Our Parish Nurse, Ann Yeo, shares with you an excerpt from a recent (6/28) blog on the Washington Department of Health website, entitled “Just because you can doesn’t mean you need to.” If you wish, you can access the entire text, with some amusing illustrations, here.

“The spread of COVID-19 is increasing across the state – both in Eastern Washington and throughout the Puget Sound region. So why are we continuing to reopen? Because so far, we still have room in most of our hospitals. Hospital capacity is one of the key pieces of information we monitor closely when deciding what phase a county can move to. We definitely don’t want to get to a point where there are more sick people in the state than our health care system can provide good care for.

Of course, just because there is room for you in the hospital doesn’t mean you want to go there. To keep you and your family safe, it is just as important as ever to keep up your vigilance against COVID-19: Stay home when you can, limit the number of people you hang out with, and stay six feet away from them! Keep your hands clean. Wash them often, and put hand sanitizer by your mask to remind you to take it with you when you go out. Then wear your mask, and use that hand sanitizer frequently when you are in public and touching things.

As more businesses open, we have more choices about what we are feeling ready to do. We all have different ideas about what is too risky. Allow your friends some space if they are not ready for playdates or in-person gatherings yet. We don’t always know what people are struggling with. They may have a chronic health condition you don’t know about, or maybe they are trying to protect a vulnerable family member, or maybe gathering right now feels like too much risk, and they are not comfortable with it.

Take your time coming back to public life. We are still safest at home, limiting our contact with people who don’t live with us. As your county reopens, return carefully to the activities you love when you feel ready; but wait a bit longer on the things that are less important to you.

We’ll be greeting our friends without hugs and high fives for a while. Remember to say with words what you can’t say with touch: “I love you.” “I’m so glad to see you.” “I’ve missed you.”

Let’s work together. Wash your hands. Wear a mask/face covering. Limit your contacts. Remain understanding and compassionate.”

-Ann Yeo, RN, MSN, Certified Holistic Nurse