Infections, hospitalizations and deaths are increasing once again due to COVID-19. With winter on the horizon, many of us will have to abandon our outdoor fun like golf, tennis, pickle ball and patio get togethers.
Experts are expecting a second wave, and perhaps it's already started, as the common cold and flu act as ideal propagators of the Corona virus and people migrate indoors.
Here are a list of reminders on how to stay safe, healthy and happy while beating the virus and the winter blues.
- Wear a mask in public
It's simple, the science says wearing a mask reduces your chance of transmitting and contracting Covid-19. In fact, if you plan on going into an enclosed environment with other people present, we'd highly recommend you explore getting a N95 mask if you're an older adult or immuno-compromised - it's the best mask for protecting the wearer.
- Keep at least 6 feet apart - maybe more!
While staying at least 6 feet apart remains the recommended distance, if you're in an enclosed environment and there's lots of talking, singing or yelling (let alone sneezing or coughing), you should keep further than 6 feet apart, or avoid it altogether. This includes the lobby of your apartment building, communal eating areas, etc...
- Wash your hands often
Don't forget to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds often. As a rule, wash your hands upon entering your home, after leaving a store, before each meal, before cooking and after you go to the bathroom.
Make sure to wash your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds (sing happy birthday). After you leave a store, use hand sanitizer. If your hands get dry, apply hand lotion after you wash your hands.
- Don't go to enclosed spaces where social distancing is not followed
Even if everyone is wearing a mask, if you notice that people are not social distancing, you may not want to go inside. This is especially true if you're going to be in that space for 10 or more minutes at a time.
So that means you may want to avoid the shopping mall, stores, commuter train, bus, subway, theatre, restaurant etc... if it's impossible to social distance. Trust your eyes.
- Limit, or avoid, activity in enclosed spaces
You may want to avoid indoor activities outside your home altogether. Why take the risk, if you don't absolutely have to. Again, as the common flu and cold start to spread, the propagation of the virus will increase as people cough, sneeze and shed mucus more.
- Get a flu shot
To help keep your immunity up this winter, get the flu vaccine. While getting the flu will not give you Covid-19, it could result in you needing medical attention, which may not be readily available if another surge occurs. Moreover, merely having flu like symptoms will prevent you from leaving your home. So why not avoid the flu altogether.
- Make your home safe
With the possibility of less people being able to help or check up on you, you might want to invest in some simple safety precautions like hand rails by the toilets and in showers, slip free bathtub mats, motion sensored lighting, smart doorbells and thermostats, indoor video cameras for caregivers and life alert systems with fall detection, if you or a loved one is living alone.
- Keep having fun, stay stimulated
Learn to play cards, mahjong, chess, etc.. online with your friends. Take up painting or sketching. Make knitted blankets for the family. Take up an instrument. Learn a new language. Make breads, desserts, soups, and a variety of daily meals. Join a book club. Enroll in online courses. See what activities your local senior center has moved online.
- Stay fit
Make it a point to have a daily exercise routine, in addition to a daily outdoor walk. Your daily indoor exercise routine can be as simple as doing the plank, crunches, jumping jacks, lunges and squats - no gym or weights required.
Daily mediation is being used by many of the world's most successful CEO's (Bill Gates), athletes (Michael Jordan), entertainers (Paul McCartney), financiers (Ray Dalio) and celebrities (Arnold Schwarzenneger) to help get focus, clarity and exercise their minds. Use a simple app like Headspace to get started for free - you'll be shocked how good it feels!
- Stay connected
The easiest way to stay happy is to stay connected with family and friends. With technology you can isolate without being isolated. Video conference daily with friends and family alike. Make it a nightly habit to read the grandkids a bed time story. Join as many zoom groups with your local church, synagogue, mosque, community center, library as you can.