It can be overwhelming to get back to the outside world after months of being under lockdown; will life ever return to how it was? These tips can help you cope as lockdowns lift amid ongoing uncertainty.
It has been months since many countries implemented a lockdown to fight against the spread of the coronavirus. It is no question that most of us are already planning what we want to do and where we want to go as soon as the lockdown restrictions are lifted, but it is crucial to maintain adherence to the necessary measures to avoid infection even after lockdown.
The fight against COVID-19 is a long-term battle. You might be planning to meet your friends and family after months of not seeing them, going shopping, or heading back to the gym, but it is our responsibility to adapt our return to our social life to respect health precautions, for our own and others’ safety.
As lockdown eases up in some places and ends in others, as countries move past the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, people will gradually gain more freedom to return to their daily commutes in public transport and engage in social activities.
It is important to understand the risks that could lead to contracting or spreading COVID-19 while taking care of your health during this period. These are a few safety measures you should consider before resuming your life in the outside world.
Keep social distancing
Just because lockdown has ended or is easing up, it does not mean that you should stop social distancing. It is crucial to avoid close contact with others and if possible, maintain two meters between people in public spaces.
Keep in mind that people who do not have any visible symptoms may be carriers, still able to spread the virus, which is why health specialists stress putting space between yourself and others outside.
When going back to work remember to avoid shaking hands, and work while keeping the recommended safety distance in the office. It is helpful to avoid using an air conditioning system, but it is also important to allow workspace airflow.
Keep wearing face masks
Medical professionals continue to repeat the old adage, “prevention is better than cure,” for a reason. It is more effective to stay cautious and prevent something bad than to panic later while looking for a cure. Keep using face masks in public.
Not only do face masks protect yourself and others from becoming infected, but they are also a great tool to help you avoid touching your face during the day while you are out and about.
If you are using medical face masks, remember to replace them as soon as they become moist, and throw them in closed bins immediately after. If you are wearing reusable face masks made of cloth, then you will have to change them frequently and never repeat wear before a mask is washed and disinfected. You can ease this process by making sure you have several on hand for rotation, curating your collection of the breakout summer trend.
Clean and disinfect (including your hands)
It is important to clean and disinfect any surface that is touched frequently. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Keeping everything around you clean is important. This also applies to washing hands. Continuing hand hygiene is just as essential as maintaining clean surfaces. Frequent hand washing can protect you not only from coronavirus but also from many other diseases.
Wash your hands regularly with soap and rub them together thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, especially after coughing, sneezing, or touching public surfaces. To make sure you follow through with the time requirement, sing a verse of your favorite song that you know takes at least 20 seconds and entertain yourself in the process. Use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
Self-quarantine for 14 days after traveling
If it is crucial for you to travel abroad, then you should self-isolate for 14 days afterward as a precaution. It can take up to 14 days for coronavirus symptoms to appear and during this time you can easily transfer the virus to others.
Self-quarantine is important because it can help reduce the spread of the virus and protect your family, friends, and community from becoming infected by the virus.
After the 14 days, you can continue normally with your daily life while taking the necessary safety precautions. If you notice any evident symptoms such as continuous coughing, high temperature, or a change of smell and taste, then it may be time to contact a doctor.
Make a routine for when you come back home
Coming back home after a stressful day of working or studying while worrying about a spreading virus can be tough. All you may want to do is rest and have a cup of tea, talking with your family about your day.
However, for your safety and the safety of anyone living with you, it is important to take a few precautionary steps before you get to finally rest. Otherwise, all the effort you made outside to abide by safety measures will go in vain.
Make a routine that will be suitable for you. For example, you can start by removing your shoes outside your house and putting them in a bag. Once you enter, avoid any immediate contact with your family. You should also shed your top layer of clothing, which should be immediately washed.
Avoid attending or throwing parties
It is understandable that you may want to celebrate with all of your friends and family or to attend celebrations and parties such as weddings, baby showers, or Eid celebrations..
Nonetheless, avoiding crowded or confined places is one of the essential measures that the World Health Organization (WHO) advises.
Visiting crowded places is an easy and open invitation to infection. It is better to stay safe and keep from indulging in such activities for at least some time so you can protect your friends and family. When you finally do get together again en masse, it will be all the more exciting.
Keep personal items personal
Some diseases do not easily spread from person to person. COVID-19 is definitely not one of them.
Usually, it is hard saying no to a friend or a colleague who wants to borrow your pencil, a cup of water, or headset, but in this case, everyone should come together to understand the risks of sharing personal items during the pandemic.
Germs can be found in all sorts of places and on all sorts of substances. Our bodies are no exception, including fingertips, saliva, and blood. Next time someone asks you for personal items such as drinks, makeup, hats, earrings, or food, gently decline and remind them of the situation. This is your chance to buy your favorite sweets and refuse to share without any guilt.
Most people do not know when they become infected as the symptoms do not usually show for some time after contracting the virus. It is hard to know who is infected, including yourself, so it is better to stay safe and not share personal items to help in limiting the spread of the coronavirus, as well as other diseases.
Avoid panicking and take care of yourself
Keeping cautious around the clock to avoid a deadly virus can be exhausting, overwhelming, and very stressful. You might even fear stepping out of the house after lockdown ends.
It is important to understand that this is a normal feeling. After spending months in the safety of your home, it can be strange to get back out again, venturing into the outside world where infection may still be a threat.
This is where you need to put your trust in health authorities and their efforts to keep people safe. If you were under lockdown, it was for a reason. It aimed to keep you safe from the infection. If it ended, it is because it successfully ensured low rates of infection.
You also need to believe in yourself and your ability to adapt to a new way of life while taking the necessary safety precautions. If things get overwhelming, talk about it with people you trust.
It is good to hear others’ perspectives and points of view on the situation, and how they are personally dealing. You can also share your own knowledge and the tips you have learned in this article to inform others and ensure the conversation on safety is ongoing.
Morocco World News does not endorse this article as an authoritative medical guide. Be sure to refer to safety precautions prescribed by your government and health officials.