Most of the country was closed down and people were asked to stay at home for months when it became clear that the coronavirus was going to be a problem at the beginning of 2020. After a few months have passed, businesses are slowly reopening and life is attempting to go back to normal.
However, that doesn't mean that the coronavirus is gone. It still poses a serious threat, even as we take our kids back to the park and make trips to the mall.
New clusters of the virus are being identified and reported daily. It's expected as we spend more time leaving our homes and going out in the world that there will be additional outbreaks of the virus.
Reduce the danger of contracting the virus as you go back to life as usual by following the following tips.
Choose Low and Moderate Risk Activities When You Can
Not all activities are created equal in the age of coronavirus. Some activities are riskier than others. Whenever possible, you should always choose low and moderate risk activities over riskier ones.
For example, the lowest risk activity is to stay at home. That doesn't mean you have to hang out alone! Invite someone over, or go over to a friend's house if you want to hang out.
If you want to get out of the house, choose outdoor activities over indoor activities. The fresh air and wide open spaces make it much less likely that you'll pick up any germs and take them home.
Avoid Crowded Spaces
Not only should you focus on low and moderate risk activities, but you should also actively try to avoid crowded spaces.
Avoiding large family gatherings, even if they're outside, is still a good idea. Indoor gatherings of large people should especially be avoided.
It's also possible that you may run to the store and find yourself in a crowd. For example, you may discover that everyone else in town is making a quick run to the grocery store or the hardware store on a Saturday afternoon. Leave and come back later when there are fewer people to keep yourself from getting sick.
Bring a Mask
No matter where you're going and what you're doing, it's always a good idea to bring a mask. They really do reduce the germs you can spread to others. Not to mention, they can also be a sign of solidarity.
Wear a mask indoors, like when you're going shopping, and consider wearing one when you're outside if there are many people around. If the situation presents itself when there's no need to wear a mask, you can always take it off and put it back in your bag or your purse.
Know When to Wash Your Hands
Handwashing is extremely important as we're dealing with COVID-19, as touching things is the quickest and easiest way to spread germs. Not only can you spread your germs to others by touching things, but you can also make yourself sick if you touch a germy item and then scratch your nose or rub your eyes.
It's important to know how to wash your hands, but it's even more important to know when to wash your hands. You should always wash your hands after going to the bathroom and before eating, but if you have been out of the house, you should also wash them as soon as you return home.
Make sure you can keep your hands germ-free, even if you don't have access to a sink, by carrying around hand sanitizer.
Avoid Shared Surfaces
It's a good idea to avoid touching things that many other people have likely touched. That includes things outside the home, but it also includes things inside the home, especially if you live with people who regularly leave the house.
Some of the germiest items to avoid include:
Buttons on things like ATMs and elevators
The outside of your purse
If you can't avoid touching something, at least know how to touch it safely. For example, a stylus pen can be used to push an elevator button, while a disinfecting wipe can be used to wipe down the handle on a shopping cart.
Space Out the Trips You Take to the Store
One of the best things about going back to life, as usual, is the ability to go to the store. For some of the hardest hit areas, a trip to the grocery store has suddenly become something to look forward to, while others are excited to hit the summer sales at the mall. However, there's no denying that our spending habits have changed forever, and our shopping habits are sure to change too.
Gone are the days of spending the afternoon going to multiple stores. Instead, you should spread out the trips you take and only visit one store at a time. It means less shopping, but it also means you'll spread and come in contact with fewer germs.
Know the Habits of People You Want to Hang Out With
Many of us became lonely during the coronavirus lockdowns because it meant we couldn't gather with friends and family. Now that restrictions are loosening, we can once again spend time with the people we care about most.
Before you hang out, it's important to know the habits of people you want to spend time with. For example, if your niece likes to go out at night, you probably shouldn't hang out yet. However, a friend who spends most of her time at home with the kids is probably safe to spend time with.
Certain aspects of life are returning to normal, but that doesn't mean life is completely normal. At least not yet. Protect yourself and others from contracting the coronavirus by following these tips, and life, as we remember it before the pandemic, will come back sooner rather than later.