We’re still in a pandemic, and we need to do our part to stop the spread of COVID. I’m sharing my personal experience and tips on how you can do your part. This post is sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
How To Help Stop The Spread of COVID
We’re close to wrapping up 2020, and this pandemic continues to be our reality. We all have a part to play in eradicating this virus, but we have to work together. Sometimes a wake-up call happens, reminding us that this virus is real, no matter how safe you try to play it.
When it hits home
A few weeks ago, I received a text message from a close family member informing me of their recent exposure to COVID-19. I had recently hung out with this person and their partner at The W. A few days after our social-distance, outside gathering, they started to experience the most common symptoms of COVID-19 on the CDC: headaches, fever, body aches, runny nose, loss of taste, etc.
My throat tightened, and for a second, I didn’t know what to say. The family member explained how their partner had tested positive for COVID-19 and that they were still awaiting their results. After we talked for a bit more, I thanked them for the call and made a plan to get tested. I headed to Visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest to get information on where to find the nearest testing site.
What to do if you’re exposed to COVID-19
The news hit me like a ton of bricks! As careful as I had previously been, it seemed it was all for nothing. My concern morphed into a mild case of anxiety and low-grade fear. How? Me? Why? This virus is understood to transmit most commonly through respiratory droplets exhaled into the air. Coughing. Sneezing. The simple act of talking can release it into the air. The virus can even survive for short periods on many surfaces. And did you know that you can feel 100% fine and still have it? About 40% of people who test positive for COVID-19 are asymptomatic. The next day, my wife (while she was not around the exposure, we felt best to both get tested), and I got tested. We received our results within 48 hours, negative. It was an anvil lifted off of our collective hearts.
COVID fatigue is real
COVID fatigue is real and as cautious as I have been, I, like no one else, am immune. I don’t believe there’s not a soul who doesn’t want the pandemic to end. The truth is, as a country, we have been living with this virus for well over nine months and the same guidelines the CDC recommended months ago still apply. The science is encouraging because wearing a mask, significantly while we’re out in public, reduces the spread by 70%. That’s huge! Social distancing, as best we can, and practicing good hygiene goes a long way.
How you can help stop the spread of COVID
The virus is incredibly serious and has caused the deaths of thousands of people in the United States and around the world, including people we know.
With that in mind, taking the right measures to protect yourself and your loved ones is a must. If you take the right steps, you have a better chance of lowering your risk of contracting the virus and giving it to the people around you.
Avoid Large Gatherings. Being in a group full of people drastically increases your risk of contracting the virus and spreading it to other people, including those who live with you and those who work with you. If you want to see family, try to do so virtually through a video platform that will allow you to chat face-to-face without coming in direct contact with one another. And when you do have to be in crowds, be sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Wash your hands with soap and water and use hand sanitizer. If you haven’t made it a habit by now, you should wash your hands often. Use hand sanitizer when you’re out or not able to wash your hands. We keep sanitizer in the car, by the door, and in our bags to have it available when we need it.
Wear a Protective Mask Over Your Nose and Mouth. Never leave home without your protective mask that covers both the nose and mouth. Even if it is not mandatory where you live, it is still a precautionary measure to take. Not all masks are created equally. Some of the different masks offer more protection from harmful germs than others. Consider using a mask that has a filter attached to it as an extra layer of protection. Tip: make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth.
Get Tested When Feeling Unwell. It might seem obvious, but it is vital to get tested when feeling unwell. You would be surprised by the number of people who fail to get tested despite having several virus symptoms. Even if you think it is just allergies, a hangover, or the common cold, you still need to go to a testing area to determine if your results are positive or negative.
Avoid Traveling to Hot Spot Areas. One of the worst things you could do during this pandemic is to travel to an area with exceptionally high numbers. You will put yourself at a greater risk of catching the virus from someone else.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you need to stay in quarantine while letting loved ones know about the situation. Like in our situation, we quarantined until we got our test results. While we didn’t experience any symptoms, we wanted to be cautious.
Help stop the spread of COVID
If you want more information, call the Hotline at 888-535-6136 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and press 1 to be connected to an operator who can help you find a nearby location and schedule an appointment; or Visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest to locate a testing location near you and schedule an appointment. There are many locations where you can get tested at no cost to you.
“This virus has devastated families,” but a united Michigan will come back!