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The COVID-19 pandemic has been an adjustment, as everyone has shifted their lifestyles drastically these past months, since the Safer at Home order was issued on March 19, 2020. We have adjusted to this “new normal” and will have to continue this lifestyle for the foreseeable future.
COVID-19 primarily spreads from person-to-person contact and no vaccine is available as of today. Practicing good safety and hygiene protocols is still important. These include washing your hands often, avoid touching your face with unclean hands, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. If possible, continue to stay home. That is the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19. Your personal risk depends on your age, your health, virus presence in your community, and the safety measures you use (Aubrey et al., 2020).
Every outing, gathering, and activity will carry some level of risk, as being indoors and around more people can raise your risk. In general, the closer you are to an infected person and the more time you spend with them increases your risk of becoming infected. You will have to determine what you are comfortable doing as Safer at Home orders change alongside the pandemic. Our everyday lives will continue to be different though, so here are some tips to keep in mind.
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In the event that you do decide to go out, here are some things to keep in mind to help you determine the amount of risk the outing carries and how comfortable you are going out:
Keep in mind about above risk factors, think and assess following activities if you do consider going out.
With COVID-19, certain new customs will be the new normal:
Continue utilizing platforms like Zoom, FaceTime, etc. for meetings and events like virtual dinners, birthday celebrations, or game nights with friends and family. Handwritten cards and letters could be alternatives as it adds a more personal touch and remind people that you are thinking of them. Consider the following however if you are thinking about connecting with others in person:
Resources on Keeping Older Adults Connected Through Technology:
On November 19, 2020 a Limited Stay at Home order was issued for the state of California. This was established in response to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in the state. This order applies to all counties in the Tier One or Purple category of the state’s COVID-19 rating system. Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties all fall under this category. Under this order all non-essential gatherings and activities outside of the home are prohibited between the hours of 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. The order is in effect until December 21 but may be extended or revised (California Department of Public Health, 2020).
Additionally, LA County issued a temporary, targeted safer at home order on December 6th and will remain in place until December 27th unless extended. This order aligns with the above state order (County of LA Public Health, 2020).
For LA county’s latest public health order: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/reopening-la.htm#orders
For Orange county’s latest public health order: https://occovid19.ochealthinfo.com/article/oc-health-officers-orders-recommendations
For Ventura County’s latest public health order: https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/
Everyone in California must wear a face mask or face covering while in the following situations
Source: California Department of Public Health (Guidance for the Use Face Coverings):
There are a few individuals who are exempt from the face covering mandate:
Keiro’s Article on Masks
There are COVID-19 cases in all 50 states. Traveling increases your chance of both coming in contact with infected individuals and spreading the virus. If possible, avoid any unnecessary travel out of your region.
Keep in mind that since a vaccine is not yet available, there are no zero-risk outings or gatherings. Ultimately, it remains your decision on if you should go out and what activities you take part in. Do not be afraid to say no or avoid handshakes. Even though we might be returning to normal activities, the way we interact and socialize has changed immensely. Keep washing your hands frequently, and wear a mask. Choose to gather in outdoor spaces, with fewer people instead of smaller spaces with more people. Together, we will continue adapt to our “new normal.”
Aleccia, J. (2020). ‘We Miss Them All So Much’: Grandparents Ache as the COVID Exile Grinds on. Retrieved from https://khn.org/news/we-miss-them-all-so-much-grandparents-ache-as-the-covid-exile-grinds-on/
Aubrey, A., Wamsley, L., & Wroth, C. (2020). From Camping to Dining Out: Here’s How Experts Rate the Risks of 14 Summer Activities. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/05/23/861325631/from-camping-to-dining-out-heres-how-experts-rate-the-risks-of-14-summer-activit
California Department of Public Health. (2020). Limited Stay At Home Order. Retrieved from https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/limited-stay-at-home-order.aspx
County of Los Angeles Public Health. (2020). Revised Temporary Targeted Safer at Home Health Officer Order For Control of COVID-19: Tier 1 Substantial Surge Updated Response. Retrieved from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/coronavirus/docs/HOO/HOO_SaferatHome_SurgeResponse.pdf
Coronarvirus in the US – Considerations for Travelers. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-in-the-us.html
How to Protect Yourself and Others. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Martin, E. (2016). The Ins and Outs of Online Banking. Retrieved from https://www.aarp.org/money/investing/info-2016/online-banking-101.html
Parker-Pope, T. (2020). When Can I See My Grandkids? Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/20/well/family/coronavirus-grandchildren-grandparents-when-can-i-see-my-grandkids.html
Reopening Safer at Work and in the Community for Control of COVID-19. (2020). Retrieved from http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/HOO/HO_Order_COVID-19_Safer_at_Work_and_in_the_Community_05292020_FINAL_WithAppendices.pdf
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