Around the world and across the nation our communities are still facing an unprecedented public health crisis. In just a few months scientists and clinicians have learned a lot about COVID-19. As work continues to develop and deliver a vaccine, it is more critical than ever that we band together to stay the course in our fight against this pandemic.
“The virus is real and it’s dangerous, but together we can slow the spread and protect the most vulnerable, those we love, and those who are on the front lines,” explained Paul Thottingal, MD, national infectious disease leader at Kaiser Permanente. “We can make a difference in our communities if we all work together to follow the guidance of medical experts.”
The practical advice for preventing spread hasn’t changed.
It begins with wearing your mask. Nearly half of COVID-19 transmissions are traced to people unaware they are infected. If you are carrying COVID-19 without symptoms, a cloth mask will significantly reduce the risk that you will transmit the disease to others. A mask also reminds you not to touch your face.
Wash your hands regularly and practice healthy hygiene. Washing your hands with soap and water is most effective. When soap and water aren’t available, correctly using an alcohol-based sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you stop the spread of germs.
Stay 6 feet apart. The surest way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to maintain at least 6 feet of physical distance between yourself and those outside your home. Do your best to stay out of crowded spaces, and even with distance, you should always wear your mask.
Plus, get a flu shot, as it will be even more important this year. It can not only help keep you healthy, but it can protect those around you who may be at higher risk for complications.
It’s natural to feel anxious, stressed, or even fatigued with all the precautions, but by taking these steps you are protecting yourself, your loved ones, and all of us working to keep you safe and healthy.
“Responding to COVID-19 is a marathon, not a sprint. Each and every day, we have to recommit ourselves to following effective, proven steps that reduce the spread of the virus,” explained Bechara Choucair, MD, senior vice president and chief health officer for Kaiser Permanente. “When we all work together we will turn the tide against this pandemic.”
We can do this, but only if we do it together — because #TogetherWeThrive.