The recent Covid-19 outbreak has shaken all corners of the world. The effects of this current pandemic have been staggering for global health.
While doctors and scientists are still learning quite a bit about this virus, there is consensus from places like China, Italy, and now the United States, that the virus impacts people over 60 more significantly than the younger population. The best thing that seniors can do for themselves is to take the basic precautions necessary to stay safe in a pandemic.
Follow these Measures to Stay Safe in a Pandemic
Isolate Yourself During Quarantine – While the virus does not discriminate, the measures being taken by the general public largely protect the populations most vulnerable to the virus. The best thing that you can do is support these efforts by staying home yourself. If possible, now is the time to ask family or friends to help with essentials such as grocery shopping. If that’s not possible, there are grocery stores that are now offering pickup and delivery of groceries for safety and convenience.
Now is the time to eliminate non-essential trips out from the home. For example, visiting friends, eating out, and even church should be eliminated. The good news is that you can use technology to connect with friends and family. Many restaurants are offering pickup and delivery, and most churches are offering online services.
When you are out in public or taking a walk outside, the recommendation from the government is that you practice social distancing, and don’t come within 6 feet of others.
Cancel Your Travel Plans – For many seniors, one of the perks of retirement is the ability to pick up and travel whenever you want. While the deals that airlines and cruise ships may be offering are tempting, it’s because there’s an inherent health risk right now. Even if you’re feeling perfectly healthy, the best thing that you can do is to isolate in your home, and practice safe social distancing measures.
The good news is that weddings, funerals, or any large family gatherings are likely being postponed right now. That might remove some of the obligatory need to travel.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle – Living in quarantine during a pandemic can have an impact on your mental health, and increase stress levels. Unfortunately, that stress can negatively impact your immune system, which is vital when it comes to your body’s fight against the threat of a virus.
It’s critically important to exercise when you can. Outdoor walks and biking are still allowed, provided that you stay six feet from each other. If you have exercise equipment in your home, it’d be a good time to use that, too.
It’s also important to eat healthy. That means plenty of fruit and vegetables in your diet, and eating plenty of foods that provide your body with key nutrients. Reducing the amount of sugars and processed foods is always a good step, too.
Make sure to pay attention to your mental health. The isolation that comes with not leaving your home can have a drastic impact on depression and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and stay in contact with friends and loved ones. If you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, it may be a good time to talk with a therapist, or someone who can help. Many therapists are offering telehealth appointments for people so that they don’t have to leave their homes during the pandemic.
Another way to help your mental health through the pandemic is to take necessary breaks from stressful activities such as consuming the news, and do things to rejuvenate yourself. You can stay informed, but pay attention to how the news is making you feel. If you are anxious and overwhelmed, step away. Maybe it’s time to read a book instead. It’s also a great time to pick up a hobby or learn something that you’ve always wanted to know.
This Pandemic Has a Timeline
It’s important to remember that all things are temporary. While no one knows exactly how long we’ll be living in isolation, it won’t last forever. At some point we’ll be able to return to some form of life as we knew it. The important thing in the interim is to follow your intuition, and stay safe in a pandemic.