When the year 2020 began, coffee shops were packed, concerts were rocking, and schools were pushing through a new year’s curriculum. Now, just a few months later, restaurants have adapted a touchless delivery and drive-thru system, concerts are all rescheduled, and schools may not reopen until the fall.
The bottom line? Going out in public has become a risky chore, rather than a normal part of our routine. As we wait for the worst of the coronavirus to pass, use these tips to keep yourself safe and protected from COVID-19 in public places. Whether you’re on an airplane or in a grocery store, precaution is key.
Keep Your Distance
With “social distancing” practically a way of life now, you probably know by now to keep your distance from others. But it helps to understand the science behind it. Every time someone coughs or sneezes, they send small liquid droplets from their nose and mouth into the air. This is unpleasant under normal circumstances, but in our COVID-19 reality, it’s also potentially dangerous.
If you stand too close to another person and unknowingly inhale those droplets, you could contract the virus. Maintain at least 3 feet of space, but ideally 6 feet, from others when out in public.
Travel With Clorox Wipes and Hand Sanitizer
Research suggests that the novel coronavirus can survive on plastic and stainless steel for up to three days. This means that a sick person may leave traces of the coronavirus on a door handle, keyboard, or shopping cart that still poses a threat hours or days later. To protect yourself from this invisible enemy, use Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer before and after touching any common, shared surface.
Don’t Touch Your Face
We all touch our face without meaning to. It’s a tough habit to break, but now’s the time to try. If your hands have touched any surface containing traces of the coronavirus, you may contaminate your eyes, nose, or mouth, allowing the virus to enter your body and make you sick.
Wash Your Hands Regularly
If you do accidentally touch your face, regular hand washing will minimize the threat to your health. Washing kills the viruses lingering on your skin and prevents any chances that you’ll spread the disease to others during contact.
Disinfect Common Surfaces
Shopping carts are the most obvious common surfaces that need to be disinfected before use, but don’t overlook pens at the bank, debit cards passed through a drive-thru window, or door handles in public restrooms. Keep disinfecting wipes on hand to make these surfaces safe to the touch.
Run Errands During Off-Peak Hours
It’s easiest to achieve social distancing and reduce person-to-person contact when you run essential errands during off-peak times. This has become more challenging as grocery stores and banks cut their hours, but it’s still possible to run errands when the least number of people are present.
If you want to eliminate all chances of touching germs, simply wear disposable latex gloves when you’re outside your home. Just remember that germs stick to the gloves as well, so don’t go digging through your purse or rubbing your face until the gloves are off.
Keep Your Immune System Strong
At the end of the day, your immune system is your strongest defense. It’s responsible for shielding your body from the virus if it does enter your body. The stronger your immune system, the easier you can avoid COVID-19 or recover from the virus without serious complications.
Keep these tips in mind to support your immune system:
- Establish a good sleep schedule
- Eat nutritious whole foods
- Exercise regularly
- Manage your stress
- Keep up with regular vaccinations
The bottom line? A bit of precaution can go a long way to keeping you safe in these uncertain times.