COVID-19 vaccines are here – but many of us will still need to wait to get vaccinated. Take these steps to stay healthy – both physically and emotionally – while you wait to get the vaccine. View the slideshow for more tips.
Wear a mask
Wearing a face covering is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19, not to mention other viruses, such as colds and the flu. Remember to use your mask to cover both your nose and mouth. A tighter fit is best as it will help prevent gaps and slipping.
Keep practicing social distancing
Pandemic fatigue is real and if you’re tired of having to socially distance from family and friends, you’re not alone. Still, it’s one of the best weapons we have in fighting COVID-19. Avoid in-person group events and limit gatherings to those who live in your household. When outside your home, maintain a distance of at least six feet away from others.
Practice good hygiene
Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water after being out in public or interacting with others. Regularly wipe down surfaces and frequently touched objects with disinfectant. You can skip the latex gloves when shopping or touching objects, but make sure you wash your hands or use hand sanitizer immediately after.
Prepare as if you’re going to get sick
When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is have to research where to get tested, find someone who can take care of your kids and learn which hospital to go to, if needed. Have a plan in place so you know exactly what steps you’ll take if you suddenly become ill. You might also consider creating a COVID kit with copies of your health insurance information, prescriptions list and emergency contact information.
Take care of your mental health
With so many changes and more than a few uncertainties, many people are struggling with increased stress, depression and anxiety. If this is you, don’t be afraid to seek help. Many therapists are offering virtual visits to help people cope during these times. Your loved ones can also help – connecting with another person may help you feel better about your situation. Consider picking up the phone or arranging an online meetup. If you can safely do so, you might also consider a socially distanced walk in a local park.
Get routine health check ups
Many people are skipping out on their routine health checkups and screenings in an attempt to avoid their doctor’s office or a hospital setting. It’s still important to get an annual exam and preventive screenings to stay healthy. Hospitals and doctors’ offices are taking special precautions to make sure they are safe and that people coming for non-COVID care are not exposed to the virus.