November 25, 2020
For many of us, March and April seem like a distant memory. But there are several safety precautions we took in the early days of the pandemic to help flatten the curve that are still a good idea today as COVID-19 surges in our community.
- Keep your world small
2020 is not the year for big holiday gatherings with friends and family. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency announcement urging Americans to stay home for the holidays and limit or eliminate their contact with people from outside their immediate household on Thanksgiving. Small in-home gatherings for dinner parties, birthdays and more are fueling the spread of the virus, resulting in soaring cases and record hospitalizations. Keeping our worlds small and limiting the time we spend time with people from outside our household is important. Always remember to follow recommended precautions like masking and physical distancing. It's also very important that you don't go out (except to seek medical care or COVID-19 testing) when not feeling well.
- Be smart about errands
When COVID-19 first arrived in our community, many of us went to great lengths to limit our errands, deciding not to run to the grocery store for a single item, opting for less frequent grocery runs. Many of us also chose not to take our kids on errands if there was a safe alternative. We understand that combining grocery trips or leaving the kids at home is not feasible for many families. But, if it is for yours, consider reinstating these practices to reduce your exposure. Other excellent practices around errands and grocery shopping include lending a hand to someone in your life who is at higher risk of experiencing severe complications from COVID-19 by running errands or picking up groceries, and using grocery pick-up options that allow for contact-less delivery. Many stores offer this at no additional cost.
- Check-in with others and practice self-care
It has been and continues to be a challenging time for many of us. This article by St. Peter's Health Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kaile Ross shares how the COVID-19 pandemic has gone from an immediate to a chronic stressor and what that means for our mental health. Check-in with loved ones, be kind to yourself and give grace to others.
- Support health care and other front-line workers
Remember in the spring when we howled from our front doors, showed signs of support from our windows and all made significant sacrifices to slow the spread and support people working on the front-lines of the pandemic response? All these people are still on the front-lines, providing care and services to our community. We are no longer asking people to stay home to support us. Instead, many front-line workers feel supported when everyone follows the recommended safety precautions that help protect them and their loved ones.
- Support local businesses
Buying local when able is a great way to support our economy. Don't forget to shop safely by maintaining physical distance and always wearing a mask. Be sure to check out programs like Community Crate or Downtown Helena Nuggets as you look for holiday gifts. Many local stores offer pickup options and most restaurants still offer takeout orders. Getting takeout is a great way to support restaurants and is a safer alternative to dining indoors.
More safety tips
Staying well and healthy this holiday season