Millions of people across the country are currently under an order to stay at home to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19. This outbreak has been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization because the virus is affecting a large population and people across the globe.
Here in the US, some states are asking everyone to “shelter in place” so the health crisis can be slowed. The news is shifting every day, with more and more areas experiencing these recommendations to stay at home. In Tarrant County, a shelter in place notice is currently in effect, with a possibility of a similar order coming soon to Denton County. Most people are staying up-to-date watching the never-ending news headlines that are rolling through. But it is easy to get overwhelmed by all of the information, especially when there are conflicting reports online.
The best thing that you can do is look to reputable medical experts for information. Our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care is working hard to provide ongoing support to meet the needs of all of our patients.
Today, we are sharing a few tips to keep your family healthy during this unprecedented health crisis.
To Keep Your Family Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic, “Do the 5”
The World Health Organization has shared habits that can be followed to limit the transmission of the virus among the population. The slogan “Do the 5” has been circulating online, with a few simple (and effective) recommendations.
Here are 5 ways to keep your family safe during the novel coronavirus:
- HANDS: Wash them often
- ELBOW: Cough into it
- FACE: Don’t touch it
- SPACE: Keep a safe distance (recommended 6 feet)
- HOME: Stay if you can
We know that the virus can spread through droplets in the air, as well as touching surfaces that have been contaminated by someone with the disease. The challenge is that many people experience mild or even no symptoms, so they don’t realize they are a carrier.
The virus is highly contagious, which means that even basic, everyday interactions can spread the disease from one person to the next.
The 5 recommendations listed above are designed to minimize the chances of you contracting the virus if you come in contact with someone who is affected. Be proactive by assuming that you are coming in contact with the virus, especially when out in public.
Protect the Vulnerable
This viral infection can cause symptoms in people of all ages, but the older generations are at the highest risk for serious complications. Additionally, people who are already immune-compromised or suffering from another health condition need to be protected.
Social distancing is recommended to minimize the chances of passing the virus to your loved ones. Even if you are asymptomatic, it could be tragic if you unknowingly share the infection with a parent or grandparent.
The best solution is to keep your distance. Instead of visiting in-person, pick up the phone and give them a call. Consider dropping food on the doorstep instead of coming inside.
If everyone does their part to minimize the spread of this disease, then we can avoid unnecessary exposure for those people who are at the highest risk for life-threatening complications.
Don’t Touch Your Face
Are you aware of how often you touch your face during the day?
If your hands come in contact with a contaminated surface, the virus can enter your body when your hands touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Something as simple as touching a door handle can pick up viruses on your hands. Then, the virus can move into the body when you forget to wash your hands before eating, touching your eyes, or allowing your hands to come in contact with your face. Not only do you need to be more aware of your daily habits, but also be proactive in increasing your hand washing. Frequent washing decreases the likelihood that you will get Coronavirus.
Groceries: Curbside Pickup
Even if you stocked your cupboards when the news broke about COVID-19, you will eventually need to buy more fresh food. Grocery stores are staying open to accommodate the needs of the community, but understand that it is a risk to enter any public space because you could potentially pick up Coronavirus by breathing in droplets from the air.
One solution is to look for local grocery stores to schedule a curbside pickup order. Your order can be submitted online or through an app. Then, you will have a scheduled time to pick up the order in the parking lot. An employee of the grocery store will bring your order to the car and place the bags in your trunk. Be aware that the demand for curbside pickup has increased, so you need to plan ahead. Check with your local store to ask about availability.
Healthy Eating and Exercise
Medical experts have found that overall health and wellness minimizes the potential risk of serious symptoms. Be proactive in helping your family maintain strong immune systems by focusing on healthy meal planning and regular exercise.
These tips are essential for boosting overall health and wellness, which reduces the risk of a variety of illnesses. While healthy eating doesn’t make you immune to viral infections, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can be beneficial for providing the essential nutrients that are needed to support immune function.
Don’t Forget About Mental Health During the Stay-At-Home Order
Social isolation can be a challenge, especially for people who are used to social interaction throughout the week. Children are feeling the effects of no playtime with friends and school closures. Older adults are impacted because family and friends can’t visit due to health risks. In addition to the isolation, it can be stressful to cope with the dismal news reports. Many people experience an increase in anxiety, fear, and depression because of their current circumstances. This situation can cause both adults and children to have strong emotions, especially when everyone is feeling cooped up inside.
People with pre-existing mental health conditions should consider treatment with their therapist or healthcare provider. Many of these experts are offering video conferencing services, providing full access to ongoing services from home.
Be careful to be wise about the number of news stories you are reading or hearing. Spending too much time on social media or hearing about the pandemic all day long can increase stress levels for you and your loved ones.
Call Our Urgent Care If You Have Symptoms
If you notice symptoms of the Coronavirus illness, then it is essential to call our office right away. We will assess your symptoms to determine if a test is needed.
Common symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Dry cough
- Difficulty Breathing
Even though the symptoms are mild for most people, it is important to have access to an experienced medical team if the condition worsens. It is recommended that you call our office before coming for an appointment, to avoid spreading the virus to other people in the clinic.
We have locations you can visit in both Frisco and Fort Worth. Use our online sign-in form or walk-ins are always welcome. If you are having emergency symptoms, then it is important to come to our ER immediately or call 911. Our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care is just a phone call away: (214) 407-8668.