You often hear the experts talk about quarantine fatigue. Add to that fatigue the regional winter blues, and you have an even more intense urge for many Americans to get out of the house. This spring, as the temperatures warm and economies reopen, more and more people are getting out there. And as many continue to get vaccinated, they may even feel a little invincible.
It’s important to remember that vaccinations don’t prevent you from getting COVID-19. And while many continue to remain cautious, there are thousands of Americans who are throwing caution to the wind. To ensure you and your family can get outdoors, venture back to normality, and enjoy your spring, here are three areas of safety tips to consider.
1. Be Aware of Your Own Conditions
Before you head out to a dine-in restaurant or take in a movie at the local theatre, consider your own personal or family health conditions. Recommended guidelines for safety usually apply to the masses. But knowing your own conditions, whether it’s seasonal allergies or an auto-immune disorder, should dictate your personalized safety best practices.
Underlying Health Conditions
If someone in your household has an underlying health condition, you should consider abiding by your own rules of engagement. Even when fully vaccinated, someone with Type 1 Diabetes can still experience hardships with COVID-19. The elderly or immune-compromised should also be more careful about engaging with others. Keep those masks handy, keep using the sanitizers, and do your best to socially distance whenever possible.
Vaccinated or Not Vaccinated
Gathering with friends or family may be the first spring activity you have planned. Getting together with others who have already been vaccinated can be safer than gathering with those who have not. But don’t let your guard down entirely. If you feel ill or fevered, you’ll still want to keep your distance from loved ones. And you’ll want to encourage those around you to do the same should symptoms present.
Take Necessary Steps
You’ll notice this spring, as you get out more, stores are still sanitizing shopping carts, and retailers will still have those plastic guards at check-out stations. Don’t venture out this season without taking your own precautions as well. Keep masks handy in case you find yourself in a position where masks are required or a crowd makes it hard to social distance. Still, remind the kids to wash their hands regularly and make use of disinfectant sprays and wipes in your home and car.
2. Be Aware of Others
When you first earned your driver’s license, you might remember your instructor telling you the most important aspect of safety behind the wheel is being aware of others. Defensive driving could be lifesaving. The same principles apply for protection this spring as you venture back out into the world. You might be taking all the safety precautions necessary. But it won’t help protect you from the virus if someone in line at the pharmacy sneezes on you.
Courtesy Is Still the Best Medicine
Not everyone will wear a mask. Not everyone is on board with the social distancing efforts or wiping down grocery cart handles. That’s ok. Courtesy is still the best medicine as you get out and about this spring. Keep yourself safe, with social distancing or mask-wearing. But also, be mindful that not everyone will agree with certain safety measures. Respect each other as you look out for yourself and your well-being.
Mind Your Manners
Whether you’re the dedicated mask-wearer or not, there are still a few common-sense manners upon which we all can probably agree. If you feel a sneeze coming, and for many, it is allergy season, do your best to release it into your arm. If you have a tickle in your throat, cover your mouth with your forearm. And if you do accidentally catch yourself contaminating a common surface, that’s when the pocket sanitizers come in handy.
Keep a Little Distance
Again, everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to mitigation efforts. But in general, it’s probably a good idea to just give each other a little space. Don’t crowd behind someone in line at the store. Don’t hover on top of each other at the gas station check-out counter. Instead, consider adding a little distance wherever possible to reduce the risk of exposure.
3. Don’t Forget the Spring Safety Basics
In some states where snow seasons are prevalent, the locals usually joke about how people forget how to drive in the snow. The first big snowfall of the winter hits, and so do the fender benders. Don’t let this spring be like that for you and your family. While you’re obviously focused on keeping yourself and your family safe from COVID-19, don’t forget about the non-pandemic-related safety steps you should be taking, too. Here are a few non-pandemic safety concerns to remember this spring.
Seatbelts & Sunscreen
If you haven’t had an opportunity to get out of the house, your first order of business might involve a road trip or short drive to somewhere fun. Don’t pack up the masks and sanitizers only to forget the hats and sunscreen. Protect your sensitive skin with ample SPF and wear a hat if you plan to be in the sun long. And don’t forget to fasten everyone’s seatbelts on your drive, either.
Helmets & Reflectors
The kids are likely itching to get outside this spring, and new bikes might be the order of the day. Before they set out on their neighborhood adventures, make sure you review safety tips for traffic and pedestrians. Helmets and bike reflectors are important safety additions, as well. Coach them about how to remain visible to drivers, abiding by signage, and pedestrian right-of-way laws.
Going for afternoon walks, midday bike rides, or spending Sundays at the park might sound like amazing spring activities for you or your kids. But it’s a great idea for everyone else, too. Be safety conscious about coaching your little ones about stranger danger. Talk with your family about your rules for encountering or engaging others at the park. Create contingency plans for emergency situations and don’t rule out basic ‘stranger danger’ tips.
Stay safe this spring as you and your family get out of the house. And when you’re ready to explore your health insurance options via the Marketplace, browse with W3ll!