Living Life in the New Normal
2020 is the year of COVID. We have five months left in the year to get this right. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Disease have created a risk pyramid (see below). TMA ranks common activities on a scale of 1 as the lowest and 9 as the highest risk. I hope you find this visual display helpful in choosing what and where is best for you.
Low-risk places today is the great outdoors. Take advantage of the natural beauty that surrounds you. Be sure to keep up six feet of social distancing. Keep the gatherings very small with only those with whom you know are not ill and wear masks as possible.
Inside for Short Intervals
The TMA pyramid low-moderate category has many essential indoor activities like grocery shopping, doctor and dentist appointments, library, and public parks. All of the low-moderate recommendations require pre-planning, limited duration of the activity, and vigilance in constant cleaning and monitoring.
Weighing the Risks
The pyramid ranks many of our preferred recreational and gathering places in the moderate risk level. Social activities like a family gathering, shopping, schools, and daycare, office buildings, and other spaces where the number of people and interactions increases. Many communities now struggle with how and where to start the next school year because of complex risks to all involved. There are no easy answers or 100% safe options here.
How Much Togetherness is Safe?
These moderately high ranked events are those bringing us shoulder to shoulder with each other whether to ride public transportation, air travel, team sports, and high contact situations. Unfortunately, this pandemic denies the physical contact that comforts and consoles us as humans.
A Year We Will Never Forget
Festivals and parties? Forget about it. 2020 is the year we will remember what didn’t happen. This is most evident in the TMA’s highest risk activities include large events, movie theaters, buffets, gyms, and bars are off-limits.
Semper ad Meliora
In summary, the pandemic news is overwhelming. I find it difficult to sort through the opinions and facts to make the best decisions about what, who, and where I can engage in my new normal. I will end this post with a bit of humor. The horse race of life in the pandemic was captured in a very funny parody found on YouTube (some salty but well-placed language at the end). Semper ad Meliora – Always Toward Better Things.