We already know what life is like in lockdown mode but are we ready to face the COVID virus as the nation begins the journey back to a semblance of normality. Bear in mind that precautions will still be required; this bug is not going gently into the night. It remains a clear and present danger and will be for quite some time to come.
The elderly, in particular, need to be aware of the potential for a “second wave” of infection. Medical researchers support the notion that the older you are the more susceptible you can be to this new, deadly strain of virus, especially if you have chronic infirmities. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports that 80 percent of the deaths due to COVID-19 have been among the 65-plus population in the U.S.
Meanwhile, there are signs that easing restrictions that mitigate the spread of the disease may have consequences. Several states that may have been too quick to ‘get back to normal’ have seen spikes in the numbers of new coronavirus cases. So, it’s important that you don’t get over-confident as the nation ‘reopens’ and that you continue to observe protective practices in your daily life. There may be no need to take draconian measures, but it would be wise to keep your face mask on when you leave your home and to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds when you come back, for example.
Here are some additional suggestions, courtesy of the CDC:
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue.
Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects daily (e.g., tables, countertops, light switches, doorknobs, and cabinet handles) using a regular household detergent and water.
If surfaces are dirty, they should be cleaned using a detergent and water prior to disinfection. For disinfection, a list of products with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved emerging viral pathogens claims, maintained by the American Chemistry Council Center for Biocide Chemistries (CBC), is available at: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Fighting Productspdf iconexternal icon. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
You are not under house arrest so don’t let yourself feel that all you can do is sit around the house watching TV. Call your friends and family for chats and, by all means; get up and get out even if you have to wear a face mask. Take walks and when you are at home keep busy with stimulating distractions such as crossword puzzles, jig saw puzzles, a new book and household chores. When you get up in the morning, make a plan for the day. The supermarkets are open for business and many of them offer special ‘senior shopping hours.’ And, yes, it’s okay to strike up a conversation with a fellow shopper – just as long as you don’t get too close.
Rebecca Weber is the Chief Executive Officer for the Association of Mature American Citizens. The 2 million member AMAC is a senior advocacy organization that takes its marching orders from its members. They act and speak on their behalf, protecting their interests and offering a practical insight on how to best solve the problems they face today.