It's been about a week since all of us in California have been ordered to "shelter in place." The idea is to avoid being around people so we can stop spreading Covid-19, the novel coronavirus, through human contact. This approach should "flatten the curve," meaning the rate of infections and total number of infected people can be lowered than its potential max number of infections. We can achieve this by avoiding close contact with one another. "Sheltering in place" requires us to only go out for essential needs and for non-essential businesses to temporarily close their doors. Essential needs include trips to the grocery store, medical visits, and caring for others who cannot care for themselves. Gyms, clothing stores, and bars have all closed down during this time, but banks, pharmacies, and gas stations are still open. We can still go out for walks or hikes. Exercise is important for our physical and mental health, especially being cooped up in a home for too long. Just remember to practice social distancing, not getting too close to other people. Here's a quick list of what we think you should and shouldn't be doing during these difficult times:
DO stay at home unless absolutely necessary. Go to the grocery store if you need to and visit a doctor if you're not well. Delivery services are a great option because it helps you avoid going out and waiting in those long lines at grocery stores.
DO wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. The best way to avoid getting the virus is to stay away from other people but also to wash your hands frequently. Hand sanitizer is a great option but frequently washing your hands with soap for at least 30 secs is even better!
DO take a walk when you can. Get out into the world for a little bit. Get some fresh air and feel the sunshine. Exercise is great for your body and mind, but you don't even need to go for a walk, just stop staring at your TV or computer for a moment. It will help!
DO try to keep 6 feet away from other people or at least 3 feet if you can't help it. This needs to be practiced for the shelter in place to really work. It's also why supermarkets aren't letting too many people in all at once. The farther apart we are from other people, the less likely the virus will spread. We need to stop Covid-19 from spreading!
DON'T go out for social visits. Being stuck at home all day can drive people crazy but this isn't the time to be social. Friends will be OK and even family can wait. It's understandable if you have to socialize with people, in the end it's a huge part of humanity, but maybe just stick to video chats and phone calls for now.
DON'T stock up food and toilet paper like we're going to run out. There's no need. We have plenty of food and household goods in our plentiful country. One of the reasons why you don't see them in the stores now is because our logistics and supply chains weren't meant to handle the panic buying. It takes time to ship toilet paper from the main warehouses to each supermarket, and there are only so many trucks out there to help get the job done! Buy what you need and save some for others. There will be more!
DON'T buy up all the face masks. One of the few items we don't have enough of are face masks and our medical professionals are the ones who need them most. The more we buy and hoard, the less they have. They need to protect themselves from the virus while treating others who are infected. We can't overcome this disease if we don't have healthy medical professionals to help us. The rest of us simply don't have the training. Plus! You wouldn't need a mask if you just "sheltered in place" and practiced proper "social distancing."
There are some great articles to read if you'd like to learn more about the "shelter in place" policies or "social distancing." There are even some articles on at-home exercise routines and great foods to stock, not hoard, your pantry with. Overall, we'd like to see this as a unique learning experience. We can adjust and grow from this. Be Safe and Stay Healthy!