Central Peninsula Hospital | Pulse | Fall 2020

What we’ve learned from COVID-19 Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Academy of Family Physicians; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; HelpGuide The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our normal routines in a lot of ways. While many of us have ex- perienced hardships, we may also have gained some new insights and good habits during this time. Here are a few things you might want to keep in or out of your life as you move forward. Handshakes. They turned out to be a great way to say “hello” to germs. If you’ve gotten used to the wave, bow or virtual high five, keep that new greeting going. Going to work or school sick. Many of us—kids included—have done our part to slow the spread of the coronavirus by staying home. That’s a good lesson to take with us: Whenever you’re sick, you can help everyone by keeping your germs at home. Last-minute grocery runs. Has it been nice not visiting the grocery store quite so often? Even if you don’t plan meals in advance, keeping a well-stocked pantry can make it easier to whip up dinner without an extra trip to the store. Information overload. During the pandemic, there has been no shortage of news to consume. And sometimes misinformation has spread as fast as the virus. If you learned how to find trustworthy news sources and set some healthy media limits for yourself, those are skills that can serve you well going forward. Smoking. If this pandemic inspired you to quit smoking to protect your lungs, that’s a huge win that can serve up lifelong benefits for your health. Keep tobacco out of your life for good! Loneliness. Isolation can breed depression and anxiety. Make it a priority to stay in touch with others. Those ties are an important part of good mental health. If you started regular phone or video chats with distant loved ones, keep up the habit. And if you know someone who lives alone, make a point of checking in often. Handwashing. Washing your hands well and often is one of the best ways to avoid spreading germs. Make those 20-second scrubs with soap and water a permanent part of your life. Face masks. Chances are you now have a cloth face mask on hand—or the know-how to quickly make one. Hang on to that. Anytime you’re sick, you can use your face mask to help cover your coughs and protect the people around you. Cooking from scratch. Did you dust off some healthy cooking skills while restaurants were closed? When you prepare your own food, you can make your meals as nutritious, fresh and flavorful as you want. That’s definitely worth hanging on to. Telemedicine. Virtual visits with a doctor turned out to be a great way to bypass a waiting room full of contagious people. They can also be a convenient option when you need after-hours care, counseling or help for minor illnesses. Planning ahead for emergencies. It pays to be prepared to shelter in place during situations like pandemics, natural disasters or power outages. Create an emergency contact list. And gather long-lasting supplies you’ll need in case of an emergency. Being kind to others. We found some pretty creative ways to look out for each other, even while staying apart. Doing good things for other people can give meaning and purpose to your life. If you dropped off groceries, picked up a prescription or left a kind note during the crisis, you made a difference. Keep looking for ways to spread that kindness. Out with... In with... PULSE Fall 2020 3