Prevention & Safety

Despite the severity of the coronavirus outbreak, most of us are unlikely to get sick. However, we can play an active role in making sure others don’t get sick either. As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure. So, what steps can you take to help keep coronavirus at bay?

Stay Informed

The country’s primary source of information on coronavirus and COVID-19 is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, known as the CDC for short. Their website provides updates on nationwide efforts to contain the coronavirus, tips on staying safe, instructions on what to do if you think you may have the virus and more. For more localized information, check the following online resources:

Follow Instructions

Extraordinary events call for extraordinary measures. The scope of the coronavirus is unlike anything that’s been seen in a century. Try to keep that in mind when you find your routines disrupted. Take recommendations seriously. Do your best to be patient. Remember, we’re all in this together.

Practice Prevention

Do what you can to avoid possible exposure to the virus. Most of these precautions don’t require anything more than what you usually do to avoid the flu, a cold or other common illness. Here are a few measures we should all be taking:

  • Wear a mask in public and when you’re around people who don’t live in your house
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Cover your mouth and nose while sneezing
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid contact with sick people
  • If you’re sick stay home and call your doctor
  • Avoid crowds and close contact with others
  • Stay at least six feet from other people when in public when possible

Be Prepared

Make sure your medicine chest and pantry are stocked with the items you’ll require for an extended amount of time at home. Don’t forget the proper supplies should you become ill and need to convalesce. You may find you have many of these items already but be sure to check amounts and expiration dates to be on the safe side. It’s recommended that you:

  • Have an adequate supply of non-prescription drugs on hand—pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines—as well as other health supplies.
  • Check your prescriptions and refill them if necessary. You may be able request a 90-day supply for maintenance medications. At CareFirst, we’ve waived early refill restrictions on many prescriptions to make getting your refills easier. And consider having your prescriptions delivered to you for added convenience and safety.
  • Be sure you have a working thermometer handy, as well as tissues, lozenges and hand sanitizer should you get sick—whether it’s with COVID-19 or the common cold.
  • Talk to family members and determine the best course of action to take should someone get sick. Devising a plan is much easier during times of relative calm. Plus, there’s peace of mind to be had in knowing that, should trouble arise, you’re prepared.
  • Have at least a two-week supply of food and water on hand. Explore the possibility of using a food delivery service, if one is available to you. If popular items are in short supply, purchase only what you need so that some will be left for others.

Stay Calm

The spread of coronavirus is an unprecedented occurrence in our lives, and it’s generated an overwhelming amount of concern—all of it warranted. But if your concern turns to anxiety and fear, try to take a step back. Know that you’re not alone. The entire world, quite literally, is up against the same enemy. Stay informed, follow the recommendations of experts, and take comfort in the fact that you’re doing your part.

If, however, you need some assistance coping with this uncertain situation we find ourselves in, don’t hesitate to seek help. During this public health threat, CareFirst’s Video Visit provides access to mental health professionals when you need it. Using your smartphone, tablet or computer, you can talk to a licensed therapist or psychiatrist without leaving home.