Some Tips to Stay Safe as the Temperatures Rise During the Coronavirus Pandemic
While we haven’t specifically spoken about the global pandemic happening around us on our blog, like other Americans, it has been heavy on our hearts and minds. As health professionals, this novel coronavirus has proven to be a formidable foe to the medical industry, as well as to our patients, friends, and families. We are striving to be at the forefront of the information that is continuously evolving, and more is known day by day. We have some tips for you to stay safe as all of us continue to stumble through this uncertain time.
As the country is slowly re-opening, we feel it is important to continue some of the practices recommended to reduce the risk of infection. This includes:
-washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
-cleaning hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available (rub until hands feel dry)
-avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth – especially when out in public
-at-risk individuals continue to stay home as much as possible (over 65 years old, those with high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, other high-risk conditions)
-stay at least 6 feet away from other people who are not in the same household when out in public
-avoid other people or family members who are sick
-wear a cloth face covering or mask when out in public and staying at least 6 feet away from others physically is not possible, such as a grocery store or pharmacy
Face coverings are recommended because studies have shown that people can transmit the virus before showing any signs or symptoms.
For our pregnant patients, the available medical literature specific to COVID-19 currently does not suggest that pregnant women are at increased risk of infection, severe complications, or death compared to nonpregnant women. This is true regardless of trimester. Currently, in addition to the usual precautions listed above, we are recommending that our pregnant patients sequester, or shelter at home, for the two weeks prior to their planned delivery date, or at 37 weeks if there is no planned delivery date while waiting for labor. This is an increased effort to reduce the possibility of coronavirus infection during the time of delivery. Studies to this point have indicated it is unlikely that coronavirus can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, but it is possible to pass the infection to a newborn. For women who have confirmed or suspected infection at the time of delivery, we would discuss the choice to breastfeed and recommended precautions on an individual basis. However, coronavirus has not been detected in breastmilk, so pumping for your baby is certainly an option.
As we are still navigating what has become known as the “new normal” in the midst of this pandemic, we are all continuously learning. You may have learned a new hobby, created a new masterpiece, experimented with a new recipe, or reached a new fitness goal. Right now, one of the best ways to explore something new is to get outside. As the Texas State Parks are opening, this is a good opportunity to immerse, yourself in nature, and take some time to get some fresh air.
We urge you to continue to stay safe, stay mindful of your health – both physically and mentally, and to explore opportunities that will allow us all to come out better on the other side of this pandemic.