I was asked, as a physician, what advice about COVID-19 I have now that Berks County is opening up? I believe opening up is necessary, for our livelihoods and for our mental and physical health. But we need to do it safely so that we are not “back to square one” and forced to close down again.
My medical understanding is that we will have to live with this danger for several more months, at least. The most optimistic timeline for a vaccine seems to be after the winter.
The best way, and what I do personally, is to go on with daily life BUT wearing a mask, especially outdoors with other people around, and frequent hand washing (at least once or twice per hour). Social distancing (6 ft away from people that don’t live in the same home) is also important, whenever possible. Common sense and caring about not infecting others is what we all need (because you might have it and not have any symptoms).
I would not worry so much about surfaces and groceries, but I would avoid a store or home if there are many people inside not taking precautions.
So: WEAR A MASK (or bandanna or anything over your nose and mouth) and WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY. Also: DON’T GET TOO CLOSE TO PEOPLE YOU DON’T LIVE WITH. This is what we should do until a vaccine or cure comes out. And be aware that the “2nd wave” may happen before winter if we are not responsible toward each other!
Demetrius Bravidis, MD
Internal Medicine Physician
Berks Community Health Center