COVID-19 and Staying Busy During Social Distancing

One of our VCU OT Doctoral interns, Rabia, taught a great class on COVID-19. Here are some of the highlights.

Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 is a family of viruses that have been around for a long time, yet COVID-19 is a new strain that was discovered in 2019. We have not built up immunity to this strain yet, because it was not previously found in humans.

There currently is no vaccine for COVID-19. It can spread from person to person within a 6-foot distance through coughing or sneezing and through touching contaminated surfaces or objects.

Some of the key symptoms include a fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Some other symptoms one may experience includes body aches, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea and some severe cases include pneumonia, kidney failure, and death. Symptoms can appear 2-14 days after exposure. Children do not appear to get as sick, but can carry the virus. The elderly and people with chronic conditions (cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.) are most at risk and are more likely to have a severe case and/or die from it.

As we are still learning about this virus, we need to ensure to stay safe and clean by using preventative measures.

One of the most important and easy preventative measure is washing your hands! Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds after coming in contact with any bodily fluid is key to stop the spreading of the virus. You should wash your hands often. Examples include after sneezing, using the restroom, coughing, after and before eating, and touching objects outside of your home or a contaminated object.

Social distancing is another way to stop the spread of the virus. Social distancing means minimizing contact with people. You should try to stay home as much as possible to slow down and stop the spread of the virus and only go out for emergency needs. For example: groceries, essentials, and medical. While you may be healthy individual and don’t think you would be greatly affected by the virus, it is important to think of the others who are more at risk.

While you are staying home, you may be bored. However, there are various ways to fight the boredom! One way is to watch a movie or tv show and then to discuss it. Coming up with some interesting questions or discussions about the movie or tv show can keep you entertained.  Another good thing to do is exercise. There are tons of free online at home workout videos, including a lot of workout places in and around Richmond that are live streaming workouts on Facebook for free! Another way to remain active is baking or cooking something new. While the grocery stores are looking a little empty, looking at what you already have in your pantry and trying to create a new recipe is a fun and creative activity. Another thing to do is arts and crafts or writing. Journaling, coloring, poetry, sketching, and origami are different types of fun arts and crafts and writing ideas to give a try. Another great idea is to play some games like charades, Pictionary, category, card games, board games, or puzzles.

It is very important during this time to take care of yourself. Self-care is an essential part of your life. There are many different things you can do to practice self-care like meditating, doing some yoga, having an at home spa day, continuing to attend groups, reading a good book, and praying. Self-care is not only good for your body, but it is also good for your mind. Remember to wash your hands, practice social distancing, and take care of yourself. And, when you get antsy and want to go out, remember people who are not as healthy and stay in – enjoy a little down time and time for you and be thankful you have to stay 6 feet from people and not 6 feet underground!