With many areas already “opening up”, and everyone else putting plans in place to do so, you may be feeling a combination of emotions: excitement at the prospect of finally getting to go back to work, socialize and/or get out in the world; weariness and nerves after being shut in so long; and naturally, a bit of healthy, realistic fear that the worst of it hasn’t passed and that we’re all at risk if we venture out at the same time. 

These are feelings that all of us share. However, you can mitigate the risk to yourself and to others by simply implementing a few easy and simple actions to keep yourself and others safe. These are all things you likely already know, but they bear repeating. 

The main one is a given: wear a mask. When out in public at meetings, lectures and speaking events, or just doing the shopping, wear a mask to help prevent the spread of illness and give others peace of mind. Remember: the mask isn’t just to protect you, it’s to protect others as well. Studies have shown that even simple homemade masks reduce the risk of contagion by a huge amount, so they are well worth it. Be sure to wash and sanitize your mask after every use. 

Which brings us to the next one: using sanitizer. Undeniable proof that you need sanitizer: germs don’t just spread through the air, they can live on surfaces, including clothing, skin, and so much more. Just look at this study to see for yourself. Investing in a good gel sanitizer to personally sanitize your hands and other areas of the body when you’ve been out in public is a good idea; having a spray sanitizer as a backup for when you can’t wash or sanitize other things, like your car or shoes is also a great plan. Sanitiser is relatively inexpensive (and while it was almost completely unavailable for a while, most manufacturers and retail outlets have begun offering it again) and there’s no reason not to stock up on a few bottles to help protect yourself and others. 

Another easy thing to do that costs you nothing is to maintain a distance of six feet from others at all times. When out shopping, at work, grabbing takeout for dinner, just make sure you stay six feet away from others to reduce the risk of passing illness to one another. 

Things might be “open” again, but use caution and your best judgment when deciding on re-entering the world. Going to work is fine, doing necessary shopping is fine, but do you really need to go to the beach just yet? Should you go sit in a restaurant or is takeout a better option? Is that trip to the mall a great idea? Weigh out the risk factors with any highly-populated public area before deciding if you want to take the risk. At the end of the day, the choices are yours, but being safe is always going to be your best bet. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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