“Social Distancing” DOESN’T explain the full concept of protecting one another

“Social Distancing” DOESN’T explain the full concept of protecting one another

“Your siblings are doing what?!” 

“They’re at my cousin’s house, Ms. LeNoir. That’s okay, isn’t it?”

No, this is not okay. “Social distancing” from six feet apart is for being outdoors and when inside buildings (ONLY IF ESSENTIAL), such as if we MUST have our car repaired in order to drive it. But how we now, temporarily, have to live our lives is very much changed. 

There’s a lot I’ve learned from watching Kentucky’s governor, Andy Beshear, during his daily 5:00 chats. (I HIGHLY recommend March 26th one). He is guided by those in the medical field who best understand what we need to do.

For one, siblings can only play with the people who live in their own house. Yes, someone could come up to the window and wave (but not touch the window, unless it’s cleaned first). Or one could sit in the yard and speak with the neighbor in the next yard (several feet apart). But we cannot go into one another’s houses! We cannot hug our friends or even take selfies close together with those who do not live in our own house.

When driving to work, we can’t drive with people who don’t live in our house. And at work, if our employer doesn’t space us out 6’ apart from others, there’s a hotline where we can – anonymously – tell the state. 833-597-2337.

Main idea? People who live in your house are okay. EXCEPT when someone might have been exposed or is sick. That’s another issue that includes isolation in one area of the house. 

When we come home from work or an essential trip out, we’re not supposed to touch much, put ALL our clothes in washer and start it (not someone’s mom touching clothes that aren’t hers—for those of you who still don’t realize we should all share all home chores!) Then we’re supposed to shower thoroughly (shampoo, too) and then dress in clean clothes and go wipe down all the surfaces we may have touched coming into the house. Remember to wipe down the washing machine knobs! THEN we can greet our family.

Also–Mail can carry the virus. Mail carriers are getting sick in many places. When opening mail or packages, we should throw away all outer parts and then wash our hands. Next, wipe off inner papers or items. It’s not supposed to live for long on paper surfaces, but we need to be extra careful at this time. If receiving a box of chocolates, for example, wipe off the box. The chocolates inside should be fine. (Please don’t Lysol them!)

On the positive side—social distancing does NOT mean social isolation (unless we are sick or have been in contact with someone with the virus—remember that then we would need to be in isolation in our home). So what can we do? Besides work and school? Physical activity outside (staying 6’ away from people who do not live in our house), a drive to pick up food (from a safe takeout restaurant—for me, not a drive-thru, but a local place), play games with our families, do puzzles, cook together as a family, talk. . . . So much that we may not have done much of before this. Socialize with family! We’ve already invested a lot of time in media socializing. And right now we have to be careful that this social media socializing is positive—positive interactions with friends and family. (I love seeing happy photos of all of my extended family and my friends on Instagram, for example!)

Also, we all know (now!) to WASH HANDS FOR 20+ SECONDS. But did you know we also need to use moisturizer afterwards? Or all this washing will leave them dry and more susceptible to germs getting into those cracks. That one was new for me, too!

Next, I’ll write about what I am personally doing to practice social distancing while supporting local businesses, supporting my emotional health, staying in contact with those whom I love, and still accomplishing my goals.

Till then—be well.

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