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Basic Coronavirus Questions Answered

Is it safe for me to go outside?

The short answer is yes.  Even though most of the country is under stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders,  going outside for some fresh air is encouraged as long as you can maintain social distancing.  Taking a walk or going for a jog can be great for your physical and mental health.

Take a walk, jog, or bike ride in your neighborhood.  If you prefer a change of scenery, check to see which parks in your area are still open. The key to being outdoors safely is to remember to practice safe social distancing.  Keep a distance of six feet between you and everyone else, other than the members of your immediate household.

 

How do I safely do my essential errands?

There are many services that will deliver groceries and other goods to you including Amazon, PeaPod, Instacart, and Shipt.  But if you still must go to the store yourself, you should follow these safety guidelines:

It is best to shop alone.  Do not bring the entire family.

Don’t go if you have any symptoms.

Wear a mask.  Even if you do not have any symptoms, the CDC recommends that all people wear masks (including homemade masks) in areas where they may not be able to maintain social distancing of six feet.

If your store does not provide disinfecting wipes, bring your own.  Wipe down the cart or basket handle, card reader and handheld scanner if you use one.

Bring hand sanitizer and sanitize your hands often.

Avoid your eyes, nose, or mouth.

 

Should I wear a mask?

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC)  recently recommended that all people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distance measures are difficult to maintain, such as in grocery stores or drug stores. This is especially true for areas seeing significant community spread.

The CDC does not recommend surgical masks or N-95 respirators, as these are in short supply and are needed by healthcare workers and first responders. Click here for a video by the US Surgeon General on how to make your own face mask.

 

When Will This End?

Unfortunately, no one knows the answer to that.  There is also no clear consensus on whether this is seasonal and will ease when the weather gets warmer.

Most experts do believe, however, that social distancing will “flatten the curve”.  What that means is that by slowing the spread of the virus, the same number of people will eventually be infected.  However, this will occur over a longer time period. A slower infection rate means that fewer people will be overloading our health system at once – fewer people will be seeking medical care on any given day and as a result,  fewer hospitals will run out of needed medical supplies and beds.

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