For most of us, life won’t return to normal the moment the lockdown ends. The year 2020 has been rough, and the COVID-19 was surely the worst thing to hit the world. And as lockdown restrictions are being lifted in the United States and all over the world, it does not mean that we have gotten rid of the virus. So far, more than 90,000 people have died from the COVID-19, and the numbers are increasing.
As people are waiting to meet their friends and family, gather to eat, go watch games, and even take a trip, they must remember that even though lockdown is being loosened, there is still a lot that people are unaware of regarding the long-term behavior of this virus. Those countries that have lifted the restrictions, they are doing so with warnings. Lockdowns are going to return if the cases increase again. Reopening the countries is going to be different everywhere, considering the number of cases and the spread of the virus in the respective area.
No matter where you live, even though governments are easing down the lockdowns, here are some of the things you should not be doing – not for some time, at least.
Don’t Stop Using Face masks
As the local markets and shopping malls are opening, you should expect more policies to curb the spread of the virus. Be it employees, or the customers, they are expected to follow all the social distancing protocols as well as wear masks. Also, there is a possibility of other rules as well, but that depends on where you live and how the virus has affected that area.
Sanitation stations are going to be a common sight now, and you will find gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers at frequent stops. Also, get accustomed to less personal experiences at the places that you go to. You will be getting your temperature checked, and when you are paying for your purchase or order at the counters, there will be plexiglass dividers between.
The way you used to shop and socialize is not going to return to normal anytime soon.
Avoid Gatherings and Crowds
There is strong reasoning behind social distancing measures. The main one being the slow spread of viral transmission from the people that come in close contact. Hosting a party at home or going into a crowded bar when it reopens could lead to the spread of the virus. An asymptomatic COVID-19 host could infect people, and they would end up passing it along.
So, even if bars in your area get opened as they are in most of the U.S. cities and other countries, they are going to open for limited hours with proper social distancing SOPs and limited capacity.
Don’t Stop Washing Hands
Common hygiene practices are not going to stop. But you should remember that relaxed restrictions do not imply that the outbreak is over even after the arrival of a vaccine. Schools and businesses are opening due to economic reasons even though the virus is spreading. But at much slower rates.
The theory behind thorough handwashing is to prevent germs from spreading and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with critical patients. Since we have been in lockdown for a couple of months now, good hand-washing habits are bound to stick around.
Don’t Plan a Vacation
When traveling becomes acceptable again, hotel and airfare prices are expected to be cheap. But, considering the situation, flying won’t be exactly safe or fun anymore. Imagine the duration of the flight with you wearing masks throughout the journey, limited food and drinks along with most businesses being shut down at the airport terminals.
You can’t avoid people in airports and airplanes either. And this is one of the main reasons flights were canceled and international travel banned in most countries. One of the key factors that led to a jump in the pandemic worldwide is the international movement of people via person-to-person transmission like coughing and sneezing. If the virus rebounds, you wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere with no idea when and how you can get back home.
Don’t go to the gym without safety measures
Like stores and malls, gyms and other fitness centers are also in their early phases of reopening. But it is up to you to decide if you are ready to go back. Gyms are enclosed areas where people breathe the same air that is recirculated. Since they do so for long periods, this makes gyms a high-risk area.
And even though the staff sanitizes the common equipment between its use, gyms are the perfect ground for exchanging germs. One approach could be strictly maintaining distance and allowing a limited number of people inside.
It is not easy or feasible to wear a mask during a workout as it makes breathing difficult during intense exercise sessions.
Avoid visiting high-risk people right away
Before the vaccine arrives, quarantine restrictions will relax. This is going to help protect the people who are at most risk of catching the virus. Early vaccine testing is being carried out, and it is going to take at least a year for an approved vaccine to surface. This does not mean that you cannot meet your loved ones or grandparents for a full year.
The best way is to keep a healthy distance from high-risk people. You and your family should carefully evaluate that.
Avoid getting too comfortable with the circumstances
The pandemic acted as a wakeup call for most. A call from Mother Earth. The weather all over the world has experienced a change, the pollution has decreased considerably, and the sky is clearer than it has ever been in ages.
But, the threat is not exactly over. As a global society, we cannot be sure of what is going to happen next. But if a sudden surge does occur, it is going to be inevitable to reinstitute quarantine measures as we witnessed in Hong Kong and Singapore.
The best thing you can do is stay cautious and safe. Be smart about regaining your freedom to move freely, but since no definite time is known regarding the virus and how long it’s going to stay and how long it is going to take to completely vanish, the only thing we can do is be optimistic – cautiously.