Many countries are already on a nationwide lockdown with only essential services in operation. Several have recommended self-isolation as a precautionary measure to halt the spread of COVID-19.
While one can’t deny the efficacy of self-isolation, in some cases, you may have no choice but to go out even if you don’t want to.
One good example would be health workers and first responders who still need to go to work to manage the crisis. In almost all cases, these are medical professionals who will know what to do to stay safe.
The problem arises when other people have to go to work because the companies they’re employed with are not shutting down. This group of people generally are not aware of the risks and necessary precautions they should take.
At times like these, you will need to proactively reduce your risks. During a pandemic like COVID-19, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the risks. All you can do is reduce them. Let’s see how you can go about it.
- Avoid public transport, if you can help it.
If you have a vehicle, use it. Now is not the time to be environmentally-conscious. If you don’t have a vehicle, use a bicycle or walk, if the place you need to go to is not too far.
Alternatively, you may choose to carpool with a few people you trust. Everyone needs to be on board when it comes to staying cautious.
Mathematically speaking, carpooling is safer than taking a ride on a public bus or subway where the risks increase exponentially just because of the sheer numbers of people on it.
- Wipe down your workstation
Use a disinfectant spray to wipe your workstation at the start of every workday. Use a mask if it makes you feel safe.
Avoid touching your face, and wash your hands regularly. This is NOT paranoia. It’s a necessary measure. Office spaces are usually air-conditioned and not too big. It’s easy for the virus to spread if just one person has it.
- Keep to yourself
Avoid hanging out in groups with co-workers. You’re not being unfriendly. You’re just being cautious.
Self-isolate at work as best as you can. Avoid eating with others and it’s best to eat at your desk. Ideally, you should have brought food from home because you want to avoid going out too much.
The goal is to avoid crowds and people whenever possible. COVID-19 has been proven to be contagious and the only way to arrest the spread is to minimize contact between people.
- Ask your boss to let you work from home
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. Speak to your boss and see if it’s possible to work from home or come into the office twice or three times a week.
You can still get the job done while maintaining some form of isolation. It’s in everyone’s best interest to do so. While this is not possible for those in the service industry, regular office workers should have no problems here.
It’s usually the management that needs to shift its mindset.
- Shop online
If you do not need to go to work, you may probably only need to go out to get groceries. If possible, purchase most of your groceries online.
Sometimes, you may see that items are sold out or the website may ‘hang’ or cancel your order. Do try again at intervals.
Often, the inventory is replenished your order will go through. It’s just a matter of being persistent.
Stores have implemented quotas so that customers can’t hoard. So, while you can purchase the items you need, you’ll need to keep going back for more. Shopping online will allow you to avoid breaking self-isolation and keep things relatively hassle-free.
- Monitor your health
Last but not least, monitor your health and strive to improve it.
Eat wisely. Exercise indoors daily. Boost your immune system with vitamin C, zinc and probiotics. Try to lose weight and eliminate unhealthy habits like smoking.
Now is the time to prioritize your health and orient yourself towards a better lifestyle. This COVID-19 pandemic will pass, but the positive habits you form now will serve you well all your life.