The more we work together to fight COVID-19, the sooner it will subside. We have received clear guidelines from Gov. Eric Holcomb and the Indiana Department of Health. If we follow these guidelines, the prediction from medical experts is that the virus will subside rather than increase. Right now, it is still increasing in Indiana.
These guidelines from the governor are simple to follow:
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public place.
Avoid blowing your nose, coughing or touching your face.
If soap and water aren't available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
Stay at home as much as possible.
Maintain six feet of physical distance between yourself and other people.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover while around others.
These guidelines are simple, but many Hoosiers are simply not following them. It is not OK to walk shoulder to shoulder with friends on the sidewalk. It is not OK to have the family over for belated Easter and sit closely around a dining room table. It is not OK to invite elementary school friends for the day. Why? Our breathing alone can spread the virus quickly. We cannot do business as usual yet.
Anytime we must be in public to get groceries or the mail, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you get home. Every single time.
More important is that we really stay at home. It is hard to do that because the six to eight weeks we've been in lockdown have been long and often boring. At my home, we have gotten a lot of household tasks we'd been avoiding done. We still feel stuck because we are stuck. All of us are. It's not fun.
But if stuck keeps Hoosiers alive, I vote for being safe and stuck at home.
I sincerely hope each of you will try to avoid social settings where people are close together, even if it's fun at the moment. I hope you will encourage your friends to do that, too.
The stakes are very high, especially for older people such as myself. If for no other reason, follow these guidelines for us.
Jo Young Switzer, a Roanoke resident, is retired president of Manchester University.