Back in early March, the COVID-19 pandemic caused millions of people around the world to begin social distancing and living under quarantine, and the hope was that things would become better in short order. We are now in August and it remains clear that COVID-19 remains a dan-gerous threat to our health and still must be taken seriously. However, for many, finding ways to remain socially connected has been challenging. So how can we make proper decisions about socializing at this time?
We must first understand how COVID-19 is believed to spread. The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person who are in close contact with one another through respir-atory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may be possible that a person can also get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
Secondly, there are proven strategies you can utilize that mitigate and lesson the risk of con-tracting this infection. Here are the key actions:
1. Washing your hands frequently
2. Social Distancing: Staying at least six feet from each other
3. Wearing a mask/face covering over the mouth and nose (in public)
Lastly, avoiding situations that create the highest risk for transmission such as those with pro-longed close contact and interactions with individuals in enclosed environments (sitting indoors a few feet away from a friend(s) and having a long talk) and instead taking advantage of situations which are lower risk (going for a walk or chatting briefly with friends and socially distance while outdoors).
Limiting your physical interactions with others - as hard as it is - remains one of the best ways to protect yourself and help reduce the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Staying informed with public health recommendations (ISDH or CDC) and implementing key strategies to lower risk of transmission of COVID-19 to self and others can help us safely stay connected.
People who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their health care provider immediately. If you are ill with flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough or shortness of breath, please call your health center or clinic before coming to your appointment. At Eskenazi Health, please call 317.880.7666 before coming to your appointment. Health care professionals are available 24/7 to answer questions on symptoms and direct you to the most appropriate care. It is important to first call before arriving at Eskenazi Health. You can also connect with your primary care provider’s office through your Eskenazi Health MyChart account online at Es-kenaziHealth.edu.