According to the CDC, coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) symptoms range from mild to severe and even death. The symptoms present themselves 2–14 days after exposure and include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. The CDC states that older adults and people with serious underlying medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease are in the highest risk category. However recent news has shown that people of all ages can be infected by the virus. New C.D.C. data shows that nearly 40 percent of patients sick enough to be hospitalized were between the ages of 20 and 54. The Washington Post also recently reported that younger people in the U.S. are a large portion of those hospitalized with the virus.
Regardless of your age or level of risk - now is the time to be smart and safe. Our communities need to work together to flatten the curve and prevent the spread of this infectious disease. Here are our best tips to protect yourself and your loved ones from the implications of COVID-19.
Health Insurance And Personal Wellness
Health insurance is a must to protect yourself and your family. If you are currently in between plans or unemployed, you and your family may qualify for Medicaid or The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Unlike other types of insurance, there are no set open enrollment periods for Medicaid. You can enroll at any time you become eligible. For example, if you experience a decrease in income due to COVID-19 (laid off work, lost business, etc.), you are eligible to apply for Medicaid and CHIP. Additionally, under law, Medicaid provides retroactive coverage for covered services incurred up to three months before your application date. The retroactive coverage applies if you or a family member would have been eligible at the time you received the care or service.
Once your health insurance needs are covered, check and top-off any prescription and over-the-counter medications you may need. Make sure that family members have at least a two-week supply of their prescription medications on-hand. Additionally, if you do contract COVID-19, be sure to have a healthy friend or family member stock up on tissues, pain and fever relief medications, fluids with electrolytes, soap, and a two-week supply of food for you. And of course, contact your physician immediately.
In addition to vital medications and health insurance, it’s recommended that you keep practicing preventative measures to maintain your family’s health and wellbeing. Public health experts recommend that you step up your daily personal hygiene by washing your hands frequently with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds. At this moment, many local governments are asking that you and your families avoid public transportation and large gatherings of people, including your office, gym, church, and grocery store. Self-quarantining - also known as social isolation, is currently the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19, so stay home and inside unless necessary. With the latest quarantine and “shelter in place” measures now being enforced in major U.S. cities, minimize your contact with the outside world. If you need food or medicine, arrange for a contactless drop-off outside your door.
If you are feeling sick, immediately seek medical attention. Since online sources, such as information on the virus is continuously being changed and updated - consult with a licensed medical professional for advice on what to do if you are feeling unwell. To prevent the spread of the virus, check to see if your doctor’s office has the option to chat virtually or over the phone, rather than in-person.
Self-Quarantine Best Practices
If you find yourself working from home or only staying home for the next few weeks, here are some of our best practices for staying safe, calm, and balanced while spending extra time with your family indoors.
First, establish a manageable routine. Just like getting up for work as usual, maintain your rhythm by waking up each day at the same time every morning, and trying to go to bed at the same time. As you work and care for children, take regular breaks to stretch your legs and get some fresh air (if possible).
Once your household needs are in order, it’s also a good idea to communicate clearly and manage expectations if you’re working remotely. Working from home can be challenging, so set expectations with management or your team early on. Check to see if all in-person meetings will be switched to video calls and if a team or office messaging app (such as Slack) will be used to communicate.
As you set up a home office and juggle the day-to-day needs of your household, cleaning and clearing out your personal space can help you feel more focused. Practice common guidelines for sanitization, such as using nontoxic disinfectants and making sure to wipe down heavily-used areas. It may help to do laundry more frequently, especially if you are sick. Wash bedding and towels in hot water and use disinfecting wipes on door handles, light switches, toilets, faucets, and other highly-used surfaces daily. Wear gloves if you are handling laundry from a household member who is ill.
Finally, don’t forget to move your body - exercise is vital for your physical and mental health. If going outside is not possible, look into online or virtual workout classes. Daily movement may help you keep depression and anxiety at bay and aid in addition to keeping you healthy and well.
While you may not think of yourself as particularly susceptible to the virus, it’s always a good idea to have a plan in place for yourself or a loved one who might fall into a risk category. Life insurance is a smart move to help ensure loved ones are financially protected.
Policies made available by applying with Ethos cover COVID-19. More explicitly––death from a pandemic, such as COVID-19, is not an exclusion with our term life insurance policies. To make it easy: you can apply for an Ethos policy without leaving your home because our application is online and can be completed in minutes. For more information on our life insurance options, check out our website to review our offerings.
Since information on COVID-19 is changing by the hour, Ethos will do our best to ensure that our resources are as up-to-date as possible. Remember that self-quarantining is currently the most effective way to prevent the spread of this virus, so stay inside unless necessary. From all of us at Ethos, we are here for you. We wish you health––both mental and physical––during this uncertain time.
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