At last, some good news! After months of grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems B.C. has succeeded in flattening its curve. Our province’s rate of new cases has remained low for several weeks. As part of its official Restart Plan, the provincial government recently announced further relaxing of the restrictions it implemented to combat the spread of the virus.
While this is very positive, we’re not completely out of the woods, and seniors remain more vulnerable to the virus than other parts of the population. So it still makes sense for older adults to take every precaution to protect themselves. Here are our top tips for seniors to stay safe as B.C.’s public spaces reopen.
Keep up the good work
We’ve made it this far thanks to British Columbians sticking closely to recommended preventive measures. So, while the restrictions may be relaxing, it’s still safest to keep taking these precautions: maintain a physical distance of two metres from other people, wear a cloth mask when you can’t physically distance, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, avoid touching your face, cover coughs and sneezes, clean frequently touched surfaces and stay home when sick – no exceptions.
Use common sense for social interactions
After months of distancing and isolation, everyone is eager to see their friends and loved ones. Let’s be honest: we’re all getting a bit tired of phone calls and video chats! But for now, it’s still important for seniors to limit their personal “bubble” – the people they allow in close physical proximity – to those who live in their immediate households.
Outside this bubble, you should limit gatherings to a maximum of two to six people. And even within these small groups, maintain a physical distance of two metres and avoid close contact. That means no hugging, kissing or handshaking. For now, a wave and a friendly verbal greeting will have to do!
Of course, immune-compromised individuals are still at greater risk than others. These individuals should continue protecting themselves by staying away from gatherings altogether. If you’re among those who need to stay home, take a look at our suggestions for expanding your mind at home, and our top audiobooks and podcasts for seniors.
Exercise Caution in Recently Opened Spaces
These are some of the public spaces and amenities reopened under Phase 2 of B.C.’s Restart Plan, and tips for seniors planning to go:
Are you an older adult who is worried about accessing public services safely? See the PARC-Safe Choice Checklist to find recommendations for personal services, medical services, food services and social visits.