In the year 2020 countries were exposed to COVID-19, a virus responsible for the deaths of an estimated 3.4 million people worldwide. The only protection offered was wearing a mask, washing hands, and maintaining a social distance of 6 ft. Businesses closed, and families canceled celebrations. Senior Living Communities were faced with difficult decisions. Hand washing has always been the foundation of personal hygiene and practiced by Seniors their entire lives. The twentieth century had few options other than washing hands as vaccines were not always readily available. Vaccines are not new to Seniors. Polio, swine flu, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, and smallpox (before it was eradicated in 1980) were standard requirements to attend school, travel overseas, or serve in the military. This year Seniors and their loved ones are challenged by a variant of COVID titled Delta. Variants have already appeared ( Lambda and Mu) and will continue to develop and be of concern until COVID is controlled. The COVID vaccine and a booster shot are currently the number one and best solution to avoid contracting the new Delta variant. Unvaccinated populations are advised to strictly adhere to CDC guidelines, as are the vaccinated.
Other precautions from the delta variant are:
- Wear a mask when indoors and in large groups outdoors. Travelers are required to wear a mask when using contained public transportation such as trains, planes, buses, and subways. The correct way to wear a mask is to have both the nose and mouth covered.
- Stay away from sick people. Maintain social distance of 6 feet. If sick, stay home.
- Avoid crowds.
- Open windows and bring fresh air inside.
- Wash hands at least twenty seconds before and after eating, preparing food, blowing your nose, sneezing, or using the restroom. Use common sense.
- Disinfect frequently used surfaces.
- Quarantine for fourteen days if you, your Senior, or a loved one are exposed to or contract Covid.