Embracing The New Norm with COVID-19

Source: The Military Health System

First of all I hope this post reaches you and yours in good health and that you’re staying safe amidst the now global pandemic that is COVID-19.

I’ll let you know what you’re reading right now is a complete deviation from the direction I had intended this post (or actually series of posts) to go.

But given the circumstances, it does make sense that not everything would go as planned.

The original idea I had was for this to be broken down into a series of 3 posts but if I had continued in the format I wanted to, all the information would’ve been obsolete even before I hit the publish button.

I’m also actually appreciative of the fact that it didn’t go as planned because it gave me some time to re-evaluate what I should write about and the direction the blog would take from here on out.

A month to be exact.

I’m sure by now you’re well aware of everything that’s been going on in the news as well the chaos and uncertainty that has come about as a result of the novel Coronavirus.

It’s no secret that it needs to be taken seriously and you need to be very precautious in your daily activities.

If you need a reminder, here are some measures you should be taking already as gotten from the CDC:

Staying Safe and Healthy During the Coronavirus Pandemic

1 - Know How It Spreads

The best prevention is to avoid exposure from the virus and the thought is it happens primarily from person to person.

You also need to be aware there currently isn’t any vaccine for the virus.

2 - Clean Your Hands Often

Handwashing is something you should be practicing on a regular basis but now so more than ever.

The CDC highly recommends soap and water but Hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can also be used as a substitute.

Watch the video below for What You Need to Know About Handwashing.

3 - Avoid Close Contact

Avoid close contact with anyone who is sick or who could be easily susceptible to the virus.

This is where self quarantine, social distancing and all those Stay At Home orders come into play.

See: Coronavirus, Social Distancing and Self Quarantine.

4 - Stay At Home If You're Sick

Stay at home if you’re sick unless you need to seek medical attention.

Visit the following link for What To Do If You Are Sick

5 - Cover Coughs and Sneezes

Again part of social etiquette but please cover your mouth and nose when sneezing, properly dispose of any used tissue and WASH YOUR HANDS!

6 - Wear A Facemask If You Are Sick

There’s so much I want to say here but I’ll keep my opinions out of this.

If you are sick, please wear a facemask to protect others.

If you are not sick, then you don’t need one unless you’re around someone who is sick and they don’t have a mask.

I’m sure you’re also aware of the shortage of facemasks and other protective equipment so don’t run through any supplies you have and also make considerations for caregivers.

7 - Clean and Disinfect

Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces on a daily basis.

You can read the full CDC article here – How to Protect Yourself

Here are a few more tips to keep in Mind...

- Slow The Spread

In an attempt to slow the spread of the virus and help flatten the curve, the White House issued a 15 Day guideline to help minimize the impact of the disease.

Get it here.

15 days to slow the spread
Source: The White House

If you’re not familiar with the whole concept of flattening the curve, then I suggest you read this post from LiveScience – “What is Flattening The Curve & Will It Work?

As rightfully put, it basically is “the difference between finding and ICU bed and ventilator or being treated in the parking lot tent.”

- Listen to Reliable Sources

There’s been a lot of misinformation and unreliable speculation out there that just seems to make matters worse.

Please stick to trustworthy and reliable resources in times like this.

GoodRx compiled and excellent list of Where To Find Reliable Information and Updates on COVID-19.

Do your best to stay up-to-date with any developments as they come.

- Create A Routine For Yourself

There has been a lot of disruption as a result of the Coronavirus.

I can only imagine how tough things have become for so many people and toll it is taking on their lives and routines as a result.

Still I think it is important to find some kind of structure and normalcy in our current day-to-day activities whatever they may be for you.

We need to continuously remind ourselves not to panic and to stay calm during these distressing times.

Which leads me to…

How Do We Handle The Current Situation and When Do We Move Forward?

I’ll pre-phase this section by saying there are obviously other people more highly qualified than myself to talk about how to handle situations like this.

I’ll share my own opinions and they should be treated as such.

I know I’m not the first one to share my thoughts about the current situation and certainly won’t be the last.

It’s no lie that things are crazy right now.

However my attention is gradually shifting to realizing that this is our new norm and we need to embrace it.

That’s a tough thing to say because when you think about the people who’ve suffered a great deal from this, that could be a very tough pill to swallow.

I certainly empathize for anyone who’s going through a great deal because of this.

But even as we acknowledge all the negative impact, we can’t continue to dwell in uncertainty and the failure to progress.

At some point, we have to move forward.

I think that begins with the fact that we need to embrace the reality of the situation, listen to the advice we’re being given, and do our best to continue to live a “normal” life.

Everything that’s gong on just brings to light the new challenges we’ll face when we get past the worst of this pandemic.

But as you read this, let me ask you this question – “When do things get back to normal?”

Nobody knows and everything right now is just another speculation.

Does that mean everything in your life should come to a halt?

Do you give up on everything you’ve worked so hard to accomplish up until this point?

I’m a big believer in controlling what you can.

We certainly can’t control everything going on around us right now but we can control ourselves and how we respond to all of it.

Do we all need to make certain adjustments? 

Of course we do but it doesn’t mean we can’t keep pushing forward.

I’m sure we’ll eventually get back to a point were things are similar to the way they were before but who knows how those situations will be handled then.

I found myself thinking the other day when will it be okay to go watch a football or basketball game in person.

Will we all go because we’re told it’s okay?

Will it be because they’ve found the vaccine?

Will we have to wear facemasks in close proximity to one another?

Or maybe some kind of screening at every public entrance?

So many unknowns.

Of course this is by no means the first pandemic to ever happen which means at a certain point we’ll bounce back.

That only happens if we do our part to stop the spread AND continue to move forward.

How we all respond to things is going to be different because we all have different goals in mind.

But since this primarily a health-related blog and you are here, I think your focus should be on what things you can do right now that will have the biggest positive impact in your future health.

You likely set some health related goals for yourself at the start of the year. How do you keep the momentum going?

Whatever your goals may be, it’s time to reassess the different things you can do still reach them while being safe of course.

COVID-19 unfortunately is here and all we can do at this point is protect ourselves.

The reality is that is our “new norm”.

There obviously is a lot of reflection that needs to happen but ask yourself where you want o be when things get better.

Do you want to be at square one or would you rather have made some progress?

None of this is meant to undermine the fact that you need to take into consideration how serious the disease is.

Continue to do what’s required of you to stop the spread and help those you can.

But remember there’s only so much you can control.

Care for your loved ones, check in on friends and neighbors but do not neglect to take care of yourself and your goals as well.

Stay safe and Wash Your Hands!

Oh! And please be considerate of others. We’re all in this together.

I’d love to hear your thoughts.

How are you dealing with the current situation and what’s been your response?

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