Didn't think Covid etiquette was a thing? We are now living in Covid times for an indefinite amount of time. It's a thing. I'll break down the do's and don't's you should do during these crazy times.
Regardless if you think this is some sort of political conspiracy, you should wear a face covering. At this stage in 2021, after a year of having face coverings drilled into our heads, it should be a habit. You check for your face mask or face shield before leaving home like you would check to see if you have your phone. According to worldometers.info, there have been 106,006,733 million cases and 2,311,078 million deaths. That's astounding considering in 2019 we had no idea what was inevitably coming. COVID-19 is affecting 219 countries and territories. Going on holiday has turned into a past memory and staycations are being encouraged by governments. Have you changed your screen saver to some tropical beach in a far off country yet? If you haven't, you will.
Wear a face-cover properly!
How many times have you gone to the shops and have seen someone wearing their face mask down off their nose? I'd be a very wealthy woman if I had a penny for each time I did. Just take the mask off because it makes the point of wearing a mask useless. Cell reports that the virus quickly invades, multiplies, and spreads in the nose, significantly more than if it was likely to become infected and shed the virus to the throat or lungs. Basically, it's an open door to your body. Cover your nose and mouth and to give yourself even better protection, cover your whole face with a full face shield. You don't have to be stuck wearing some flimsy plastic covering across your face. Face shields come in different colors and shapes while still giving you the added protection you need. The space shield curves around your whole face, with small areas of ventilation on the sides. It makes breathing easy so you can comfortably cover the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Practice good hygiene.
There are four kinds of "hand sanitizers" that walk into shops. Which are you?
The first is the "over sanitizer" that goes in and takes too much hand sanitizer. They push on it 3 or 4 times until they're happy enough to go in.
Second, is the "overachiever sanitizer" who pushes it many times until they eventually realize there is none left and will use their own from their handbag or pocket.
The third is known as the "pretender" who pretends like they are sanitizing their hands by just putting their hand under it, looking around, and then walking off.
Finally the fourth just doesn't care and breezes in. I haven't come up with a PG name for them so if you think of one let me know.
The reason we sanitize our hands is to stop germs from spreading. Think about all the things you touched today. A door handle? Your mobile? You went to the toilet. Maybe you blew your nose. It's really easy for germs to end up in your mouth. This includes Covid19. When the pandemic first started, a lot of people wore gloves. This is useless. You grab a filthy trolley with the gloves, you go in and touch everything including produce. Often the gloves end up on the ground, which is bad for the environment! Just wash your hands and use hand sanitizer.
Some additional information and steps about hygiene from
The CDC to help prevent the spread of Covid19 include:
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
- Throw used tissues in the trash
- If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands
- Wash your hands immediately after you've blown your nose or have come into contact with saliva.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol to clean hands.
Tip: You can now buy a hand sanitizer that goes on your keys. The hand sanitizer in shops can be brutal on your hands so bring your own!
Check on your elderly neighbors. Drop a little note in their post box. "Would you like me to go to the shop for you? Leave me a note and I'll collect it later. Would you like me to walk your dog for you?". Leave your phone number for a little chat. Trust me, it will make a world of difference to someone that can't see their family. I have even seen some people set up a card communication system with their elderly neighbors that let everyone know they're ok. Be aware of what is happening around the neighborhood. It's ok to be a nosey neighbor. Be vigilant. "Why did they leave their back door open in the middle of winter?" Call friends that you know are alone. Set up a time to zoom or facetime. To just see a face during these lockdowns is so important for people's mental health. A smile, a wave, a random call. Call those moms that are doing homeschooling! We aren't teachers, and this has validated, teachers don't get paid enough! The lockdowns and restrictions are incredibly difficult for all. Have compassion and a lot of patience. The "pandemic burnout" is real. The mind gives some great advice and resources to help with your well being during this difficult time. Remember we are genuinely all in this together. It's not just a flighty slogan you see on Instagram. Everyone is isolating so be kind and offer to help others. Not only are you helping others but it'll give you self purpose. And this is good for YOUR mental health.
Since covid19 has taken over, I never really thought about how to say how are you or send an email. It was just something you typed, like when you say how's it going? Most of the time, do you actually care how's it going? Do you want to hear about how I missed the alarm on my clock and I was late for work? Probably not. But now with Covid, it's important to strike the right chord. Is it enough to say, I hope you are well? We need to acknowledge the challenges of our world right now and have meaningful interactions. Ending an email with just "stay safe" can be anxiety-inducing for some. Remind people that they are not alone. Two ways to handle this are through humor or compassion.
Humour can look something like this but only if you are close to the person you are emailing. It can add a human touch during a dark time.
'Have a great socially distant day',
'Yours from afar'
'Sent from my living room'
For a more considerate email to someone you may not know, you don't want to burn any bridges. Try:
'Sending thoughts of health and peace',
'Sincerely during these strange times'
This is a crazy time and we all have had to figure out how to maneuver our way through. If we can just take a few things away from this experience, become better humans, and grow from it then the last year wasn't completely wasted. Be smart, your health is in your hands, and wear a face covering. (preferably a space shield).