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I am really hoping that as our efforts to flatten the curve continue, that we don’t grow more relaxed in our vigilance. Now is actually the time to do more. We can continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask when we do have to leave our homes, avoiding touching our faces and washing our hands, and work on improving our health to keep COVID-19 minor or moderate rather than severe.

Please practice physical distancing but DO NOT practice social distancing.

First, I want to thank everyone for doing their part! This is hard! Please practice physical distancing but DO NOT practice social distancing. Call your family and friends often, we all need each other more than ever right now. The phone is a great way to keep in touch and keep up your very important relationships.

Second, there are a few things that I want to help the community to do better. 

Ultimately, we are wearing the mask to protect each other.

The most common thing that I am still seeing is lots of face touching, especially with people who are wearing a mask. Ultimately, we are wearing the mask to protect each other. My mask protects you and your mask protects me. If you are wearing a mask, thank you! If you are not, please start.

It takes quite a bit of adjusting to get the mask right. It is uncomfortable, hard to breathe, and hard to talk while wearing your mask. We will get used to it- those of us still working are wearing them all day long- I just want to make sure you are wearing them right. Put your mask on, adjust it so that it covers your nose and goes under your chin. Then, leave the mask alone. Stop touching or adjusting your mask. If you must adjust your mask, try to adjust it from behind your ears rather than from your nose or mouth. When removing your mask, try to remove it from behind your ears so you avoid touching your nose or mouth. Then, wash your hands.

On the issue of gloves, I think that wearing gloves can be a great way to remind you not to touch your face. You are still pretty unlikely to get COVID-19 from touching a surface, unless you are also touching your face. I personally am wearing gloves while I am at work and if I go anywhere public, like the grocery store or gas station.

It is important that you take your gloves off correctly! I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but removing gloves is actually something that I had to learn in medical school. If you wear gloves, make sure you are taking them off in a way that you are not contaminating yourself with the stuff that is on your gloves! 

Here is the proper way to remove medical gloves:

  • With your left hand (which is gloved), pinch the glove on the right hand in the center of the palm. Pull the glove, from the palm, up and over the fingers of your right hand, turning the glove inside out as you remove it.
  • Now, take the pointer and middle finger or your right hand (now ungloved) and slide it under the edge of your left glove, so that you are putting your fingers on the inside of the left glove. Pull the glove over the left fingers, turning that glove inside out as you remove it. 
  • Wash your hands.

When you are out and about running your necessary errands, your purpose needs to be laser focused.

The final comment I have, I say with a heavy heart. When you are out and about running your necessary errands, your purpose needs to be laser focused. Go in, get what you need, and then leave. Unfortunately this is not the time to stand around and chat with each other. 

We are all desperate to connect with each other. There is so much to say and it is so wonderful to see friendly faces, but please, if you want to have a conversation, make a phone call. This is so sad and so hard to do, but the longer we all hang out together, the longer this goes on. 

We are all doing great, especially here locally. Hopefully our peak has passed but as you all know, we are not out of the woods. Thank you for all that you are doing and I hope that these tips help you be safer when you are out in public.

With a heart full of love for all of you and yours, I hope you are doing everything you can do to stay well!