By Laura Block, PharmD, NREMT
We need to talk about the gorilla in the room… The same gorilla as before, but the guidelines, they keep changing. Why is that?
Because this is a novel disease, something we’ve never seen before. We’re pushing out information as soon as we think we have a handle on it, and then we get schooled by the virus again, and the information changes. Information flows faster now than it ever did before, so you get to see how science itself ebbs and flows. Science has always been this way, but we’ve never before had the ability to communicate it as fast as it happens.
Keep in mind that the United States is not the only country dealing with this. All around the globe, teams of scientists are learning about COVID-19 as fast as they can, looking for preventative practices, tests, treatments, and a vaccine. The best test or treatment or vaccine may come from somewhere else, so keep in mind that if things look bleak here in the US, it may look a lot brighter somewhere else, and we’ll all benefit soon from their new discoveries.
That all being said, here’s what we know at the end of May 2020:
- Wear your mask when you’re around people you don’t share a home with, know the proper way to put it on, take it off, and keep it clean and functional. https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2010-133/pdfs/2010-133.pdf
- Avoid touching your face and wash your hands very thoroughly. https://www.who.int/gpsc/clean_hands_protection/en/
- Try to stay at least 6 feet apart from other people.
These are really the most important things to keep in mind. We are currently less concerned about inanimate objects (fomites) possibly transmitting the virus from person to person.
While we wait for a vaccine and effective treatments, take extra good care of yourself. Treat yourself. Go for a walk. Eat a vegetable. Listen to your favorite music. Reach out to friends and family over telephone or internet, and make sure you’re seeing some faces daily. Lower the bar a little: don’t beat yourself up because the house is messy, you put on some weight, or it’s hard to focus. Read a good book. Indulge in a bubble bath. Do a random act of kindness every day: not only will you make someone else’s day, it will make your day much brighter.