Yes, the Coronavirus Vaccines Are Almost Here, But It’s Not Time to Give Up on the Basics
Pandemic fatigue is real and continuing to follow the guidelines of social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands gets harder and harder as time goes on. Our being unable to keep up with COVID-19 safety precautions is no different from other healthy habits, like exercise. After all, at least half the people who vow to exercise slack off within six months.
The other factors in play are how likely we feel we are to get the disease and how bad we think it might be if we got sick. If you don’t personally know anyone who has or had the coronavirus, then it is easy to feel you are not susceptible. In addition, the strides we have made in treatments for COVID-19 can give us a false sense of security.
The news on the efficacy of the recent vaccines and how quickly they will be available is heartening. But as a recent New York Times article pointed out, “A vaccine is like a fire hose, but the size of the fire (number of COVID cases) is a bigger determinant,” which means we must keep up with the basics for the foreseeable future. We must continue to mask up, keep our distance and wash our hands to let the vaccine do its work until it is safe for us to stop.
It is important to note that the vaccine comes in two doses. It appears that there is efficacy after the first dose is 60-80%, but there is a 21 day wait for the second dose. Another reason to continue to follow the recommended safety precautions.
Here in the Northeast, social distancing and wearing masks have become a new normal, more so than in other parts of the country. But there is no “wash your hands” sign at home like the “wear a mask” and the 6 feet markings you see everywhere. It makes this guideline an easy one to slack off on even though it is easy and one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs.
A Review of the Basic Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If you have children and they need a review of the basics, this video from the Children’s Hospital Los Angeles will help.
If soap and water are not available, then hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will do until you can wash your hands.
A Review of the Basic Three Steps to Using Hand Sanitizer
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
By staying diligent as we are at Springpoint at Home, wearing masks, social distancing and washing our hands, hopefully we will all stay safe and healthy.