COVID-19 Comprehensive Guide to Staying Safe and Expectations
No time in history has prepared us for what we now face. Perhaps the saving grace in the current global pandemic is that we are all in this together. There is no one immune (pardon the pun) to the current circumstance. As we all dig in and watch humanity be put to the test, read on for a how-to guide on making sure you stay in the know in the age of COVID-19.
Take Steps to Ensure Personal Safety for You and Loved Ones
What we had all hoped would be a short season is turning into a marathon with no clear end in sight. Whether it’s figuring out how to work from home while managing with kids or constantly scrubbing your hands, there is a lot to consider.
As the flight attendant says before takeoff, put your mask on first. If you are not taking care of yourself well, you will not be able to take care of those around you. According to the American Red Cross, who is monitoring the coronavirus disease very closely, “the best way to prevent illness from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the virus, as there is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19.” The first step is trying to steer clear of those who may be infected.
Keeping yourself isolated is obviously a privilege, but for those who have the option, there is no better way to keep yourself healthy. Leave home only for essentials. If you do have to run to the grocery store or pharmacy, maintain a distance of at least six feet from anyone else. This dramatically decreases the chance you will contract the virus.
The Center for Disease Control has stated that the virus is spread primarily from person-to-person through respiratory droplets, but it could be possible to contract COVID-19 from touching a surface or object that has the virus on it. If you come in contact with a contaminated surface and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes, you could contract the virus yourself. Therefore, in addition to maintaining a safe distance from others, it is recommended that you also avoid touching your face.
You need to wash your hands more often and for longer than you would think. When washing your hands, do so for at least 20 seconds. Some tricks to making sure you are spending adequate time scrubbing include singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” or “Happy Birthday” twice. When you get tired of these child classics, you can always switch to the chorus of Beyoncé’s “Love on Top”. Although the most popular choice is the chorus of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene”. Both of the options will get you to 20 seconds in the sink.
After you’ve washed your hands properly, avoided touching your face, and stayed away from others, there are still a few other steps to staying healthy. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces every day. Doorknobs, handles, computers, faucets, countertops, and cell phones tend to be the biggest culprits for housing disease-inducing pathogens.
Finally, if you must be around others in tight quarters, you should wear a facemask. Facemasks are especially recommended for those who are experiencing symptoms of any kind and when visiting a doctor’s office.
What If I Have to Travel During the Pandemic?
Some of us just don’t have the option of never leaving the house. When work or caring for a loved one requires you to travel, there are still precautions you can take in order to avoid becoming infected.
The U.S. State Department has issued its highest level warning—a Global Level 4 Health Advisory—notifying Americans not to travel internationally. In fact, the department has advised that all U.S. citizens should arrange for immediate return to the Unites States unless prepared to remain abroad for an indefinite period of time. The CDC has also issued a warning against all nonessential travel.
If you must travel, the first thing to do is confirm all your plans. Check with hotels, airlines, and vehicle rental companies directly to make sure they are still able to accommodate you and those traveling with you. The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic so make sure to monitor updates and alerts closely from any service you have booked.
With all the restrictions and warnings currently issued for travelers, there have also been some restrictions eased. For example, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), is allowing passengers to carry 12 ounces of hand sanitizer in a carry-on for the time being. The previous allowance for any liquid was only 3.4 ounces. Permitting a larger container of hand sanitizer allows passengers to disinfect hands more often, but increased hand washing and avoiding contact with the face are still encouraged even with the use of hand sanitizers.
Scientists at Johns Hopkins University have developed a real-time map tracking the coronavirus. If you must travel during the pandemic, you can check the map to see if the virus has been reported wherever you are headed before you arrive. This will help you to be in the know and take further precaution if necessary. As of March 31st, the United States currently has the most confirmed cases with over 164,000 people who have tested positive. The Johns Hopkins site also has a link to a Google Sheet containing all confirmed and suspected cases of the coronavirus.
What Can I Expect from Responsible Businesses Like Charlie Clark Nissan El Paso That Are Still Open?
Many employers are taking steps to balance the delicate scale of keeping their workers gainfully employed during the pandemic while also maintaining a safe workplace for both employees and customers. This effort begins with education. Responsible businesses are making sure to communicate openly with their workforce so that everyone is well informed of the situation. Company policies and procedures relating to good hygiene are being updated and implemented real-time as organizations like the CDC and WHO release new information.
Some businesses have taken an extra step to appoint an emergency management team or task force. This can provide a single point of contact in order to avoid duplication of efforts and miscommunication within the company. Creating a resource center with information from across all departments such as HR, IT, and legal is often the first task for a newly appointed emergency management team.
Employees may feel the pressure to show up to work in order to maintain a regular rhythm and not appear to lack work ethic during the outbreak, but it is vital for employers to encourage their workforce to stay home if they fall ill. Businesses should actively encourage employees to go home immediately (and stay home) when exhibiting signs of a fever or other symptoms. To ease the anxiety of their employees and influence them to stay away if not well, many businesses are demonstrating flexibility when it comes to sick leave and attendance.
In order to create a safe environment for customers, businesses are taking extra precautions to screen visitors such as vendors, delivery drivers, or maintenance contractors coming onto their property. Furthermore, businesses are under an obligation to inform visitors of any known coronavirus cases among their employees.
Managing Well and Being Productive While Working from Home (For Those Who Can)
With all of the CDC recommendations and stay-at-home orders, many of us have found ourselves trying to work from home while also managing children or other family members. This can be a lot to handle, but it does not have to overwhelm you. There are steps you can take to make the most of the situation.
If you are fortunate enough to work from home, understand your circumstance as a luxury. Many healthcare, restaurant staff, and other essential workers don’t have the opportunity to work from home. Once you have made this mindset shift, you will then want to set some clear boundaries. Drawing clear lines between work and the rest of life will go a long way to helping you maintain your sanity.
You can draw boundaries by something as simple as your wardrobe. You wouldn’t show up to work in your pajamas so take the time to get ready for your work day just as you would if you were still heading in to the office. Shower, brush your teeth, and dress the part. This signifies to others in the house (and to your mind) that you are at work—even if not physically.
Have a dedicated work space with the right setup. Your space does not have to be fancy. A clean and well-organized kitchen counter or dining room table will do just fine. The key is just having a space, rather than spaces throughout the house. Videoconferencing apps like Zoom, laptop stands with wireless keyboards, and other tools will help to designate a boundary and set you up for being as productive as possible.
As we all try to navigate this new normal, there are steps we can take to adjust accordingly. With a focus on staying healthy, taking steps to ensure safe travel, and being responsible in the workplace, we will get through this one day at a time together. From servicing your vehicle so it stays ready for when you need it to having cars available for short term rental, Charlie Clark Nissan El Paso is doing our part to safely serve you in this unprecedented time. Give us a call at (915) 228-2412 or use our online contact form and allow our friendly team of experts to take care of your automotive needs so you can focus on all the things that are most important.
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