One week ago today, President Trump called on all of us in this country to follow social distancing for 15 days, part of an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re abiding by the 15-day pause, you’ve been following directions from your state and local officials

  • If you feel sick, stay home. Contact your medical provider.
  • If your children are sick, keep them home. Contact your medical provider.
  • If someone in your household tests positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Contact your medical provider.
  • If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
  • If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition, stay home and away from other people.

So what’s up with all the people you still see hanging out very close together parks, on beaches or standing in line outside stores?

I checked in with my good friend, Dr. Deb Saint-Phaird, Associate Professor at UC Health – CU Sports Medicine. Here’s her brilliant and scientific perspective. She’s also an awesome mom of two teenagers.

Basically, assume everyone is carrying the virus, whether they’re symptomatic or not. That means, be prudent.

Stay home.

Get outside as often as you can – but not in groups.

Wash your hands after any and everything you do. When you unlock the door, wipe down the doorknob and wash your hands. Wipe down your car steering wheel and your phone regularly. If you do pick up a few things from a grocery store, wash your hands when you get home and wipe down or wash anything you bought. By the way, as many stores are now regulating how many people get in, don’t stand in a line. Spread out and go in when it’s safe. 

Don’t touch your face.

You’ll spot her wearing a bandana to make sure if anyone sneezes, those particles don’t reach her.

And that is the bottom line. COVID19 spreads mainly from person to person. As the CDC reminds us,

  1. Coronavirus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (within 6 feet,)
  2. Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

This also means that those who are not following the guidelines ignore the reality that while they may not come down with serious symptoms of COVID19, they might be carriers who pass it along to someone who could become very seriously ill. Or die.

My neighbors across the street are in their 80s. If they come in contact with someone who’s being careless about their lifestyle, their chances of being harmed go way up.  As will anyone with an underlying health condition or compromised immune system.

It also impacts those who are on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus. A longtime friend from San Francisco works in the ICU cardiac and pediatric unit at UCSF. She tells me their policies are changing daily,  sometimes hourly. They don’t have enough Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep them safe so they are re-using their gear, when necessary. Because she’s over the age of 60, her adult daughter, also an ICU nurse, is reluctant to hug her.  She and others facing this pandemic head-on know that people being careless and not taking this crisis seriously are needlessly clogging their hospitals. 

Her message from the frontlines?

  • Be thankful for what you have.
  • Be careful.
  • Stay home.
  • Wash your hands – like all the time.
  • Walk and talk 6 feet apart.
  • Love each other.
  • Hold up one another in prayer.

We are all living in a time of uncertainty.  Whether you’re facing quarantine yourself or know someone who is in a difficult situation, you’re feeling the impact. Please know that you are not alone. If you want to talk – please contact me now.

A virtual hug to you all.