I'm a Doctor and Here's What's Safe to Do During COVID
The fatigue that is associated with living through a pandemic is real and has been worsening as this seems to be never-ending. Every day the news gives guidance of even more events and gatherings that are off-limits or should be minimized while COVID-19 is yet to be controlled. There are some things, however, that can be done safely during the pandemic. These are the things I have done since the emergence of COVID-19 in our community. Read on, and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had Coronavirus.
Wear a Mask
Although there is a debate about the mask mandates that are being instituted in municipalities, the efficacy is well established. This is not just for asymptomatic patients, but even for patients with COVID. There is a report of a pair of hairdressers in Missouri that were COVID-19 positive but did not transmit the virus to their clients. Even with at least 15 minutes of contact, none of the 139 clients contracted COVID. The issue with masks is more the fastidiousness with which a person wears the mask. It must cover the nose and mouth completely and be worn constantly when in close contact with others. Wearing a mask allows for the maintenance of many of the day to day activities that we yearn to return to.
With the winter looming, outdoor actives are becoming a bit more difficult. When able to, however, getting outside has been very beneficial. Being able to either run or walk with the family is a great way to combat the cabin fever that inevitably occurs with the lockdown orders. As long as you are not partaking in these events with many different people in large groups, the risk is low enough that you can do many of these activities without a mask.
Restaurants have received large amounts of negative press throughout this pandemic with discussions of increased transmission rates of COVID-19. This is mostly due to those restaurants that do not have outdoor seating and have a density of customers in a small interior space. Even at the height of the pandemic, however, takeout has been a great way to keep local businesses continuing even if the risk of dining in a restaurant has been too great. Most restaurants have adapted quickly allowing for contact-free means for patrons to view the menu, or even pay.
There are obvious risks associated with interacting with anyone during the pandemic, which may make dining at a restaurant too high risk for some people. There are ways, however, that many restaurants have worked to minimize the risk to their patrons. If a restaurant has been able to have table service outside with a sufficient amount of distance between the tables, this has been an option for many customers. There is still a risk, of course, especially in areas of the restaurant that are still frequented by multiple people in small areas such as the bathroom or the bar. Since the risk continues to be present in some areas of the restaurant, wearing a mask could certainly help minimize the likelihood of transmission. Although not a completely risk-free endeavor, there are ways to minimize your risk while still being able to keep restaurants in business.
One of the few businesses that have not closed at any point, grocery stores have been a great model of how to continue to function amidst a pandemic. Although initially there was guidance on how to walk through the market, and which door through which to enter and exit, the reality is the mask mandates were the most effective. Early adoption of mandatory mask-wearing has allowed for customers to continue to purchase the necessary food items. Grocery stores have also added new ways to combat the large crowds within their stores. Most stores have instituted hours specifically for the elderly and higher risk populations, as well as increasing the curbside or home delivery options.
The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed everyone's day to day life. From not being able to have large gatherings to not being able to frequent the neighborhood restaurant, or even go to the office, life looks very different in 2020. There are some things that you can do that can remind you of pre-Covid life and still minimize the risk of transmission of COVID-19. And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.