How to Work Safely During a COVID-19 Lockdown
Recently, more and more people are dealing with lockdowns around the country and the globe due to the spread of coronavirus. For some, this has unfortunately led to job loss and financial difficulties. Others, however, are still able to work and continue earning an income throughout the pandemic.
To prevent the spread of disease and care for your own personal safety, there are several precautions that you can take. By protecting yourself, you’re also protecting those around you. Here are some tips:
#1. Take Preventative Measures
Whether you’re working from home or deemed an essential employee, requiring you to report to work on location, informed and cautious preventative measures are your first line of defense. There’s still a lot that we don’t know about the virus, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Nearly all experts agree that people should be social distancing. However, it seems that many people have different understandings of the term, or aren’t abiding by the guidelines. Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing means maintaining a safe distance of 6 feet from people outside of your home.
If you’re on location with co-workers, or working from home and coming into contact with delivery workers, it’s essential to maintain this separation. Even an in-person conversation with someone should be done at a distance.
If you need to transfer objects with another person, you should ask them to set it down and then back away to a safe distance. You can also take preventative measures like sanitizing objects that others have contacted. COVID-19 can live on surfaces like cardboard up to 24 hours, plastic up to 3 days, and certain metals up to 5 days.
Finally, compulsive hand washing is a good thing. By touching objects and then touching your face, you may be cross-contaminating the virus and risk infecting yourself. It’s important to wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Because the virus can also live in dry, cracked skin, you’ll want to routinely moisturize after washing your hands as well.
#2. Avoid Public Spaces
The less time you spend in public spaces, the more you’ll be lowering your chances of coming into contact with the virus. Outside of work, this means limiting the number of trips you make to grocery stores, ATMs, and gas stations. Obviously you must go if there is a need, but there are still ways that you can do it safely.
It goes without saying that if you’re going out in public, you should observe all preventative measures first and foremost. You should also try to cut down on the frequency in which you venture out of the house. If you’re the type of person that likes to grocery shop several times a week, you may need to try to consolidate everything into one trip.
This means making a game plan ahead of time and not shopping aimlessly. You could also save yourself the trip and order food, drinks, and cleaning supplies from delivery services like GoPuff.
Other services can be fully accessed online during the lockdown as well. Online banking is a convenient and safer substitute for ATMs and physical locations. Handling money, as well as touching ATM panels, may be unsanitary. Plus, during these difficult times, some online financial institutions are even providing their customers with financial assistance through banking features like fee-free overdrafts.
Finally, you may want to avoid doctor’s offices and hospitals if you’re able. Not only will you be avoiding others who may spread disease, but you’re also helping these facilities preserve their personal protective equipment. Staying home can help doctors and nurses devote themselves to care and testing for COVID-19. If you’re in need of consultation with medical experts, consider switching to a telemedicine company that offers digital primary care as a safer and convenient alternative.
#3. Care for Your Mental Health
Just as important as your physical safety, mental safety is also being tested during these difficult and stressful times. Many people are coping with fear and anxiety related to the virus, as well as dealing with cabin fever while being quarantined inside. Mental health problems are not only detrimental to your personal wellbeing but can also cause your work productivity to suffer as well.
One of the best things you can do for your own mental safety is to give your mind breaks throughout the day. Luckily, there are several popular strategies that you can try. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, take a moment to block out work and news about the virus by going for a walk outside or meditating for 15 minutes. You may also want to limit your time on social media.
Many people are feeling lonely during the lockdown, especially if they’re living on their own. It’s important to make time to connect with friends and family. One simple phone call can make a world of difference, but video chatting is even better because you’ll be able to see their faces. There are several video chatting apps that work for different phones and group sizes.
Even though it’s tough while quarantining, it’s also important to try and maintain a regular, healthy lifestyle. This means that you should try to avoid excessive snacking and opt for balanced meals. There are also a number of at-home workouts that can help you de-stress, such as yoga or Zoom dance parties.
Finally, you should avoid increasing your alcohol or drug intake. Many experts fear that more and more people are turning to excessive drinking during lockdown. Alcohol makes depression and anxiety worse, as well as weakens your immune system. It may seem like alcohol and drugs may help you cope, but they are more likely to make problems worse.
We are living in stressful and uncertain times. It’s important that we try to stay safe and healthy while living as normally as possible. If you are struggling with issues relating to physical and mental health, food security, or financial security, please seek local resources that can help.
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How to Work Safely During a COVID-19 Lockdown.pdf
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