Post-Lockdown Summer: How to Get Out and Stay Safe


As states reopen and restrictions continue to lift, there is still so much uncertainty around COVID-19. One thing we do know for sure: everyone has grown tired of staying home—and this season normally filled with family reunions, vacations and road trips is going to be different. Here, we take a closer look at the facts so you can make the most informed choices about socializing, travel and more. 

David McCune, MD, MPH

David McCune, MD, MPH

“There are few clear answers as we learn to navigate life post-lockdown. Until there’s a vaccine, we can’t make risks go away, but we can take steps to minimize them, based on our individual circumstances and comfort level.” 

– David McCune, MD, MPH




THE RULES STILL APPLY

“We’re excited to reconnect with the world and each other, but COVID-19 hasn’t gone anywhere,” says 98point6 physician David McCune, MD, MPH. “That means applying the same general principles to plans for summer activities.” These include: 

  • Distance is safer than close: Maintain a distance of 6 feet from individuals outside your household.
  • Open is safer than closed: Outdoor areas reduce the risk of spread compared to enclosed spaces.
  • Masks help everyone: You can spread COVID-19 even if you don’t feel sick. Masks reduce the risk of infecting others.
  • Hygiene helps: Stay vigilant about hand-washing, and stay home when you feel sick.

UNDERSTANDING YOUR RISK IS KEY

The first step before venturing out or mingling with others is acknowledging your personal and family risks. These include the health factors (being over age 65 or having underlying conditions like diabetes or asthma) that put you or any members of your household at a higher risk for COVID-19-related complications. While it’s unfair, higher personal or family risk means treading extra carefully—and maybe saying “no” more than “yes” to summer travels and activities.


PUTTING ADVICE INTO ACTION 

“The more you know about your surroundings and the company you keep, the more effective you can be at assessing and minimizing your risk,” says Dr. McCune. “Being informed, observant and unafraid to ask questions—of business owners, service providers and friends—are important skills to master right now.” 

So how do you make the most of your summer safely and responsibly? We’ve put together some helpful thought-starters for activities you may be considering. 



GATHERINGS WITH GUESTS
Questions to AskSafety Tips
Are any guests high-risk? Keep the guest list small, and think of each household as a “quarantine unit.” So, for example, invite a family of 5 vs. 5 individuals from separate homes.
What has their exposure been in the past 14 days? Keep the party outdoors; arrange chairs 6 feet apart.
Make it BYO food and drink; use disposable dishes and cutlery.
Create a clear path to the bathroom inside; have cleaning supplies handy and encourage everyone to wipe high-touch surfaces and be vigilant about hand hygiene. 



DAY OUTINGS
Questions to AskSafety Tips
Are there any specific COVID-19-related policies or regulations I should know about the beach/pool/park/etc. before I go?Aim for a location closer to home so you can avoid public restrooms and locker rooms.
What are the peak times in terms of crowding; how can I avoid this? Time is a key part of the exposure equation; shorter outings (1–2 hours) are preferable to an entire day spent in a public location.
Be cautious about physical distancing; if you start to feel crowded, move.
BYO food and gear vs. relying on concession stands or rentals.



VACATION
Questions to AskSafety Tips
What is the status of the outbreak in the geographic area I am considering, and what are the related rules and regulations? Keep it (fairly) close to home and drive a car if possible (avoid planes, trains, rideshares). 
What are my getaway expectations (i.e., change of scenery vs. high-activity)? If the latter, how will I make it safe and manageable?Choose a rental property, campground or RV vs. hotel or road trip.
Do your own careful inspection and cleaning of surfaces upon arrival.
If traveling with friends or family, make a pact to limit exposure for 14 days prior and stay home if feeling the slightest bit unwell.

WE’RE HERE FOR YOU

At home or on-the-go, if you’re experiencing any medical concerns or simply feel the need to connect with a primary care physician, 98point6’s virtual care clinic is available 24/7 from wherever you are.

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