Here are a few commonsense tips to help you navigate the weeks ahead during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should always check the website for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to remain up to date with federal procedures currently in place. Things can change from one day to the next, so pay attention to CDC news as well as television news reports. Another website to check out is here at WebMD online.
Your safety is not guaranteed by following these tips, but they will give you a fighting chance in remaining healthy. Always follow the orders given by your governor, first responders, the police department, and the National Guard should they be called into your city.
Stay home and do not socialize with people who do not live at home with you. If you feel the need to socialize with friends, then a phone call or video chat can help alleviate that need for connection. Use the Zoom application which you can download to your smartphone, or you can access it on your computer once you sign up for a free account. The Zoom app is highly rated and you can also choose a background for your phone/video call, should your home be messy that day.
If you must go outside for some fresh air and you have a backyard or a porch, add a little exercise regime to keep yourself active. Take in as much sun as possible to help your immune system, too. This might be a perfect time to get your garden going. Check out seed catalogs and see if you can get in some flower and vegetable seeds to get started.
Walk your dog a usual but maintain at least a six-foot distance from any other person on your street. Avoid touching any outdoor fixtures you might come across and sanitize your hands when you return home.
Keep the inside of your vehicle sanitized, such as the door handles (inside and outside), the steering wheel, radio knobs, and other areas where your hands regularly touch while driving. Create a stash of plastic gloves that you can keep handy in your vehicle. Wear these while accessing the gas nozzle at a gas station.
When done, pull off the gloves from the inside out and stash them in a safe place (inside a plastic shopping bag) where you will later wash them after getting home. Or use hand sanitizer on them before taking them off.
Used plastic grocery bags also work well in a pinch but should be washed and dried before putting them in the vehicle for further use. You may have had contaminated produce in your bags, so you must clean the bags before using them for other purposes, such as make-shift gloves.
Add in a few scarves that you can use to cover your nose and mouth while shopping.
Wear a pair of your plastic gloves while grocery shopping. You never know if someone who unloaded or stocked products in the store may unknowingly have COVID-19. Never touch your face at any time while shopping or even when unloading your groceries back at your home. A face scarf can help you avoid touching your face. Once you get home, put it in the wash.
Be sure to wash any produce thoroughly before putting them up. Wipe down the outside of boxed items, packaged meats and fish, milk jugs, butter containers, and any other items that could carry the virus. Grocery stores can only do so much while under pressure to get the shelves stocked for customers. You must do the rest to keep yourself and your family safe. Here is a good article from Healthline.com outlining how to clean your groceries.
Maintain a six-foot distance in the store, even while in line. While you are not likely to need a mask (for now), avoid anyone who sneezes in your direction. Keep your gloves on until you get home and have washed any grocery items that needed them.
Remember you will need to clean those vehicle door handles again and anywhere else you touched while driving. You can never be too careful.
If you are a senior citizen, call your favorite store to find out what day and hour has been set aside for only seniors to do their shopping. You may have to get up early to go shopping but it will be well worth your time to go at that time. Most deliveries occur early in the morning, so you may have a better chance to find what you need.
Look into home grocery deliveries to see if this would be a better option than facing people in a store, especially if you are considered high-risk. If you get deliveries, wear your gloves when accepting packages. Then wipe down or wash everything that others would have touched. If you must sign for anything, then do so while wearing your gloves. This protects both you and your delivery person. Most delivery services (FedEx, UPS, etc.) today will not request you to sign anything for safety reasons.
If you think your immune system is not up to what it should be, call your doctor and ask what you can take to help boost your health levels. Do your own research to see what is available and present your list to the doctor. Only your doctor should advise you what you can take, based on your medical records and any prescription drugs you may be on right now.
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