Since March 2020, the coronavirus has been at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts. Events have been canceled, businesses have switched to carry-out, and people have switched to buying things online. Governments have issued orders to protect citizens and try to slow the spread of the virus as best they can. But what are some things that people can do as individuals to protect themselves and each other from spreading the coronavirus?
While there is not yet a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19, the CDC, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, does have recommendations for steps you can take to protect yourself and others.
Washing Your Hands
Washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water is one of the best ways to protect yourself from the virus if you’ve come into contact with it. Even using hand sanitizer isn’t as good as soap and water. If you wash your hands for twenty seconds, you can break down the COVID-19 particles that might be on your hands. Even if you don’t scrub for long enough to break the particles down, the particles will rinse off of your hands along with the soap.
Practicing Social Distancing
Based on what we now know of the coronavirus and how it spreads, the CDC also recommends maintaining a distance of at least six feet from other people, or social distancing. While this does mean not attending crowded events or coming into close contact with people you don’t live with, it can make something like a simple trip to the grocery store a lot more complicated.
Keeping Your Home Clean
Although COVID-19 isn’t transmitted through intermediary items as often as it is through direct contact with respiratory droplets (from a cough or sneeze), it’s still important to keep your home clean. Any frequently-touched surfaces should be regularly disinfected. The CDC recommends using any of these EPA-approved cleaners.
It isn’t just surfaces in your home, such as light switches and doorknobs, that need to be cleaned. Anything that comes in from the outside may have had contact with the virus and should either be cleaned or disinfected. The coronavirus can survive for several hours or even several days on surfaces.
Grocery Shopping Safely
Many people have turned to online grocery shopping during the pandemic. More grocery stores than ever before are offering home delivery or curbside pickup of purchases. Anything the was brought into the house from the outside should be treated as a potential contaminant and washed or disinfected if possible when brought inside. Some people have set up a cleaning station at an entry point into their homes such as the garage or a mudroom so that everything is cleaned before it enters the house. Some items that don’t need to be frozen or refrigerated could be stored in a safe place for several days before being put away in a pantry.
If you do need to go out to the grocery store, pay attention to the safety measures that grocery stores have set up. Some have lines marking where people should stand when going through the checkout so everyone can safely practice social distancing. Another protective feature that many stores have installed is clear partitions separating the cashier from the customer so that neither has to come into contact with the other. Many are also requiring contactless payment methods.
While you’re in the store, you should practice social distancing as best you can. If there’s someone already in the aisle you need, it’s a good idea to either wait or go find a different product and come back later. Then, of course, once you have your shopping home, clean everything you can and wash your hands thoroughly.
Monitoring Your Health
Many people who are practicing social distancing and self-quarantining don’t have the coronavirus and are taking these steps both to prevent themselves from getting it and to help protect others and slow the spread, or flatten the curve. But no matter how careful you are, it’s a good idea to pay attention to your own health. You could have COVID-19 for up to two weeks before any symptoms show and inadvertently spread it to others.
The symptoms of COVID-19 can include:
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
Some people experience only mild symptoms while others get very sick. If you experience any of these symptoms at all, the CDC recommends staying home unless you are ill enough to require medical care, to stay away from others, even those you live with, and keeping an eye on your symptoms so you can get medical treatment if it’s needed.
Staying Mentally Healthy
Be mindful of your mental health as well. Most people have never experienced this kind of global pandemic the coronavirus has caused. Take the time to de-stress, whether it is through meditation, prayer, or other methods, and connect with family and friends through technology. Keep in mind that as serious as the COVID-19 pandemic is, it will eventually pass and things will go back to normal.
Don’t let current financial conditions keep you up at night. Obsessing over the market is what we do!
Give us a call if you have any questions. We’re here to serve.
Important Disclosures: The information provided here is of a general nature and is not intended to answer any individual’s financial questions. Do not rely on information presented herein to address your individual financial concerns. Your receipt of information from this material does not create a client relationship and the financial privileges inherent therein. If you have a financial question, you should consult an experienced financial advisor. Moreover, the hiring of a financial advisor is an important decision that should not be based solely upon blogs, articles, or advertisements. Before you hire a financial advisor, you should request information about the financial advisor’s qualifications and experiences. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions. Data contained herein from third party providers is obtained from what are considered reliable sources. However, its accuracy, completeness or reliability cannot be guaranteed. Examples provided are for illustrative (or “informational”) purposes only and not intended to be reflective of results you can expect to achieve. AllGen Financial Advisors, Inc. (AllGen) is an investment advisor registered with the SEC. AllGen does not provide personal financial advice via this material. The purpose of this material is limited to the dissemination of general information regarding the services offered by AllGen. The Disclosure Brochure, Form ADV Part II, which details business practices, services offered, and related fees of AllGen, is available upon request.