Covid Precautions and Protections
Excerpted from AARP…
The Covid-19 pandemic is far from over. So to adjust, we all must make some trade-offs. Practically speaking, if you have been feeling well and taking good precautions, and have access to protective gear, then you can try to resume some kind of [real life] connection.
Consider the likelihood that you are infected. No one’s risk of carrying the coronavirus is zero, but if you’ve been healthy and at home for at least two weeks — you haven’t even set foot in a grocery store — then the chance of you carrying the virus should be relatively low.
Prep the kids … or leave them behind. Don’t risk bringing children to visit your elderly parents, unless you’re confident they understand that they won’t be able to go inside the home. They should know that what you’re doing is out of love, not fear, and that it’s temporary.
Protective gear. At a minimum, that means keeping a face mask on during your encounter. Your elders should wear a mask, too. Also advisable to utilize some sort of eye protection, whether it’s safety goggles or a regular pair of sunglasses. (Although people can catch COVID-19 by inhaling infected droplets, it’s also possible to transmit it by touching the virus and then touching your eyes.) Masks and eyewear serve as physical reminders to keep your hands away from your face. Gloves may also be worthwhile in certain instances.
Stay outside if possible. Preliminary research suggests that virus transmission is less likely outdoors. It’s definitely less likely if you make a point of staying at least 6 feet or more away. If you have no choice but to go inside the house — perhaps you need to change a light bulb that your elderly parent can’t reach or find an important bill she needs to pay — take your shoes off, keep your mask on, and wash your hands right away. And keep the older adult away from you, if possible, in another room.
Make it quick. The longer you’re together, the greater the chance is of passing along the virus. If you’re talking through a closed window, it probably doesn’t matter; otherwise, the longer you’re exposed to the person, the higher the risk. About 15 minutes seems to be the cut-off point for what’s considered ‘prolonged exposure.’ If you’re going to linger longer, be sure to stay at least 6 feet apart.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164