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As COVID-19 cases rise in many areas of the country, so do anxieties, questions and concerns. How do we move forward safely? As we hope to avoid strict safety measures of closing businesses and sheltering in place, there are some things we can do to protect ourselves and each other.
Now more than ever, it’s important that we all make an effort again to flatten the curve. Fortunately, you’re already familiar with many of the strategies that slow the spread. Here’s how you can continue to do your part and take care of yourself and those you love.
Limit the Transmission of Illness
Much has changed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Health experts continue to learn more every day about the virus, including how it spreads.
Even with all the advances in knowledge and patient care, some key measures remain the same. That includes following good hygiene habits every day to protect yourself and others from illness. As another wave of cases occurs, make sure your family continues to follow these guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Continue to practice social distancing
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer
- Wear your cloth face covering in public
Some people have the virus without any symptoms. These asymptomatic people may get others sick without knowing it, says the CDC.
To protect those around you, always wear a mask or cloth face covering in public. According to the CDC, even while wearing a cloth face covering, you should still maintain 6 feet of distance between you and others. This simple strategy can help prevent the spread of the virus.
Follow Your State and Local Authorities
In some parts of the country, the virus is spreading more rapidly. Pay close attention to the health guidance given by your state and local authorities; they’ll provide the updates and instruction you need.
To minimize the resurgence of cases, your state or city may revert to a previous phase of their reopening plan based on federal guidelines. They may start to implement certain safety measures again. These might include:
Asking people to stay at home
Closing public places, such as parks
Closing restaurants and other businesses where social distancing may be hard to maintain
Encouraging people to work from home
Limiting group sizes
Postponing routine and elective health care procedures
Restricting nonessential travel
Even if you aren’t in an area where cases are rising, you can help prevent the spread of the virus. Limit travel, if possible, or take steps to stay safe while doing so. And while in public, continue to practice social distancing and wear a face covering.
Take Care of Yourself
As the pandemic continues, it can take a toll on your mental health. And another surge in cases in your area and around the country may make it even harder. After returning to a more normal pace of life, you may again be facing stay-at-home orders and other restrictions to daily activities.
All these changes can be overwhelming. Make sure you take steps to care for yourself — mentally and physically. Here are some resources that may be helpful:
It’s also important to practice compassion for yourself. These are challenging times to live through.
Remind yourself it’s normal to feel anxious during times of uncertainty. Try letting go of your struggle against these feelings by noticing where you hold them in your body. Do a mental scan, head to toe, and notice where you’re tense or tight; inhale and exhale slowly as you relax.
Protect your long-term health by keeping your wellness appointments and getting the tests and preventive screenings your doctor recommends. Make the most of virtual care or see your providers in person. We’re taking extraordinary precautions to protect you while you’re here.
Lean on Your Whole-Health Care Team
As we face these challenges together, know we’re always here to support you in body, mind and spirit. Whether you need safe, whole-person care or the latest news and information, we’re with you every step of the way to help navigate the healthiest path forward.