We live in a unique time — the entire world is impacted by a pandemic. It’s hard to sort through all the information people are sharing to separate fact from fiction. Yes, we live in crazy times. I’m no expert, but I’m happy to share what I’ve been doing to stay safe.
Be properly informed:
People are sharing an immense amount information on social media. But it’s hard to separate fact from fiction. Even “reputable” news sources conflict with each other (and sometimes with themselves). Here are some of the sources I’ve found to be most useful:
- WorldOMeters CoronovirusÂ — this site seems to be the most up to date aggregator of data. If you are interested in statistics, this is the site for you.
- World Health Organization Coronavirus – This international organization provides data, prevention tips and other useful information.
- CDC Coronavirus Â — The US Center for Disease Control site which include info on what to do if you’re sick, prevention tips, travel info and other resources.
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Map
The symptoms tend to vary and are often confused with the flu, cold or allergies. I found the below table from Business Insder to be helpful. But always consult your doctor with any health related questions:
Wash Your Hands:
Wash your hands before you eat or touch anything above your neck. Use soap and hot water and do it for 20 seconds. That’s the most important thing you can do to prevent getting the virus. To prevent spreading it, cough and sneeze only into your sleeve or a tissue.
Keep your Distance:
We’re all now familiar with the term “Social Distancing” so stay away from people that you’re not in lockdown with. This is the hardest thing for most of us to do as many of us crave human contact. But in this situation, you almost have to assume everyone you see is infected.
You can have conversations with your neighbors but stay at least six feet apart (it’s not a bad idea to bump it up to eight or ten feet).Â If you go shopping, avoid places that are busy and keep your distance from other shoppers.
To mask or not to mask:
I see a lot of arguing back and forth on this. Some feel that masks are unnecessary, used incorrectly and should be saved only for hospital workers. Others feel masks prevent you from spreading it to others and the jury is out on whether it helps you. Â My thought is that wearing a mask certainly won’t hurt. At the very least, you won’t spread anything. Especially considering that many people are out and about without realizing that they are infected.
I only leave my house for my daily walk and the occasional food shopping trip. Last night, I did what I hope is my last trip for a few weeks. Here’s some of the things I did:
- I write my list on paper before I leave home. This way I don’t need to keep touching my phone. I’ll also group things together that are typically near each other to minimize my time in the store. I toss out the paper in the trash when I leave the store.
- When I leave my car, I pull out the credit card that I plan to use and put it in a pocket all by itself. After I’m done, I wipe it down with a Clorox wipe.
- I wear gloves when I shop and I wipe them down with a Clorox wipe when I’m done. If you use disposable gloves, you can toss them when you’re done. Be sure not to litter — put them in a proper trash receptacle.
- In the store, I avoid aisles with people. Some stores have wide aisles so you can keep your distance. I also maintain my distance when asking the store’s employees questions.
- I avoid anything that is baked in the store such as breads, muffins and other baked goods. The deli is another area I skip in favor of prepacked cold cuts.
- I designate an area of my vehicle (trunk, back seat) to put what I buy and don’t keep anything up front with me.
- When I get home I remove all the bags and put them by my front door. Canned goods and non-perishables that I don’t need right away go to a special area of my garage where they’ll sit for 3 or 4 days. Everything else gets wiped down with a Clorox wipe with a few exceptions. Fruit is sprayed with vinegar and washed.
- All shopping bags are put in the recycle bin as well as any unnecessary packaging.
Of course, if you can shop online or do curbside pickup, it’s easier. You may pay a premium but you’re lowering your risk.
Keep a positive attitude:
It’s important to stay positive during difficult times. I know it’s hard to keep a positive mind with all the complaining you see on social media. People are mad at their leaders, their neighbors and just stressed in general about the disease. And of course, the news itself is very troubling at times. I try to limit my exposure to the negativity by just getting my info from the above sources and skipping over the complaints and frustrations. This will eventually pass — we just need to get through the next month or so. Read a book, watch something that makes you laugh, joke around but most importantly, stay safe.
If there’s anything you’d like to add, please add it to the comments below.
James Feudo owns the Boston Web Design Agency JVF Solutions and loves blogging about personal development and communication in his spare time.
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