Whether you are a person at high risk of contracting COVID-19 or not, prioritizing our health has never been a priority in our society. How many times did you go to school sick because of an exam, a sporting event, or an assignment that seemed more important than your health? How often have you been at work sick because there aren't enough sick hours available to you or better yet, there's not enough staffing to find someone to cover your shift? So how can we blame people for not wanting to wear a face mask (hence care for other people's health) when we don't even know how to take care of our own?
Truth be told, it is time to start caring about our health and the health of others if we want this pandemic to be controlled. Hoping you believe COVID-19 is a real health problem and not a political agenda, while also hoping you are here looking for peaceful solutions, the list below offers you 10 things we can all do to do our part and prevent the spread of Corona Virus.
10. Improve Your Health
I can not sit here and tell you how to improve your health because I don't know you, but I know you know yourself. Let's be honest, we all know what we need to do to improve our individual health. I personally have a snacking problem. I can eat, and eat, and eat, and eat, and survive all day on snacks! Now if these were healthy snacks it probably wouldn't be a problem but nope. I love Mexican candy, chocolate, fruit, and almost any crunchy chips. I know that what I need to do is pick up healthier snacks and better eating habits. What do you need to do?
All I'm saying, high risk or not, is that we should not wait until it is too late to start eating better and picking up healthier habits.
Clearer mind = clearer vision.
A lot of people have been experiencing high levels of anxiety due to Coronavirus. Meditation is a powerful centering tool that allows you to focus on the only thing that matters, the present. As someone who also suffers from anxiety, I understand that not everything works the same for everyone. While some of us prefer to meditate and self-center, other people I know prefer to do Yoga, Aromatherapy, even consuming CBD/THC products to help them ease the anxiety. Whatever your form of meditation is, whatever helps you clear your mind, keep doing it. Go for a walk, write, pray, take a long bath, whatever it is, DO IT!
8. Don’t Host [or Go to] Parties
As much as we miss other people, it is still not completely safe to be hanging out with too many people at once, especially if not everybody is wearing a mask and keeping their distance. We have to understand one thing, we don't know for sure how other people are protecting themselves. You may be aware that the people you hang out with are taking care of themselves, but what about their family members? THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO RISK IT! It is not worth it to put yourself, the people you live with, and the people you care about at risk because of a stupid party that won't even matter when you grow up. There will be better parties, and there will be better times!
Worst-case scenario, if you are spoiled and allowed to throw a party, at least be considerate of others and make people wear face masks, keep their distance, and keep sanitizer, alcohol wipes, and disinfectant spray available at all times. BE CONSIDERATE! If you must, party responsibly.
7. Avoid Touching Your Face
By now you have probably seen the video of the nurse who showed how cross-examination happened, but if you haven't here you go. One of the best ways to prevent getting sick is to avoid touching your face. Touching your face includes but it is not limited to: scratching, whipping off sweat, biting your nails, and rubbing your eyes. Avoid doing this and you can prevent getting sick from the common flu and coronavirus.
6. Pretend You are Peeing at the Park
When you live in L.A. and you visit a park, you quickly realize that the bathrooms rarely, if ever, have soap, running water, and toilet paper. If you're lucky (and at a really good neighborhood) you might get all three. However, in most parks, there's never running water (or soap), at least this is how it was pre-COVID. So what did we do back then? If you're a girl you pee squatting and avoid touching anything. When we're done using the bathroom we quickly sanitize with our own personal sanitizer, we avoid touching as much as possible until we reach a place to wash our hands. COVID requires us to pretend we are peeing at the park. Avoid touching unnecessary surfaces when you're outside. Whenever possible wipe clean common touch surface areas like a door handle, the car handles, light switches, and the fridge/microwave area.
5. Wash and Sanitize Your Hands
It is essential to wash our hands every 30 minutes! Whenever this isn't possible, sanitize, sanitize, SANITIZE! The best way to keep remembering to do this is to pretend you just peed at a public restroom in a park in L.A.
Something that has helped me stay protected is doing the work! This requires being aware of the areas that people might touch and others might not sanitize clean. For example, when I'm on an uber and I have to put on my seat belt. Upon entering the uber I assume that the door handle, the seat, the seatbelt, and that back area have not been cleaned from previous passengers (although some Uber drivers do take precautionary measures and sanitize after every ride -- shout out to you all!). If I do not have a disinfecting wipe to open the car door and put on my seat belt, I simply sanitize my hands after getting in, and after getting out. This may seem like a lot to some people, but once again, these are habits we all need to start doing to protect ourselves and others in order to get back to "normal".
4. Carry a Spray Bottle with Alcohol
If you don't feel like carrying disinfecting wipes, there is a much more accessible item that you can DIY at home. Simply get your hands on an opaque spray bottle available for as low as $1. Fill it with alcohol and spray it on areas you will touch, again like the door handle, the seat belt, the grocery shopping cart, the grocery packed items that other people might have contaminated, etc. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER!
Grocery store workers can not possibly sanitize everything, Uber drivers might not be able to clean after every ride, some carts might go unsanitized if the grocery store is not well organized. If we all become active participants in keeping things clean, we can slow the spread of Coronavirus. But we all need to do this, together.
3. Choose Your Favorite Person
I don't know if it is our human nature or what drives our survival, but numerous studies show that human beings need other humans. Multiple studies show the effects of solitary confinement and how it changes people for the worse. Living during a pandemic should not feel and does not need to be solitary confinement. I understand that no matter how much of a homebody one might be, we still need to see and interact with other people. So how about this...choose your favorite. Aside from your immediate family and relatives (presumably living with you), who is the one person in your life that you can not stop seeing? Who is that person that cares about you as much as you care about them?
If you must go out, and if you must hang out with anyone, make sure it's the one person that's worth it.
2. Call Each Other Out
Over the fourth of July weekend, there were a lot of social gatherings of more than 10 people. I'm sure you saw on someone's story on Instagram, Facebook, or Snapchat how they were in a gathering with no face masks and probably not keeping six feet apart. It's time we start calling people out on not following the basic requirements (which by the way is not to stay at home in lockdown and not go out anymore) to wear a face mask and keep six feet apart. I know not everyone is outspoken and willing to call people out, but a little passive-aggressive message goes a long way. Below are some ideas:
- Is the pandemic over? I missed the memo.
- Look at you guys vacationing like Corona is over...
- I love your face mask!
- Where are your face masks?
- Reply to their social gathering posts with this meme:
1. Wear a F****ing Face Mask
Last weekend, someone I know decided to throw a party for her friend's birthday. I happen to be dating a person that lives in the same house where the party was going to happen. I expressed my frustration, fears, and anger. The idea of the party happening where someone I love lives, thinking he would be exposed to something increased my anxiety, which made me unable to sleep and caused me to have multiple panic attacks throughout the day and night. When the day of the party came, my significant other (not the party host) made sure to provide the guests with multiple sanitizers, alcohol wipes, and disinfectants all to make sure I felt safe even though the two of us would not be attending the party. And guess what? Out of 10 people, only two were wearing face masks. Nobody seemed concerned about coronavirus, no one was keeping six feet apart, and best of all the majority weren't wearing a face mask.
I understand being in quarantine is hard. I understand we all want to hang out with our friends, return to normal, and stop wearing hot face masks that ruin our make up and make us sweaty, but IF YOU WANT THIS TO SLOW YOU HAVE TO F*** CARE!
I can not stress this enough, please wear a face mask. When you choose not to wear one, you don't know who you're affecting and how. In order for this virus to stop you have to start caring about other people and how your actions might affect them.