10. How Can People with Risk Factors Stay Healthy?
If you have any of these risk factors, don’t be dismayed — be informed. Arming yourself with knowledge and taking the right precautions can help get you the best outcomes. As of this moment, there is no vaccine available for the coronavirus. This means that everyone is susceptible to the disease. To prevent infection, you can take steps to reduce your risks for exposure.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides detailed guidelines to help keep the risk of infection low:
9. Stay Away From Large Gatherings
Although it’s tempting to see family, friends, and church groups, the risk for coronavirus infection grows exponentially in crowds — especially indoors and unmasked. Because the COVID can spread through droplets from the mouth and nose, it’s crucial to wear masks. Even breathing and speaking can expel these droplets.
8. Remain More Than 6 Feet Away From Others
COVID droplets from you, or other people, can travel for a distance of about 6 feet. Staying more than 6 feet away from people who are not part of your household can help mitigate your risk of infection.
7. Stay Home, If Possible
Remaining at home can reduce your chances of exposure to the virus. If you can work remotely, do so. Ask someone else in your household to run your errands or groceries, or have food delivered to your home. Although it may seem extreme, these are extreme times. Keeping yourself and others safe is the priority.
6. Wash Your Hands Often With Soap and Water, or Use an Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
The coronavirus remains on non-porous surfaces for long periods. These surfaces include plastic, wood, and metal — most of the things people touch often. However, the virus needs to enter the body somehow, like the mouth, nose, or eyes. Removing bacteria and viruses from hands can keep COVID-19 from infecting the body.
5. In Public Areas, Use a Mask That Sufficiently Keeps Small Particles Out
A mask that you can see through, like lace or mesh netting, will not prevent you from getting or spreading the coronavirus. Wearing a suitable mask helps keep viruses in the air out of your nose and mouth.
4. Try Not to Touch Your Eyes, Nose, or Mouth
Avoiding touching our faces is hard, especially if wiping your eyes or rubbing your nose is a habit. However, the coronavirus’s main openings to get into the body are on our faces. And, as stated previously, the virus could potentially be on our hands. Getting into the habit of keeping hands away from our faces can reduce the chances of infection.
In your home, surfaces like the light switches, handles, doorknobs, and electronics can collect germs. Your phone may collect germs throughout the day, even if you wash your hands.
3. Stay on Top of Your Vaccinations
Although current vaccinations aren’t for COVID-19, they can prevent you from getting other infections that can lower your immunity. As stated before, a weakened immune system can make you susceptible to COVID.
Use Telehealth Services When Possible
Because of the pandemic, more doctors are open to conducting telehealth services. Through telehealth, you can still make an appointment to see your doctor. Rather than meeting in person, however, it’s done over video chat or the telephone. Using telehealth keeps you from being unnecessarily exposed to the coronavirus. You can see your doctor from the comfort of your own home.
2. Stay in Touch With Your Physician
Although it might seem easier to pretend that you’re not in a higher risk bracket, resist that instinct. Keep your appointments with your doctor, and take your medications as prescribed. Let your doctor know if you have any concerns or experience any changes.
1. Don’t Worry. Be Happy
Yes, you should worry — or be wary. But not enough to compromise your mental health. A healthy dose of rationality, a sprinkle of optimism, and a liberal dose of precaution will help keep you safe. There is still a life to live. Spending it wiping down every surface we encounter and ignoring other people is not healthy.
How can you manage your coronavirus risk and still live life? Be creative and know that the pandemic is temporary. The coronavirus may make the old way of doing things we enjoy dangerous for a while, but it’s up to us to find new ways of being happy. You can achieve social interactions online or even outdoors, with a mask and 6 feet away. Enjoy what you can. Taking care of both your mental and physical health will get you through the next year.