Tidelands Health expert provides safety tips for older adults during virus outbreak
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - Many folks may be wondering what outdoor activities are safe for older adults following the recent spike in COVID-19 cases.
It’s important to keep in mind people 65 years or older are designated as ‘high risk’ for the virus.
Dr. Gerald Harmon, Tidelands Health vice president of medical affairs, said the most important thing to know if you do decide to venture out is to have your mask, wash your hands, and maintain your distance.
Harmon said as you begin your pre-COVID activities, it’s essential to do them with extreme caution, but that doesn’t mean you can’t. He gave recommendations for activities you can begin transitioning back to for a somewhat normal lifestyle.
“You should go outside, get some sun,” Harmon said. “Worry about vitamin D, worry about enjoying where you live, the geography. You can get outside, you can exercise, you can walk, you can ride a bike. But if you’re going to go into a closed area, you should wear a mask. Protect yourself and protect others from you.”
As the temperature starts to warm, things like cookouts, game nights, and other family gatherings may come to mind. But you may hesitate to invite your older family members due to COVID-19.
Harmon said number one, if you’re hosting a party, do it outside. Number two, as bad as you may want to kiss and hug grandma or grandpa, refrain from doing so.
Harmon also spoke about family spreading. He added family spread among infected individuals is a substantial contributor to the spread of COVID-19. This is because families live in the same household, often hugging and not using a mask. He said it’s important to maintain “intrafamily distancing.”
Maybe you’ve thought about taking a trip to visit your family or vice versa. Harmon spoke about traveling to or from locations.
“The high-risk travel right now is still going to be in a closed tube such as a bus, train, airplane. The safest way to travel is by private vehicle, small volume, low population density. You can control where you are. You can hand wash, you aren’t in a public venue,” Harmon said.
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