There is a heightened sense of concern among people trying to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Many are trying to balance enjoying summer activities, running routine errands and more, while keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe. Sukhjinder Sandhu, MD, a family medicine physician with Dignity Health Mercy Medical Group in Rocklin, is sharing health safety tips and guidelines to keep yourself and your community safe during the pandemic.
Wearing a mask.
Masks are important tools for preventing the spread of COVID-19. You should always have a mask with you when leaving the house and entering public spaces. They not only protect you, but also reduce the risk of transferring the virus to those around you. The safest way to use a mask is by first washing your hands, then securing the mask over your nose and mouth, covering both sides of your face and under your chin. It’s important to cover these parts of your face but you should still be able to breath with ease. Cloth masks that adequately cover your nose, mouth and chin are acceptable.
Exercising outside is crucial for both physical and mental health. It’s understandably difficult to decipher which outdoor activities safely adhere to physical distancing guidelines. However, you can enjoy plenty of safe and physically distant activities, including walking, running, hiking and biking – so long as you avoid overcrowded paths and sidewalks. Sports such as fishing, golfing and kayaking are also great for groups as you can still maintain physical distance from one another. Even fitness classes are encouraged if they are held outside with a safe amount of space between each participant.
Eating with others.
Sharing meals with your family and friends is an important part of developing community but it can be dangerous if you do not follow the proper safety guidelines. If you’re eating with people living outside of your household, plan to eat in an environment that does not require close contact, limit the group size and maintain social distance from others. One safe option is to invite everyone to bring their own food and drinks so that you can physically distance and enjoy the time spent together while lessening chances of spreading the virus. And remember to wear your mask when you’re not eating or drinking.
Participating in group functions.
As local regulations continue to evolve, the opportunities for larger group functions may also increase. However, keep in mind that the longer a large group is in close proximity together, the higher the risk of contracting the virus. For example, crowded events such weddings, festivals and parades should continue to be avoided.