We’ve been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year now. And during that time, we’ve learned plenty about the spread of disease, plus what it’s like to live life in unexpected times. We’ve also been hit with new information about the virus, and safety steps to take, almost every single day. 

All of that can be hard to keep up with — especially when it’s coming from so many different sources. It can be difficult to know who you can trust and which guidelines to follow. Of the many voices out there, we hope that YourTown Health provides one of the clearest. 

As we head into fall (and the end of the year), here are ten simple steps you can follow to stay protected and healthy. No matter how other rules of the world change, these can be trusted standbys. 

1. Wash your hands. 

Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds after any activity (shopping at the store, blowing your nose, going to the bathroom, or driving a car for example) keeps you clean and rids your skin of germs. 

2. Wear a mask.

Though masks can feel uncomfortable, if you have any type of virus, wearing a mask will lessen your chances of spreading it to others. There are many comfortable options that will also protect you from breathing in virus particles from someone else. 

3. Keep your distance.

Keeping six feet between you and the next person in a social setting is a great way to reduce the spread. Also keep any touching to a minimum – that means cut out shaking hands, kissing, and hugging.

4. Hands off your face!

Viruses are highly skilled at entering your system through your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keeping your hands away from these areas (especially in public) is a game-changer.

5. Keep things clean.

Making sure high-touch surfaces like tables, doorknobs, light switches, toilets, desks, and faucets are regularly cleaned with disinfectant is a great way to keep COVID (and many other illnesses) from spreading.

6. No sharing (for now).

Being selfish this fall is how to keep germs from spreading, so you finally have an excuse not to share your food!

7. Don’t travel if you don’t have to.

Everyone misses their loved ones, and getaways just for fun. But avoiding travel this fall could save you from being exposed to germs and bringing the virus back to your community. 

8. Be prepared.

In case you need to stay home for a while, make sure your home is stocked with necessary items like groceries, water, medicine, and other important household items. 

9. Make a plan.

Getting sick is less scary if you have a “what-if” plan. Make a list of people who can check in on your health daily, prepare or deliver meals, or run any important errands for you if necessary.

10. Stay in touch.

While we don’t mean physical touch in this case, staying in close communication with your neighbors, friends, and family not only has its own medical benefits, but can help you track everyone’s health, too. Close communication with your doctor will also provide aid and advice when you need it. 

Taking care of your community is important, and all of us here at YourTown Health are members of that community, too. If you have questions or concerns about COVID-19 or any other illness, request a telehealth appointment or contact a YourTown Health location closest to you.