A few months ago, no one ever heard of social distancing. Now, it has become the new normal. Many folks are sheltering in place at home, which is the first step of social distancing but what else does it mean? What can you do and what do you need to avoid?
Here are some important tips about social distancing from the CDC:
Six feet is the new recommended distance that is at the heart of social distancing. This is the “barrier” that you should create anytime you leave your house. You can certainly go for walks but when you see folks approaching, step back so you have your six feet. You can talk to neighbors from that distance too. If someone is delivering packages, then ask them to leave them at the door and pick them out after they’ve left.
That six feet rule should also be factored in when you go grocery shopping or if you have to go into work for any reason.
Many restaurants across the country are closed for dining but they are still providing take out. The CDC recommends using drive-through, pick up or delivery options. When you bring the food home, you should empty it from the containers, toss them out and wash your hands thoroughly before eating. If you go for a pickup or a drive-thru, you should try to wear gloves and a mask for the “transfer” of the food. Just be sure to toss out the gloves when you get home and before you handle the food.
Visiting Loved Ones
Social distancing means keeping your distance and sadly includes your elderly loved ones. Actually, this should be looked at as a gift to them. You distance can keep them from picking up the virus from someone who is asymptomatic. That would be someone who carries the virus but doesn’t feel the least bit sick and they may never be sick. As hard as it might be, you need to avoid going to nursing homes, assisted living facilities or retirement communities. Even if grandma and granddad live just around the corner, you should still avoid visiting.
Setting up play dates with your kids negates the positive impact of social distancing. Again, you want to avoid as much contact with people as possible. This means staying away from parks and playgrounds. The other thing to consider is that going outside for these kinds of playdates might also increase the risk of possible injuries. That last place you want to be is in an ER with a child who has sprained their ankle.
Doctor and Dentist Visits
If you have made a regular nonessential visit to your doctor or dentist, then you should reschedule it. That also includes elective surgery. You want to free up space in the hospital until the guidelines change.