We must stay positive and focus on what to expect...
With the world slowly beginning the reopening process, the seemingly endless life in quarantine now has an end in sight. Looking to the future as Older Adults may not be as soon as we all hope, but we need to start imagining what life will look like post-pandemic. While some things may never go back to how they were, some of the practices we’ve learned in the quarantine may be beneficial to us as we look toward the future.
The cleaning practices we’ve learned will help keep us safe from future outbreaks and things like the common cold. Taking the time to wash your hands properly and to sanitize often-used surfaces in your home and workplace will help prevent the spread of viruses. Being cognizant of how often we touch surfaces and making sure to carry sanitizers in our cars and bags will help reduce our chances of getting sick. For those over 65 and in vulnerable populations, proper sanitation practices are especially important.
Stay at home
Staying home when we show symptoms of sickness, while encouraged before the pandemic, should now be mandatory as we move forward. Even things as simple as a runny nose or cough should be enough to keep us away from others. Recognizing symptoms of sickness and making a choice to prevent the spread to others should be a top priority. Utilizing services that have become popular during quarantine, such as grocery and prescription delivery, will reduce our interactions with others when we are under the weather. Wearing masks when sick and visiting necessary places such as the bank or doctor’s office should also be encouraged.
Social distancing should remain a suggestion, if not a rule. While under quarantine, we have been under strict orders to keep a six-foot distance between ourselves and others. Though that may not be practical when the world fully reopens, how we carry out certain social practices should remain in the back of our minds. In business, handshaking is common, and among friends, hugging is a popular form of greeting. While we shouldn’t kick these traditions to the side, we should think more about washing our hands after touching others and not giving hugs if we are feeling unwell. In stores, allowing just a bit more space between ourselves and others can reduce the spread of germs.
Finances: Older adults may be on fixed incomes
As we have watched the economy take a hit during this uncertain time, we should also consider the money we set aside. Having three months or more savings for expenses should be a goal of every American post-COVID. We should prepare our homes and finances for if something like this occurs again. While hoarding toilet paper and pasta isn’t necessary, it is good to have a store of backups where possible.
Looking to the future
Many things will change post-pandemic: how we gather, how we work, how we live. We should think about how we will implement these changes now to start preparing for our new post-pandemic world, as many months away as that may be. Practicing the things we have learned, from cleaning practices to social distancing, can help us as we move forward.