We are all adjusting in various ways to this pandemic. Many of us have developed new routines for cleaning items that we bring into our homes, like discarding boxes, washing/disinfecting items that we never did before, etc.
All in all, most members of the community are doing their best to follow the Stay at Home order. I think, as a community, we don’t want anyone in our lives to get sick, and we want this pandemic to end or at least be under control as quickly as possible so that we can get back to normal.
However, many of us who think we are following the Stay at Home order and physical distancing rules perfectly, are mistakenly doing things incorrectly. Below are some of the common myths and misconceptions we’ve noticed:
- MYTH: “I can spend time with others, as long as I maintain physical distancing.” Reality: you should not be visiting or meeting (in person) with individuals outside your household during this time – even if you are maintaining 6 feet of physical distancing. To clarify, the rule about physical distancing is meant for instances where you have to go out to meet your basic necessities, like grocery shopping, picking up medicines, or working at your essential job. Otherwise, the rule is that you should not meet/get together with others outside your household.
- MYTH: “I can spend time with individuals who live in my apartment building or complex because we all live together.” Reality: You should only be spending time with individuals who live inside your actual apartment. Clearly, you will likely pass other neighbors and have very brief interactions with them as you walk outside to buy your groceries or get to your essential job. That’s okay as long as you maintain physical distancing.
- MYTH: “The Stay at Home rule says it is okay to spend time with my family.” Reality: We’ve noticed some individuals are confusing “family” and “household.” To clarify, you should not be spending time (in person) with individuals who do not live in your home; it does not matter if you are related or not. Said differently, you should not get together (in person) with your family, even close family, unless you are currently living in the same home. It is not enough for you to maintain 6 feet of physical distancing with them; at this time, you should not be getting together in-person at all.
- MYTH: “If someone is not showing symptoms, they cannot give you COVID-19.” Reality: Individuals who have COVID19 do not immediately show symptoms. Typically, they develop symptoms after a few days, however, even during those days where they have no symptoms, they can transmit the disease to others. Additionally, one very small study found that almost one in five individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 did not exhibit any symptoms at any point but they could still transmit the disease to others.
- MYTH: “It is okay for my kids to play with other kids in our block.” Reality: As tough as it is, the same rules that apply to adults also apply to kiddos. They should not get together to play with other kids. Although, to date, kids have not been as impacted by the disease as other groups, they can still get sick and, even if they don’t develop symptoms, they can transmit COVID-19 to others.
- MYTH: “Visiting the grocery store is a much needed escape for me so it is okay if I go often and take my time browsing.” Reality: you should spend as little time as possible in the grocery store, you should only go grocery shopping when absolutely necessary, and you should go as infrequently as possible. Ensure you know what you need to buy before leaving home, and even have a backup plan, in case some of the items are not available. Buy enough groceries so that you don’t have to go to the store every week. However, please do not hoard items.
We know that physical distancing can be hard, especially as Easter is approaching, which for some of us is a time of year spent with family, friends, etc. We encourage you to spend time with family and friends, but to do so remotely. Video calls, of course, may not be nearly as great as seeing someone in person and giving them that much needed hug, however, it will still give you a chance to see each other.
Also, as a reminder, the requirement is to have physical distancing/separation. We realize the term that has been used is “social distancing,” which may have created the impression that you need to isolate yourself from others. While you should do so physically, you should avoid isolating yourself socially and emotionally.
We highly encourage you to stay in touch with your family, friends, co-workers, and others in your life. You may even want to develop new bonds. There are online groups of all types, where you can “meet” with individuals who share your interests. There is also phone/video therapy being offered by various providers. Whatever you choose, reach out to others and stay in touch.
Have you noticed other myths or misconceptions? Please share with our community below. We just ask for you to be kind, respectful, and tactful in your messages. Please consider everyone is doing their best, and individuals may not realize they are making mistakes.