On the one hand, it’s EXACTLY what we’ve all been waiting for: Cities and states are reopening after weeks of shutdowns due to the COVID-19 coronavirus infections.
But on the other had… are we ready?
Ask 10 experts, and you’ll get 10 different answers.
And don’t count on the news to sort it all out; just about every discussion of the subject devolves into an ugly shouting match.
So let me help.
Because I can cut through the bull and share my own tips on EXACTLY how to maximize your protection and minimize your risk as the nation reopens.
And it comes down to two simple words.
The two-word test for getting back out
It comes down to “can” versus “should.”
Sure, maybe you CAN do something now as states reopen.
But SHOULD you is often another story altogether – especially if you’re a little older, which adds an extra dimension of caution that the media routinely ignores.
So if things are open and you CAN go out, there’s something you SHOULD do first for maximum protection if you live in an area that’s had active outbreaks.
Wait two weeks.
It takes people exposed to the virus an average of five days to show symptoms and as long as two weeks.
No matter how badly you want to get back out, waiting those two extra weeks after “official” reopening will give you some sense of what’s REALLY going on.
If the number of infections in your community starts to rise again, then don’t be tempted by what you CAN do. Instead, you SHOULD continue to limit your time out in public and take precautions when you do.
If you hit two weeks and there’s no real coronavirus activity, then you can consider your first cautious steps out.
Maybe you CAN go to a restaurant… have a drink in a bar… or shop at Target, Costco or Walmart.
But SHOULD you?
A safer option is to make your first steps out into places where it’s easiest to avoid crowds, maintain social distance and limit close contact with others.
That means golf or parks instead of the movies… take-out dinners instead of eating in the restaurant… and if you can’t have your groceries delivered, at least try to arrange for pick-up (some stores do it curbside; you pull up and they load your car) or use the special hours set aside for seniors.
And when it IS time to venture out… stick to the basic safety rules.
- Avoid close contact with others
- Wear face protection (ideally an N-95 mask if you can get one)
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose and mouth
- Wash your hands like crazy
No need to stress yourself over ANY of this. If you’re not sure… if you’re nervous… if you just don’t know what the right move is… you can’t go wrong by keeping at home a little longer.