How To Stay Healthy This Summer
As places like restaurants, beaches, salons, and gyms begin to reopen this summer, there is a lot of uncertainty on how to maintain your health and well-being if you plan on visiting public spaces. Everyone is extremely eager to regain a sense of normalcy as some states ease their stay at home orders, but it is no surprise that many people feel nervous leaving their homes – especially Seniors who are at a high-risk for severe illness if they were to contract COVID-19.
If you do decide to venture out, the good news is that there are ways to protect yourself and limit exposure to the virus. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has an updated list of tips on how to stay safe as places open up during the COVID-19 pandemic where they outline the preventative measures one should take when doing anything outside from personal and social activities to running errands. These guidelines can also help you access the risk of each place that you consider going to.
If you are looking to resume daily activities as safely as possible, here’s a concise summary of the most important things to know when going to an open businesses such as…
Restaurants: Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when entering and exiting the restaurant. Make sure to wear a cloth face covering when less than 6 feet apart from other people, when going indoors, and when you are not eating. Of course, always maintain a social distance of six feet or more in any entryway, hallway, or waiting area. The restaurant will make sure that all tables are six-feet apart.
Gyms & Fitness Centers: Take extra precautions with the shared gym equipment. Wipe down machines and equipment before and after a workout with disinfecting wipes and use hand sanitizer before using any machine. Don’t shake hands, give high-fives, do elbow bumps, or touch others since maintaining a six feet distance from other people is still imperative.
Nail/Hair Salons: Use cashless payment options if they are available! Also, always wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately before receiving a service and after touching any common surfaces. Try not to wait in a lobby wither other people, but rather wait in your car and ask your salon to call you when it is your turn.
Hotels: Try your best to use options for online reservation and check-in, a mobile room key, and contactless payment. Minimize use of areas that may lead to close contact (within six feet) with other people as much as possible, and always wear a mask when in common areas such as the lobby. Be wary of elevators that are packed with people – take the stairs if you can.
Social Gatherings: Always encourage social distancing, and host your gathering outdoors if possible. It may be smart to consider keeping a list of guests who attended the event – just in case. Try not shake hands or give hugs but rather wave and verbally greet people. Provide hand sanitizer in the restrooms and remind guests to wash their hands before serving or eating food. Try to Limit the number of people handling or serving the food by using single-use items.
Across all of these publicly accessible places, the CDC recommends calling the business and making sure that all staff are wearing cloth face coverings at work and if there are physical barriers to minimize risk of transmission. The usual preventative methods apply as well: Stay home if you are feeling sick, always wear a face-covering when within six feet of others, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol, and remember to wash your hands (for at least 20 seconds) as often as possible.
Seniors: Before you go out, ask yourself these 3 questions to assess your risk:
How many people will I interact with?
Can I keep six feet of space between myself and others?
What’s the length of time that I will be interacting with people?
According to the CDC, “the more closely you interact with others and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.”
At the end of the day, the best we can do to protect ourselves and others is practice social distancing and be wary of our personal habits when leaving the house. Since there is no vaccine yet, there is no way to ensure zero risk of infection – but there are ways to prevent the spread while still maintaining a somewhat “normal” routine.
This may be the new normal for the unforeseen future, but these tips and healthy practices can guide us to reentering society safely.
For the full list of tips and guidelines by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, visit Coronavirus Disease page.