations, nine in 10 people will continue to date as normal during the COVID-19 pandemic. An OKCupid survey found that 88% of people surveyed in the world would continue dating without any reservations. In the US, 92% would continue their love life, but in COVID-19 stricken Italy, only 45% of participants said they would date as normal.
SHOULD I GO TO WEDDINGS?
The CDC is recommending that large gatherings be postponed or canceled. You’ll be sitting at tables with several people, many who you might not know, and someone will be sitting within a foot of you. This goes against the social distancing strategy. Plus, you’ll be on the dance floor with dozens of other people. Maybe you’ll have a few too many drinks that you’ll start high-fiving everyone. You may want to sit weddings out for the immediate future. This is fantastic news for people who hate weddings, you just got a get out of wedding free card.
CAN I GO TO THE GYM?
Depending on how busy your gym is, you may want to avoid going to the gym. If your gym is busy, you could be within the 6-foot guidelines set out by the CDC. Plus, you are touching hard surfaces that other people have touched and spread their germs on. If you are going to go to the gym, make sure you disinfect all areas and equipment thoroughly. You should also try to go to the gym at the least busy time possible to cut down on your proximity to others. Possibly consider using home gym equipment or talk walks outside in areas that are not populated.
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SHOULD I VISIT ELDERLY RELATIVES?
One of the biggest coronavirus outbreaks in the United States was at the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington. The nursing home in Washington state had 63 people infected with COVID-19, and 22 had died from the deadly virus.
The elderly as extremely susceptible to catching the coronavirus. In Italy, people over the age of 80 have nearly a 20% mortality rate, and 88% of the deceased in the European country are 70-years-old and older.
If your grandparents are older or have pre-existing conditions, you may just want to give them a call instead of introducing potentially lethal germs into their home. You should also try to not visit assisting-living facilities, as you could introduce new germs to the entire nursing home population.
However, if your elderly relatives are living at home, you may want to go to the grocery store to get them supplies. This way, they are not directly exposed and cut down on a possible viral infection.
CAN I GO SWIMMING IN A POOL?
As of right now, there is no evidence that the coronavirus can live in chlorinated water.
You can find all of the CDC’s data on coronavirus, including prevention and COVID-19 updates, on their website.