Today, to contain the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump recommended against gatherings of more than 10 people, a substantial change to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recent recommendation against any gatherings of 50 or more people over the next eight weeks. In addition to schools and other large venues, many states have shut down restaurants, health clubs and any public gathering of 50 people or more. These measures are an attempt to enforce distance between people, a proven way to slow pandemics.
Social distancing is not only a “Must Do” for older adults, the CDC has been urging ALL people to practice voluntary social distancing. Still, people all over the United States have been out in large numbers at restaurants, bars and other venues.
I recently heard of a large gathering of teens for a St. Patricks’ Day party which is troubling in many ways, mainly because those who become only mildly ill — and maybe even those who never even know they are infected (i.e. younger adults)— can spread this virus enormously without even knowing their ill. You cannot assume others are being as precautious as you and are following basic common sense.
“We’re not playing around anymore” Larry Hogan, Governor of Maryland
The state of Maryland, in an effort to contain the virus, is the most recent state to impose mandatory social distancing rules effective today at 5:00PM. Governor Hogan emphasized that it’s important for everyone to practice social distancing, not just older adults or those at high risk.
How to Socially Distance:
- Maintain a 6-foot distance between you and other people
- Minimizing contact with people
- Avoid public transportation whenever possible
- Limit nonessential travel
- Work from home if possible
- Skip social gatherings
- Do not go to restaurants or other events – order takeout instead.
What about Grocery Shopping for Older adults and At-Risk Individuals?
According to the CDC, older adults and those at risk should consider ways of getting food brought to their house through family, social, or commercial networks. If they must go out:
- Only go if you absolutely must
- Go at non-busy times
- Keep your distance
- Use a disinfecting wipe to clean the handle of the grocery cart or other surfaces that may be infected
- Wash your hands as soon as possible
Should I Wear Gloves if I go out?
The CDC does not recommend wearing gloves because you may accidentally touch your face with your gloves on. So, if you do wear them, be sure not to touch your face until you have removed the gloves.
A message to our Young People:
“Younger people should be concerned for two reasons. You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill. Even though when you look at the total numbers, it’s overwhelmingly weighted toward the elderly and those with underlying conditions. But the virus isn’t a mathematical formula. There are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill.
So protect yourself, but remember that you can also be a vector or a carrier. And even though you don’t get seriously ill, you could bring it to a person, who could bring it to a person, that would bring it to your grandfather, your grandmother or your elderly relative. That’s why everybody has to take this seriously, even the young.”
— Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Can I Leave my House?
Experts say it’s fine to leave your house for fresh air and exercise, just do it outdoors. If you must go indoors, such as for grocery shopping or medicine, follow the precautions listed previously.
Experts agree that COVID-19 will pass, however, no one knows how long it will take and its better to be prepared and cautious in the meantime.
“I think we should be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting,” – Dr. Anthony Fauci
Stay Safe and Be Smart!