Too Close for Comfort

By: Emily Francesca DeGenova, Senior Health Management Systems

Imagine, you’re standing in line at the grocery store, and someone directly behind you sneezes. Instantly, you tense up, peer around your shoulder, and gage exactly how far away they are standing. 4 feet, maybe? Too close, much too close. Within a few short weeks, and many hours of aired news headlines reading “BREAKING NEWS: COVID-19 PANDEMIC”, fear sets in.

The coverage appears never-ending and hopeless: the constant spread, the symptoms, the high-risk populations, the empty store-shelves, the lack of necessary medical supplies, the health care staff shortage, and the deaths; however, don’t let fear control you, instead let these health concerns motivate you to take part in the solution. In a health crisis like this, one can either be part of the solution or part of the problem. Therefore, it is important to focus not on what we can’t do, but on what we can do!

These 6 simple steps can help you, your family, your friends, your community, and the population as a whole to Stay Healthy.

  1. Stay Home. I know this seems obvious; however, it is important to stress that even if you don’t feel sick you might be a carrier of the coronavirus. Therefore, it is imperative that everyone practice social distancing and stay home for this period of time.
  2. Stay Sanitized. To some extent, one’s personal circle can only get so small. (i.e. parents, siblings, significant others, roommates). Therefore, it is important to practice good sanitization within the household to prevent spreading between family members/roommates. Clean surfaces and high touch areas often, and use sanitization products containing at least 60% alcohol content.
  3. Stay Away. If, for some reason, you have to leave your house (such as having a government approved essential job), it is important to keep your distance from fellow persons, co-workers, friends, etc. According to the CDC, a distance of at least 6 feet is recommended.
  4. Stay Protected. If you begin feeling sick, or you are a caregiver for a sick loved one, be sure to wear a protective N95 facemask. However, if you are NOT feeling sick, then please do NOT wear a facemasks as they are in short-supply and need to be saved for health care providers.
  5. Stay Positive. Being confined to your household may induce boredom, anxiety, or depression. However, it is important to remain positive and focus on productive things you can do, such as: purge your closet, read a book, go hiking, go on a drive, facetime/call your family and friends, send cards to a local nursing home, etc. If you or a loved one are struggling with staying positive, please call the Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990
  6. Stay Informed. While listening to news coverage and reading social media panic posts can be overwhelming at times, it is important to stay up-to-date on important updates from the CDC, your state government (Pennsylvania), and federal government.

By following these 6 simple steps (while remaining 6 feet away), hopefully we can conquer this pandemic as quickly and safely as humanly possible. Stay Safe.

Photo Citation:

Newsdesk, Region 8. “Daily Report: Arkansas Dept. of Health Monitoring COVID-19.” Https://Www.wmcactionnews5.Com, 27 Mar. 2020,


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