It’s been more than a year since the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared. Fortunately, we’ve come a long way from the fear, dread, and panic marking the first few months. Rates of infection and number of cases are on a downward trend. It seems the worst may finally be over for many parts of the world.
In some parts of the world, life is slowly showing some semblance of what it used to be before the coronavirus. This is especially evident in terms of the number of people “breaking free” from their quarantines and meeting up with friends and loved ones.
However, experts continue to emphasize that a lot of work still has to be done before we are able to fully go back to the way we used to live. For now, the so-called “new normal” of continuous health protocols, social distancing, and strict personal hygiene remain.
Even as we begin to reemerge to and socialize we need to keep some things in mind. How to safely interact with your loved ones is the most important aspect. Here are some helpful tips and reminders on how to keep your loved ones safe:
The global COVID-19 vaccination drive has been successful so far. This is thanks in part to millions of people who have placed their trust in medical science. Most importantly, thanks to the scientists, doctors and nurses who worked overtime to bring forward years of research to help stem the tide of this recent pandemic.
It seems to be paying off as the decrease in the number of infections is largely attributed to people being vaccinated. While getting vaccinated is not a guarantee you won’t get COVID-19, it will greatly reduce the severity of the disease should you contract it. It also means you are less likely to actively spread the virus around. In short, vaccination provides a good measure before meeting up with family and friends.
Wear a Mask
Wearing an antibacterial face mask continues to be the top health practice you can observe. Not only for your own benefit but for others as well.
Donning personal protective equipment such as a face mask or surgical mask reduces the risk of transmission in case you have the virus. Wearing a mask also offers some protection for yourself if you are around others who may be infected.
It’s still recommended to wear a mask even if vaccinated. This is especially in the company of vulnerable loved ones such as the elderly or those who have critical illnesses.
Studies have consistently shown the coronavirus in respiratory droplets may tend to spread more easily and linger longer in the air in indoor spaces and environments that are not well-ventilated. Thus, it’s a better idea to meet up with family or friends in an outdoor setting.
Organize a barbecue or a nice picnic at the park. Provide opportunities to continue observing proper physical distancing. Avoid sharing utensils and other personal items.
Play Online Games
Keeping in touch through virtual communication channels remains to be the best alternative to physical gatherings. However, such online meet-ups need not be boring or awkward. To make them more fun and engaging, be sure to plan well in advance and set a program of activities for all participants to follow.
There are a lot of group online games, such as bingo, Scrabble, or Kahoot. Chip in for some prizes or a cash pot so everyone remains motivated to participate.
Aside from online games, you can also organize a watch party of your favorite movies or TV shows. Choose virtual activities that will be exciting for all ages to make sure no one gets left behind.
Make a One-on-One Call
Interacting with friends and family need not always be in a group setting. In fact, one of the most meaningful ways you can keep in touch with loved ones is through a good old phone call.
With the variety of communication tools available, you can be make “calls” more intimate and personal through a video. Go through your phonebook and see which people in your life might benefit from a good chat. In particular, experts recommend checking in on children and the elderly as they may be more physically and emotionally affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Send a Package of Essentials
Another way to express thoughtfulness to special people in your life is to send a thoughtfully assembled care package. Send someone their favorite comfort food or other essentials they can’t live without.
Include a heartfelt note or a scrapbook of some of the memories you’ve shared with them. Help uplift their spirits and keep them optimistic about returning to the way people used to live.
With these tips, you can help family and friends make the ongoing pandemic a little bit more bearable. You can certainly make your love and presence felt while still abiding by health protocols. The same protocols that brought us through this far can help you safely interact with loved ones in the “new normal.”
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