• Stay home whenever possible. This is true regardless of what your local restrictions may be. Avoid any situations with more than 10 people, and work from home if you can. You can go to the grocery store, the pharmacy, the bank, or to urgent medical appointments.
  • Wash your hands, a lot. The best way to wash your hands is with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, you can use hand sanitizer. Most people do not wash their hands correctly.
  • Don’t touch your face when you are in public or your hands are dirty. When people with coronavirus cough, sneeze, or even just speak, the virus spreads through droplets onto surfaces around them. Assume that everything outside of your home is contaminated. When you are out in public, be aware that your hands are “dirty” and keep them away from your face. This can be quite difficult and requires really paying attention to what you are doing with your hands, but it can be learned (doctors and nurses do it all the time). If you have an itch or have to touch your face and you don’t have the ability to wash your hands first, use the inside of your shirt or a clean tissue. As soon as you get home, wash your hands, and as long as your hands are clean, you can touch your face all you want!
  • Know the symptoms of COVID-19 and what to do if you become sick or are exposed. If you develop a fever, body aches, severe tiredness, or dry cough, stay at home and do not leave your house at all for 14 days. If you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should also stay at home for 14 days, and monitor for symptoms. If you are going to get sick, it will happen within 2-14 days of the exposure. If you have to go out, wear a mask. Call your doctor before leaving your home to seek medical treatment. Access emergency services if you develop chest pain or severe shortness of breath.
  • Practice good oral hygiene. Whether we are in a pandemic or not, good oral care improves overall health. Cleansing your mouth of microbes is as important as washing your hands.
  • Practice mindfulness to better manage stress and anxiety. When caregivers and advocates can’t be present at the bedside, stress and anxiety for both hospitalized patients and their loved ones increases significantly. It is so much easier said than done to “clear your mind” and slow down, but it is more critical than ever that we be able to do this.
    • Coronavirus Blog: MBSR for Health Professionals: This resource provides a quick overview of Mind Body Stress Reduction techniques so they can apply these concepts on the frontline, right now. It is also an excellent resource for anyone who is under stress right now due to the coronavirus. 

 

  • Make sure you are taking care of yourself, too! As a parent, child, friend, or partner, it can be difficult to prioritize your mental and physical health as you are worrying about loved ones. Practicing self-care, mentally and physically, is crucial to remaining well throughout this pandemic

 

  • Get vaccinated against COVID-19 once it is available, if you have not already had the disease It is important to remain vigilant and educated about different vaccines, especially during this time. While there is currently no vaccine for COVID, the resources below provide up to date information.