Keeping the coronavirus spread to a minimum is paramount right now, but that doesn’t mean we have to become unconnected hermits. The Imperial College of London report estimates that it will be up to 18 months before we have suitable amounts of a vaccine to return to “normal” life and avoid a rebound in the number of cases. Even the most antisocial of introverts can’t go 18 months without any contact with the outside world, but those who are high risk may be required to do just that.
However, many people misunderstand the requirements of social distancing and forget the physical separation that actually protects you from transmission and infection. So while we need to keep up the official message of #socialdistance, I want to call on us all to keep in touch with your friends, your family, and your colleagues in a different manner: #sociallyconnectedphysicallydistant
Help me spread this hashtag so that people remember to connect to their friends, family, and colleagues
- Call elderly or ill relatives, friends, and neighbors to see how they are doing.
- Check in with colleagues you usually see at meetings and networking events.
- Follow up with clients who have been unable to use your services due to changes in how you work.
- Reach out to friends who you have lost touch with and reconnect.
While following all the tenants of healthy interaction:
- Avoid touching the objects shared by people outside your physical isolation. For instance, bring your own shopping bags to the grocery store and only use the carts and baskets when doing a large shop. If you leave food for relatives, use gloves to handle the bags to reduce the chance of spreading infection.
- Keep 6 feet of space between you and others, and spend no more than 15 minutes in the vicinity of the same people outside your physical isolation group.
- Wash your hands every hour to reduce the number of physical connections between you and other people. Wipe down door handles and light switches frequently in any public workspace.
- Clasp your hands together to avoid a reflexive handshake or touch AND to prevent you from touching your face.
- As there may soon be recommendations to wear face masks anytime you are out, check out these homemade masks: Here, here, and here. EDIT: Please check out this article for high efficiency fabric combinations and the importance of a good fit.
- If you make masks to donate, check with your local hospitals on any specific requirements to avoid them being unable to use them.
- If you wear gloves, don’t touch objects you intend to use with clean hands- computers, phones, wallets, etc. Invest in a headset to reduce the amount of time your phone touches your face.
- Create a space near your door to drop any objects you frequently touch outside of your home, including keys, purses, and briefcases or portfolios.