Tempted to return to your favorite restaurant or jump back into the gym? Before you take advantage of all the things you can do again, consider the safety and risks of those choices.
State and local guidelines (as well as the CDC) recommend that we stick with the basics as we step back out into the world. That means continuing to wash your hands regularly, use hand sanitizer when you are on the go, avoid touching your face, wear a mask and stay home if you are sick and don't need medical care.
Here are other ways to keep yourself and your family safe where you live, work, learn and play.
Keep your distance. Six-foot separation still makes sense when you are out in public. It's the best way to protect you and others from exposure to germs.
Consider your surroundings. Enclosed spaces like shopping malls, places of worship and indoor dining places increase your risk of exposure to germs and viruses. If contact with others is too close for comfort, consider alternatives that put you at a safer distance – or better yet, keep you at home. Shop online, celebrate virtually or go for take-out.
Protect your bubble. You and the people you live with (your bubble-mates) form the safest bubble. As you add people to your bubble, remember that you add new risk of exposure to germs. Best to choose carefully and keep a safe distance from each other.
Connect with others safely. Keep the six-foot separation rule in place, even when you gather with small groups of family or friends. Think about outdoor spaces to meet and greet like the backyard, driveway or patio. Or use online tools to host a virtual party, join a yoga class on YouTube or attend a seminar or class for remote learning.
Mind your gestures. Choose a replacement for the customary handshake or hug. Some have adopted the handmade V sign. Others prefer elbow bumps, foot taps or other ways of greeting one another.
Be safe and sensible. Consider your health, age and pre-existing conditions as you choose activities to add back into your everyday life. It's best to exercise caution, avoid large gatherings and stay at home as much as possible.
Meet your doctor online. Most healthcare providers offer virtual visits. That means you can connect with your healthcare provider through live video or by phone. Skip the drive, stay home and get the care you need without exposure to germs and viruses.
Safety in the workplace
Whether going back to work means going into an office, onto the factory floor or out to a sales meeting, the lifestyle changes you've made in your personal life apply to the workplace as well.
Here are safe workplace guidelines:
Keep up with good hygiene. Wash hands regularly, sneeze or cough into a tissue or inside your elbow, disinfect surfaces you touch frequently and consider using a face covering.
Continue remote work, if possible. Talk with your employer about continuing to work from home, particularly if you are over 65 years of age or have a pre-existing condition that puts you at high risk.
Be aware of your workplace space. Keep six feet away from others as much as possible.
Stay home if you are sick. It's the best way to take care of yourself and protect others.