Last summer, sun and safety precautions were replaced with risk guides as to which activities were most likely to expose you to COVID. The virus is still around, but the moment you’ve waited for is finally here.
While masks may no longer be essential to summer ensembles—unless you haven’t been vaccinated—you should still protect yourself from COVID and other viruses.
• Wash your hands frequently.
• Be aware of symptoms. No vaccine guarantees 100 percent safety from COVID. Even with the jab, you can still test positive for the virus.
• Stay home if you feel sick.
After more than a year of pent-up wanderlust, get ready to safely enjoy summer.
Keep your mask handy.
As a rule of thumb, don’t leave home without it. Masks are still required on planes, trains, buses, streetcars and other forms of public transportation. Also, most businesses and workplaces can set their own guidelines. At Thibodaux Regional Health System, we continue to have restrictions in place for the safety of patients, staff and visitors.
Reunite with friends and family.
Based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, you can safely get together with—and even hug—others who have been vaccinated. Be cautious about mingling with unvaccinated persons. There is still a chance that you can get infected and transmit it to others.
Stay safe in summer heat.
Some summer practices didn’t change—during or post-COVID. The Louisiana heat and humidity have not lessened.
Heat exhaustion and sun stroke still pose dangers. For many, more than a year of altered lifestyles may have resulted in reduced physical activity and COVID weight gain. So be mindful of not overdoing it in the heat.
In particular, watch for signs of dehydration—thirst, body weakness, decreased urination, mild headaches and dry skin. Remember to:
• Stay hydrated
• Drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water a day
• Avoid strenuous activity in high temperatures
• Stay inside or under shade during the hottest parts of the day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Taking precautions against harmful UV rays can help to protect your body’s largest organ. Here are some tips:
• Massage sunscreen with at least SPF 30 thoroughly onto your skin
• Let it dry for 10-15 minutes before going outdoors
• Use water-resistant sunscreen and reapply often, every 15–20 minutes or every 2 hours if it contains zinc
• Apply on easy-to-miss spots such as the neck, scalp, feet and tops of ears
• Don’t use sunscreen on infants younger than six months old; keep them out of the sun when possible or dress them in UPF-rated clothing and wide-brimmed hats
• Wear sunglasses.
Make regular appointments with a dermatologist or your primary care physician for routine skin checks. Check moles at home and look for any that appear larger, discolored, asymmetrical or with jagged borders.
You’ve eagerly awaited summer 2021 for what seems like an eternity. So go outside, catch fireflies, enjoy the company of friends and continue to play it safe with your health.