Doctor: As states reopen, don’t rush out to do everything

Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it. That’s the message from one doctor who wants to make sure the public doesn’t take a step backward.
Updated: May. 19, 2020 at 7:16 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should do it.

That’s the message from one doctor who wants to make sure the general public doesn’t take a step backward during this time of reopening.

“Let’s not rush to take advantage of every single aspect of the reopening at once,” UofL Professor of Medicine Dr. Jennifer Koch said.

Instead, Koch recommended choosing an aspect of the reopening that is most important to you and your family. For some, that may mean getting a haircut.

“For somebody else, that might mean going to a restaurant, or going to a shopping venue that you haven’t been able to go to for a while,” Koch said. “It definitely shouldn’t mean you do all of those things at once.”

Koch said you should avoid places if you see a full parking lot outside your favorite store or mall.

“You have to turn around and go home, and you have to try another time,” Koch said.

Just because states are reopening, it doesn’t mean the virus is gone. Koch said any situation where there is prolonged or close personal contact, there is a risk of transmitting the virus. So, this may not be the time to be with family or friends who are in the high-risk category, or resume play dates for your children.

“Down the road pretty soon here, we may get to the point where maybe you can choose a friend or two or a family member who will become a member of your regular household,” Koch said. That doesn’t mean you let your guard down. You should continue to practice physical distancing, wear a mask, and wash your hands. The last thing anyone wants is that things reopen, cases and deaths go back up and things shut back down.

“Opening back up is much more complicated than shutting things down,” Koch said. “Double down and remember why we did this all in the first place. Give yourself permission to add in a couple of things that are most important to you to hopefully replenish that patience. From a public health standpoint, keep us on the track that we need to be on.”

It’s not a bad idea to keep track of what days you go out and where you go. If you notice you are venturing out too much unnecessarily, you can scale back.

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