As businesses slowly reopen and residents start to emerge from their homes, how do we prevent further spread of COVID-19? How can we protect our loved ones and ourselves?
Experts agree that social distancing over the past several weeks was – and continues to be – effective. The act of deliberately adding physical space between ourselves and all other individuals has decreased the virus’ ability to spread as much as it could have.
The practice of social distancing, also known as physical distancing, is based on the theory that the virus was – and likely still is – spreading more rapidly than we are able to keep up with. Most people who contract the virus do not initially know it because they do not experience the related symptoms until two to 14 days later. This leads to the likelihood that many people may have – and are spreading – the virus, albeit unknowingly. Since the primary method of transmission of COVID-19 is person-to-person contact, keeping physically distant from each other disallows the virus to spread.
If you choose to participate in the early phases of the relaxed guidelines, do so slowly and cautiously.
A few examples of social distancing include:
- Avoiding large crowds and gatherings
- Staying at least six feet away from other people
- Continuing to work from home, if possible
- Visiting with your loved ones digitally instead of in person
- Avoiding all domestic and international travel
Although the cancelling and/or delaying of vacations, sporting events and gatherings can be frustrating, it is vital for the health of our communities. It also allows health care systems around the country to provide patient care for all who need it.
In addition to social distancing, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the taking the following measures to prevent contracting or spreading COVID-19:
- Wash your hands often
- Cover your nose and mouth with a face cover when around others
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
The CDC recently updated the list of COVID-19 symptoms. It now includes:
- Fever over 100 degrees
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Sore throat
- Loss of taste or smell
If you suspect you are sick with COVID-19, please immediately isolate yourself and contact your primary care provider. If you do not have a primary care provider, call Utica Park Clinic at 918-579-DOCS (3627).