Many people who are older and/or have medical conditions which put them at higher risk from complications of Covid-19 have taken the stay at home orders seriously. Many have isolated themselves at home, at their ranches, lake or beach houses. They are having groceries delivered, cleaning, cooking, doing laundry and have watched everything on Netflix. When do they get to come out? How should they come out? Hopefully, it won’t be as traumatic as a Peace Corps worker returning home from third world countries. Here are some thoughts.
You want to make sure things are better before you do. If you look strictly at the reported cases you would say things aren’t better. These raw numbers can be misleading. They reflect more testing going on and outbreaks in jails and nursing homes. A better indicator is the Covid-19 epi curve which reports cases from onset of symptoms. If you look at this graph, you can see that the cases are definitely declining. Personally, I only have one case of Covid-19. The patient is in a personal care home. This virus is not running rampant in San Antonio. Of course, the concern is that there could be a second wave for which we need to be prepared.
If you are at higher risk, you want to take more caution than people of average risk. Remember that the City of San Antonio Stay Home Work Safe order is in effect until May 19th. While the Governor of Texas has relaxed restrictions I would still be very cautious for the next several weeks. Remember, this is the same guy who said it was safe to walk outdoors on a golf course, but you couldn’t walk outdoors through the zoo. If you elect to go out I would recommend continuing to cover your face with a mask when in situations where social distancing is difficult. People have come to expect that as well. I would maintain social distancing. I would go to stores during off times. When you get in your car I would use a hand sanitizer. When you get home and unload your purchases you should wash your hands with soap and water. I would probably avoid eating in a restaurant during this time period.
When do you allow non-family members back into your home? It depends on what they’ve been doing the last 6 weeks, but if they are healthy, you can consider having them return. If you use a housekeeper, you need to think about how they get to work. Public transportation has been reduced with reduced demand. Buses have reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. If someone comes into your home to clean or make repairs, I would ask them to wash their hands with soap and water upon entering and to wear a mask while in your house.
Finally, you may want to wear a hat with that mask. Your hair is longer than usual or it’s looking bad from the home haircutting video that you watched. It may be a color that people aren’t accustomed to seeing. You may look scary. That’s why you might want to wear a hat. On the other hand, maybe scary is better. It’s good for social distancing.