If you or someone in your household is over 60 years old or has a chronic medical condition, you should consider a complete quarantine. Have someone deliver groceries and leave them at the doorstep. If you go for a walk, don’t get within 6 feet of another person and avoid touching surfaces outside your home. Be vigilant about hand-washing and not touching your face.
If you and your household are at lower risk and cannot quarantine, you can continue your essential activities, limit your interactions with people outside your household and completely limit your interactions with people at higher risk, even if that means not seeing your grandparents for a little while. As the number of cases continues to rise, so does our risk of exposure to COVID-19 and we don’t want to pass our germs on to the people they could hurt the most.
This sounds extreme but it’s doable for a short period. Commit to doing it for the next few weeks. By taking action now, we can limit the number of people admitted to our hospitals during the initial phase of the outbreak. We can slow the spread of disease among those at the highest risk, ensuring that everyone will have the critical care they need. In a few weeks we can reassess and hopefully say these measures are no longer needed. On the other hand, if the outbreak continues to spread, we can be thankful that we have done everything in our power to protect our beloved grandparents who have spent their lives protecting us.
Emily Hinson, M.D., is an alumni of the Medical College of Georgia, practiced medicine in South Georgia for 5 years and holds an active Georgia medical license. She currently lives in Canada. Nearly all of her extended family remains in Georgia.