Have you been out to the store, or any public place lately, and witnessed someone not wearing their mask properly? It’s fallen under their nose or mouth and they aren’t correcting it. Have you been standing in line and noticed the stickers placed six feet apart on the floor, yet the person next to you is closer than you’d like, with no regard for the stickers? Have our minds and habits of following the recommendations by our health care providers and the CDC become too lax?
The next time you are out and about, take a look around you. In highly populated areas such as shopping malls, parks, bars and restaurants, it can be difficult to remain six feet away from other parties. Wearing a mask doesn’t mean the physical distancing rule doesn’t apply. Everyone should distance themselves six feet apart. For reference that’s about the length of a sofa or adult bicycle.
The coronavirus vaccine will soon become available to more people, however, masking and social distancing guidelines will remain. As of the time this blog post is published, all research suggests that people, even if they’ve had COVID-19 or received the vaccine, can still spread the virus to others. That is why we all need to follow the guidelines.
According to Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD, chair of infectious diseases at Nemours Children’s Hospital, vaccines don’t always prevent infection, but they weaken the disease. “This is what we’ve seen with Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines,” he said in a recent interview. “Data is now coming out that, in fact, these vaccines also prevent asymptomatic infection. We’re still learning about this and there will be more research findings coming soon.”
We understand it can be difficult to make sure your children are staying safe from COVID-19, especially those of an age who may not completely understand what is going on. Your kids may ask, “When will it all be over,” or “Why do I still have to wear this mask?” Meghan Walls, PsyD, pediatric psychologist, says there are a few things we can do to help our kids during this time:
- Be honest and acknowledge the difficulties.
- Ask them what is causing their frustration, fear, or worry.
- Be realistic and instill hope
The pandemic has affected our lives for almost a year and many of us have become used to wearing a mask and social distancing. We must keep doing everything we can, and that means staying six — not four — feet apart and wearing a mask properly at all times. We should also encourage others to do the same so we can eventually have a life without the fear of COVID-19. The only way we can get through this is together, but six feet apart, of course!