The world finds itself in a pandemic creating confusion, fear, panic, hype, misinformation, questions, and everything in between. A new phrase has entered our common lexicon; ‘Social Distancing’ which means the amount of safe space recommended between individuals to avoid contact and contamination. It is much nicer than saying, “Stay home, don’t touch, talk or breathe on anyone.” How the world, individual countries and people as well as healthcare professionals respond to this crisis is dependent on information, calm and rational solutions based on knowledge, education, experience and training. It is a fluid situation that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are monitoring and updating regularly.
The current hashtag #stayathome is not an option for most healthcare professionals. They need our support, consideration, compassion and understanding. They are putting themselves at risk to help our sick and most vulnerable. It can be argued that this is their job but we as a global population can contribute in the solution to this pandemic.
This still leaves many questions and concerns about just what can be done for friends, family and children who are isolated voluntarily or by mandate at home. The following is a list of some commonsense applications and suggestions to the ‘social distance’ advice currently being practiced. They boil down to 3 areas; Avoid, Use Caution, and Do!
- Group gatherings
- Crowded Retail environments
- Limit in-home visitors and non-essential home staff
- Mass Transit
- Grocery/Convenience Stores and Gas Stations
- Take out/Delivery Services
- Medication pick ups
- Parks and other public outdoor spaces
- Libraries or Churches
- Take walks or hikes, play in the yard
- Go ahead and binge watch together
- Stay connected with friends and family (permission to be on the phones)
- Stay informed regarding your neighborhood.
- Check on elderly neighbors
- Shop locally sourced items
- Eat meals at the dinner table together
- Go for that Sunday drive we all used to do
- ‘Home School’ your children: Meal prep can be a math and chemistry lesson. Laundry and sewing buttons are valuable life skills as well as balancing a checking account. Check the fluid levels in the cars, deep clean bedrooms and sort into donate piles. See https://www.thebestideasforkids.com for more ideas for crafts, games, activities and education. Attitude can change this from a problem into an opportunity.
In addition to those ideas, Travel and Leisure has put out virtual tours of 12 world famous museums and galleries like the British Museum in London, The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and The Guggenheim in New York City. This is certainly just a small sample of the informational, educational and cultural offerings out there.
The New York Metropolitan Opera is offering free nightly opera streaming at:
This current situation feels like a giant petri-dish experiment testing the theories of off-premise, remote or work-from-home theories with a whole host of willing or unwilling subjects. It will most likely test the patience of working parents worldwide. It is not a time for people to say an unequivocal ‘no’, but rather an opportunity to say ‘yes, let’s figure this out together.’ Healthcare professionals are on the front line without a clear road map but reliance on training, experience, instinct, compassion and commitment have served this profession well in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
NHS Solutions is in constant communication with our Interim Healthcare Leaders across the United States and our Hospital Clients. We are striving to provide the best information to our Interim Nurse Leaders in order to support them while they continue their vital work in an ever-changing work environment. You are welcome to contact us with questions or concerns.