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  • What is it safe to do now that shelter in place restrictions are lifted?

    Many places in California and around the world are beginning to lift restrictions related to sheltering in place. People will soon begin to venture outside their home more and are experiencing anxiety about the dangers of infecting themselves and their loved ones. Many people are seeking guidance on how to be able to navigate dangers related to the coronavirus while also attempting to return to their normal everyday activities. In a recent article, the Washington Post asked experts in public health what guidelines they would follow in their personal lives as quarantines are lifted.

    Basic guidelines

    The Post’s experts all agreed that they would only decide to leave their homes on a more frequent basis if infection and death rates in their area declined steadily for at least 14 days.

    When they do leave their homes they would ask themselves a few basic questions. Will I be outdoors? There is less risk of infection outdoors than indoors. How long will the outing take? The less time they spend in stores, interacting with others, or handling items the better. What will be my proximity to others? It is important to consider if staying 6 feet away from others will be possible and if others are adhering to physical distancing.

    The experts weighed in on what specifics they would consider before entering a business. They would scan the business to see if both employees and customers where wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart. They would check to see if there was hand sanitizer available for customers and employees to easily wash their hands. They would also take note of the size of the crowd in the business to gauge whether or not they would be able to maintain 6 feet of separation.

    The Post’s experts pointed out a few more general precautions they would take when leaving home. They stated that they would be sure to bring hand sanitizer with them to be able to quickly sanitize their hands after handling items. They stated that they would be careful to avoid touching their faces. They noted the importance using the restroom before going out in order to avoid the use of public restrooms. They also stated that they would bring bottled water to avoid using public drinking fountains.

    To read more tips from public health experts, check out the Washington Post article here. If you need additional support facing uncertainty while leaving your home, schedule a free consultation to learn how CBT via telehealth (online therapy) can address anxiety and help people to re-engage with life.

    Dr. Jason von Stietz specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Sport/Performance Psychology in Torrance, CA. He provides online therapy (telehealth) by way of the Torrance office and is available for a free initial phone consultation. Dr. von Stietz works with individuals from Long Beach, the greater Los Angeles area, and the South Bay including Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo and all over California.