Combating COVID-19 as Businesses Reopen
5 Ways You Can Help
As area businesses reopen, practicing social distancing and other activities that helped prevent the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) are more important than ever. Easing up could result in a surge of cases. But what exactly should you continue doing and what new practices should you implement? Read on to find out.
1. Keep Your Distance
The first place to start is social distancing. Space will help protect you and your loved ones from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That means when you’re at the store buying groceries or at a restaurant picking up your to-go order, you should maintain a distance of at least 6 feet from those around you. If you dine in, follow the restaurant’s safety guidelines.
“Under stay-at-home orders, people were less likely to come into contact with someone who is infectious,” said Andy Miller, M.D., health officer for Butte County Public Health (BCPH). “As we open up, our chances of contracting the virus increase. That is why we must, more than ever, continue to maintain at least a 6-foot distance and wear face coverings whenever we are likely to contact others in public. We need to do it for ourselves and so businesses can remain open.”
Dr. Miller also recommends families continue to have just one person leave the household to buy groceries and run essential errands to limit potential exposure to the virus.
“Under stay-at-home orders, people were less likely to come into contact with someone who is infectious,” said Andy Miller, M.D., health officer for Butte County Public Health (BCPH). “As we open up, our chances of contracting the virus increase. That is why we must, more than ever, continue to maintain at least a 6-foot distance and wear face coverings.”
2. Wear a Mask
As noted earlier, Dr. Miller encourages us to wear cloth face coverings when out and about.
“There are studies that show face coverings decrease viral transmission in a community and should be worn,” he said. “If you are infected — whether you’re having symptoms or not — face coverings decrease the chance that you will infect others.”
Wearing a face covering also shows businesses that the health and safety of their staff are important to you, he said.
If you don’t have a mask, you can fashion one using a scarf or T-shirt, or using the simple instructions at www.enloe.org/masks. Your mask should cover your nose and mouth, and be secured to your head. It also needs to be maintained correctly.
3. Stay Home
As you get more opportunities to leave your home, resist, especially if you’re sick. The same is true for those at high risk of COVID-19: older adults and people who have pre-existing medical conditions like diabetes and heart issues. The CDC recommends buying groceries, medicine and other essentials online if possible. The same holds true when it comes to doing activities like banking and paying bills.
“All of us at Enloe Medical Center are so thankful to our entire county for everything they have done to keep our community safe,” said Jolene Francis, Enloe’s Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications.
4. Keep Doing What You're Doing
It’s also important to continue performing the activities that have helped flatten the curve, said Jolene Francis, Enloe’s Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications.
That means continuing to:
- Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
- Disinfect surfaces that are frequently touched.
- Avoid touching your face.
“All of us at Enloe Medical Center are so thankful to our entire county for everything they have done to keep our community safe,” she said. “Those sacrifices did not go unnoticed. That work has made a huge difference for all of us, and we’re so thankful.”
5. Be Mindful
Finally, it’s important to consider how you’re feeling. Experts note that these uncertain times and isolation can cause stress. “We are creatures that survive in community, and being alone and isolated tends to be hard on us, psychologically,” said psychiatrist Scott Nichols, M.D., the medical director of Enloe Behavioral Health. “We need other people.”
To help us through these times, Dr. Nichols recommends continuing activities we enjoy, limiting our exposure to social media and the news, eating well, and exercising. He also reminds us that this slower time is a great opportunity to reconnect with those we’ve lost touch with due to the busyness of life. He encourages us to FaceTime or call loved ones. “Seeing someone’s face is really important and can be really helpful, and so can hearing their voice,” he said.
If you’re struggling, the caregivers at Enloe Behavioral Health can help. They’re available 24/7 at 530-332-5250.