Covid-19 is a brutal disease that has uprooted our lives. But we need not feel powerless. Most of us do have quite a bit of control over our risk of catching this infection. (Tragically by dint of occupation or socio-economic class or work requirements, not all of us.) Think of these ___ steps as hacking your own (temporary) vaccine.
- Minimize your close exposure to other people. When I walk with my neighbor, we walk on opposite sides of the street. (We live an area without sidewalks.) I rarely shop in a store and only when it is nearly empty.
- Strictly avoid all gatherings of more than 4 people. This includes everything from religious services to drinking beer on the beach. Remember the line, “Avoid like the plague?” Well, covid-10 is the plague. It’s an absolute truth: The more people who are gathered together the more infections and deaths will follow. Guaranteed. (I struggled with the minimum number here. If I stopped at “gatherings,” people would each decide that a gathering was what? 3 or 200? I settled on 4 because 4 people can chat, have a glass of wine and still enjoyable stay 6 feet apart.)
- Wear a mask every single time you are within 10 feet of anyone else when outside your home. This is a little bit for your own protection and a whole lot for the protection of others. Are you 107% certain that you are not an asymptomatic carrier? Please, you need to wear a mask. Go here to see why a mask matters.
- Wear gloves when you touch stuff that other people have touched. Like grocery shopping. I wear gloves when I push the buttons to put gas in my car.
- Wash your hands often and after every time you have been out and about. For 20 seconds. The time starts after you have spread the soap on your hands. Twenty seconds of soap destroys the outer coating of this RNA virus.
The more we do these things, the fewer infections, the fewer hospitalizations, the fewer deaths. Our goal is to get to a time when we have effective treatments to lower the severity of disease or the number of deaths or a vaccine or damned virus decides to mutate to a milder form.
The decisions each of us every day make determine whether this pandemic grows or slows. Each of us gets to decide.
Please practice safe living.