As COVID-19 has been officially declared a pandemic, we have seen overwhelming reactions from the community - ranging from nonchalant to full on panic-mode to everything in between. Schools, business, and events have been canceled, the threat of a monetary downfall is real, and unfortunately this has opened the door to struggles with obtaining basic supplies while others stockpile and exploit their neighbors. Fear and anxiety can be very overwhelming for adults and children alike, and we seem to forget that everyone reacts to stressful situations in different ways. Remember - different does not mean wrong, it simply means different. By allowing people to process their emotions and work through the situation, we allow the emotional healing process to begin and we allow our community to heal from within.
But how do we do this?
The CDC has made excellent recommendations of how to manage stress, how to take preventative measures, and how to move forward if you believe you may have been affected. We are utilizing their suggestions for our purposes.
Since there is a large majority of us now “in the home” – it is a great place to start.
- Take breaks to take care of you - Every media outlet at this time is inundated with stories, updates, breaking news, conspiracy theories and more at all hours of the day. Having this constant barrage of information can often be overwhelming at best. We are pinned between wanting the most up to date information and wanting to through our phones out the window, so taking a few simple steps to take a break from it all will do more for your well-being than you think!
Turn off the source for a bit – Turn off the TV, put down the phone, step away from the computer. Doing so for even just a few minutes can potentially change your outlook.
Take the time to unwind – Take deep breaths, do some stretches, meditate, listen to soothing music, make sure you’re giving yourself plenty of rest.
Connect with people – Even though many of us are bound to our homes, that doesn’t mean we’re cut off from all communication. Call a friend, have an honest discussion about your concerns or have a chat completely unrelated to the current situation.
- Understand how the virus spreads – Everyone may have theories about how one contracts the virus, but make sure to focus on the facts.
Person to person spread – It is believed the virus spreads mainly from person to person, between people who are in close contact with one another. The virus spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths and noses of those nearby, or possibly inhaled into the lungs.
Contact with contaminated surface/object spread – It may be possible to contract the virus by touching something that has the virus on it, then touching your own mouth, nose, eyes, etc. This is not believed to be the primary way the virus spreads.
Do you have to show symptoms to be contagious? People are thought to be most contagious when they are the most symptomatic. Some spread may be possible before people show symptoms, but this is not believed to be the primary way the virus spreads.
- Understand how to protect yourself, your family and your home – Now that we understand how the virus spreads, we can take preventative measures to ensure that we are minimizing the risk of contracting the virus ourselves. Ironically – most of the preventative measures simply include practicing good basic hygiene, but we can always kick this up a notch by being more intentional in our actions.
Clean your hands – Frequently wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place, after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, etc. If soap and water aren’t available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Be sure to rub it in until your hands feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact – Avoid close contact with anyone who is ill. If the virus is spreading in your community, put distance between yourself and others.
Be cognizant of others – If you’re sick – stay home. Period. If you suspect you may have the virus, call your doctor prior to any visit. Special arrangements may be made to limit your exposure to people if it is necessary for you to go to the office.
Cover you coughs and sneezes – Always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. Don’t pocket used tissues, discard them and immediately sanitize your hands with soap and water if available, or hand sanitizer.
Wear a facemask if you’re sick and around people – If you’re experiencing symptoms and need to be around people (e.g. sharing a vehicle or going to your doctor’s office) wear a facemask if possible. If you are not sick – a facemask is not necessary unless you are caring for someone who is sick and cannot wear a mask themselves.
Clean and disinfect – Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes phones, keyboards, light switches, countertops, doorknobs, faucets, toilets, handles, sinks, and so on. If surfaces are dirty, clean them.
Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants work. However, if you find yourself short on said items – the CDC has options you may employ that utilizes common household items here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
All the information you see here was taken directly from the CDC, so please visit their site for any further details, instructions, or questions.
We take the health and well-being of our community seriously. We are committed to protecting our clients in any way we can, as well as our employees. We are fortunate to have the technology that allows our staff to work remotely at full capacity, ensuring that the needs of our clients are met and there is no discontinuation of work while protecting our staff from the threat of spread. We understand that the times are difficult right now, but if we band together as a community to not only survive but thrive during this time, we have the potential to stop the stigma and help others by learning and sharing the facts.