COVID-19 Safety – 3 Ways to Go Beyond the Basic Protections
More than three months after the majority of the United States went into lockdown, the nation is still reporting a record number of new Coronavirus cases each day. Whether you call this a second wave or a roaring surge of the first, it’s just semantics. The truth of the matter is clear—it’s up to us to be proactive and look out for our own safety.
But this isn’t a grim foreshadowing; it’s cautious optimism. There’s a lot you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19, even as it continues to spread in the United States. You’ve probably seen the same four or five pieces of advice everywhere you look: wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds…it’s all great advice you should follow, but there’s much more to know.
Here are some additional and significant ways you can protect you and your family from COVID-19.
1. What’s Your Emergency Plan?
A proactive plan means preparing for the worst while hoping for the best. You can do everything right—masks, social distancing, washing your hands—and you still might catch the virus. That’s a reality for which you need to prepare. Have a checklist ready if the worst should happen:
- Know the best place to get a COVID diagnostic test
- Have a go-to hospital or healthcare provider and one or two backups in case of bed availability issues
- Have your health insurance in order. If you rely on Medicare for health coverage, you can compare Medicare Advantage plans side by side to see if you should make any changes
- Be aware of places you’ve been and people you’ve connected with for contact tracers
2. Freeze the Gym Memberships
Maintaining good health during the pandemic is important (more on that below) but the world’s best workouts won’t matter if they’re taking place inside a virtual Petri dish. Gyms are considered Coronavirus hot spots for several reasons—the equipment is frequently handled by a lot of people, heavy breathing during exercise emits more water droplets in the air, and depending on the size of the gym, it packs a lot of people into a small space.
A gym can be safe under the right conditions, but as COVID continues to spread in the United States, that’s becoming less and less certain.
3. Step Up Your Personal Health
Don’t let a frozen gym membership and the quarantine be an excuse to lay on the couch eating junk food. Maintaining good health is important outside of a pandemic, but now it’s more crucial than ever. To be clear, there is no scientific evidence that any vitamin, exercise, food, or even medication can prevent or treat COVID-19—no health experts are saying that. But health issues such as obesity and high blood pressure are considered high-risk factors for COVID-19 patients.
It’s tough to overcome a fracture in your health and fitness routine, but there are some easy ways to keep in shape while the gym is on hold:
- Replace your morning and evening commutes with walks to separate your workday from life at home
- Continue to “bring a lunch to work” and plan out your meals as if they were coming to the office
- There is no shortage of home workouts on YouTube, especially since the pandemic started. Most of them don’t require any equipment
Don’t let these tips become a replacement for the COVID-19 prevention basics recommended by the CDC and other healthcare experts—always wear a mask in public, practice social distancing, and wash your hands with soap and water frequently. But in addition to those important steps, this list should take your safety and the safety of your family a little further while we all do our best to see this pandemic through.