According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) older adults and people who have severe underlying chronic medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes are at higher risk for severe illness from the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved one include:
- Wash your hands often.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
- Avoid close contact (6 feet, which is about two arm lengths) with people who are sick.
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
- Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
Additionally, fear and anxiety about the COVID-19 pandemic can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions. Things you can do to support yourself and your loved ones include:
- Take care of your body – Try to eat healthy well-balanced meals, exercise regularly and get plenty of sleep. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs.
- Connect with others – Share your concerns and how you are feeling with a friend or family member. Maintain healthy relationships, and build a strong support system.
- Stay informed, but avoid too much exposure to news – When you feel that you are missing information, you may become more stressed or nervous. Watch, listen to, or read the news for updates from officials. But be aware that there may be rumors during a crisis. Always check your sources and turn to reliable sources of information like your local government authorities.
- Take breaks and unwind – However, as it can be upsetting to hear about the crisis and see images repeatedly, balance your intake of news and take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories. Don’t obsess. Remind yourself that strong feelings will fade. Try taking in deep breaths and do activities that give you pleasure
- Seek help when needed – If distress impacts activities of your daily life for several days or weeks, talk to a clergy member, counselor, or doctor.
For more information on steps you can take to protect yourself, please go to the CDC website:
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html. Additional resources include the World Health Organization (WHO) website: www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019 and the American College Health Association (ACHA): https://www.acha.org/COVID-19.