“Stay Safe” During the Pandemic

The station by my door where I keep my supplies and quarantine incoming mail.

I’m just 1 person who wants everyone to stay safe. In fact, those are usually the last words I say as I sign off of a Zoom call. What I really mean is “now that I’ve spent time with you online, I want to be able to see you again in the future!” Everybody has a different opinion of what staying safe means to them in this time. Additionally, different regions, states, and countries have certain mandates that must be followed. I can’t keep everyone well physically and mentally, but I can hope that they’ll do their part to keep themselves and those around them safe.

By now, we’re all familiar with precautions we can take to help us stay well during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • wearing masks (2 at a time, fitting snugly to your face with no gaps)
  • washing hands vigorously for at least 20 seconds 
  • using hand sanitizer when you can’t wash your hands
  • staying 6 feet or more away from anyone who isn’t in your bubble
  • limiting or eliminating your time indoors with anyone not in your bubble
  • getting the vaccine 

But there’s more to it than that. Staying safe is also about keeping yourself well on other levels:

  • limit the amount of news you consume, if it makes you anxious
  • sign up for regional alerts so you can stay informed in cases of emergencies and vaccine updates
  • plan for emergencies or lockdowns by having 2 weeks to 1 month of shelf-stable food, supplies, and medication on hand (imagine a storm hitting, making roads inaccessible or electricity unavailable)
  • as you’ll be home a lot, make sure it is secure
  • drive your car regularly to keep the battery from dying and keep it full of gas
  • get enough sleep and take vitamins to reduce your chances of catching a minor illness that could compromise you and to keep your immune system strong
  • get tested and quarantine if someone you’ve been in contact with tests positive
  • meditate, workout, play, and/or journal often to reduce stress
  • limit screen time to reduce eye strain or every 20 minutes, take a break where you focus your gaze out the window on something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds
  • get up and walk every hour and exercise regularly at home or by staying socially distant

Keeping yourself safe is also about keeping your community safe. Think about ways you can support those around you as well. Here are some suggestions:

  • get a flu shot to avoid getting that so you don’t spread it or put a strain on the healthcare systems in your area
  • give others space when out in public
  • have patience if people are waiting or standing aside to give others space to walk by
  • start or join an online meetup group on a topic about which you’re passionate
  • reach out and connect to others online, over the phone, through texts, in emails, on social media, or with snail mail letters and cards
  • check in regularly with friends who might be struggling in this time, even ones who seem fine
  • support local businesses whenever possible
  • if you’re in a position to tip generously, please do so even when just picking up take out food or groceries
  • find ways to volunteer, help, and give back to your community virtually or through donation drives 
  • make and donate masks, hats, blankets to organizations that need them

There are so many ways to stay safe and well at this time, but the most important thing is to know your boundaries. What worked for you at the beginning of the pandemic might not work as well now. The numbers of cases and vaccinations in your area will certainly change over time. So get to know how much you can handle at a time, and provide yourself plenty of support. Join as many online book clubs as you want, for example, but evaluate them frequently to decide when you might want an evening to yourself instead. If you’re also just 1 person in a bubble of one, it’s up to you to take care of yourself. 

How do you stay safe during this pandemic?

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

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