Navigating our New Reality: Closures and a new routine.

Navigating our New Reality: Closures and a new routine.

As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout the United States, make sure you read up on our guide to the beginning of the outbreak. ISO is here to keep you insured, informed, and aware of what is going on. This is what you need to know as this virus continues to rage on. 

While the nation continues to see state after state require less interaction among people, different aspects of life are being affected.

The states of California, Illinois, New York and New Jersey, among others are each mandating a stay-at-home rule.  You are allowed to go outside, exercise, and travel for essentials. If you need supplies, go to the grocery store. If you need medical attention, go to the doctor. If you need medicine, go to the pharmacy.

Beyond this, you can get in legal trouble for not following the mandate of staying home. These rules are not being put in place to get anyone in trouble, they are to enforce every effort to keep people safe. Governmental action is to ensure that everyone understands how serious a situation this is.

How to handle emergencies during a pandemic?

During a time like this, more than ever, you want to ensure you have health insurance coverage. While doctors are handling cases of coronavirus, there are still other medical emergencies in the middle of this pandemic.  ISO continues to provide affordable plans for sickness and injury for current students and those recently graduated and on or applying for OPT.  

In terms of regular health checkups, many doctor offices are limiting patient intake.  Any elective procedures have been postponed or cancelled for the time being.  For example, gynecological appointments have been cancelled except for ones related to a current pregnancy.

If you are in need of a doctor, but not one for coronavirus concerns, make sure you continue to follow the regular procedure of checking our list of in-network providers.  Call the doctor office to see their availability and what their office protocol is during this time. 

As always, if you are experiencing symptoms of coronavirus, call a medical provider, explain your symptoms and follow their directions for implementing a test. The most important thing to remember when you are feeling under the weather is to rest, drink fluids, and can take over-the-counter medicine like Tylenol or Advil to keep your fever down, or as directed by your physician. 

Changes in daily tasks.

The large changes in our communities initiated by the federal and individual state governments are making people wonder about their regular day-to-day life activities. 

For many, this includes laundry.  With orders to social distance, many have questioned if it is safe to continue going to and using laundromats.  Depending on your location and the amount of cases in your area, local laundromats may have closed. But there are updates that there is no need to worry about contracting COVID-19 through your clothes at a laundromat. “That shouldn’t be a problem. With detergent, the virus would be killed very quickly, and with a dryer, the heat would kill it.  Your clothes are not going to get contaminated,” as stated by Lee Riley, MD.  This leaves the only threat of getting coronavirus at a laundromat is through your interaction with other people. 

Grocery stores remain open, but it is important to shop smart. Food shopping should only be done when necessary.  It is important to stock up enough for yourself and loved ones, but remember that stores are still open, and you are able to come back and restock. Do not buy out full sections of products that everyone in your area needs. 

Depending on your area, other businesses are closed as well.  States are establishing their own rules, but many are closing schools, as well as restaurants, bars, movie theatres, and gyms. Restaurants are restricted to only take-out orders. In locations with a larger number of COVID-19 cases, such as the tri-state area, businesses like barbers, nail salons, and hairdressers are also closed. In more recent days, New York has issued an order for only essential businesses to be operating as normal.

Employees are now working from home.  If you were working or interning on pre completion OPT at the time of this outbreak, then it is important to stay in contact with your employer and see what protocol they are taking to have employees work from home.  If they ask you to continue working for them remotely, then you also have to get used to a new working environment.  Working from home means the pleasure of being in the comfort of your home, but also may bring on some technically difficulties as companies transition into virtual conference rooms and shared servers to work on documents.  This is when communication is the most important and understanding that we are all in this situation together. 

Stay Home: The terms you need to know during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is a time that is confusing and unsure for many people. While the news continues, it is important to remember the little things you can do to keep you, your friends, and family healthy and safe. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds frequently throughout the day, cough and sneeze in your elbow, and try to not come in contact with many people. These are the terms you need to know to better understand the pandemic, as well as to make sure you are keeping safe. 

Social Distancing: this is the term when people are encouraged to stay at least six feet, or two meters, apart whenever possible, to avoid infecting yourself or those around you. If you live in a suite at your university or in a house with roommates, then it obviously is not always easy to keep six feet apart from everyone. This rule mostly applies to when you leave your living environment.

QuarantineThe CDC defines this as when people who have been exposed to the disease separate from others to first see if they become sick. It is especially important to be insured during this time, in case you begin to show any symptoms. If you have traveled to quarantine with family or with friends during this time, remember that coverage with ISO means coverage nationwide. 

Self-Monitoring: This is when people monitor themselves for the symptoms of COVID-19.  This involves taking your temperature twice a day and being alert to the other symptoms that may appear. This include coughing or any difficulty breathing. There are other forms of self-monitoring, which include guidance by public health officials or healthcare personnel. 

Self-Isolating According to the CDC, isolation is when people who are sick with a disease separate from people who are not sick. This is different from quarantining yourself, because when you are in isolation, you are diagnosed with the disease. 

Asymptomatic Carrier: This is when you show no symptoms of having the illness, however you do have it, and can pass it to other people. This is why social distancing is especially important. Younger people, with stronger immune systems and no underlying health conditions can have coronavirus and be unaffected, not appearing sick.  Not thinking they are sick, they may interact with others, and actually get more people sick.  This is why everyone must practice social distancing. 

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