Phase 2: Life After the Coronavirus Shutdown
People are wondering what to expect from Phase 2 when it goes into effect. Many states have already begun opening businesses and people are beginning to inquire about job opportunities. Some of us are lucky enough to have been working from home but others were less fortunate and got laid off without knowing if they’d have a job after the shutdown. Not only do we need to be getting our finances in order, there are many new measures we will all need to take when life reopens.
The White House has published guidelines on “Opening Up America Again,” with detailed information on each phase of re-opening. We’ve followed their lead to show you what you can expect from phase 2 as each state slowly reopens businesses. Just as in phase one, moderate physical distancing is highly advised. It’s also advised that you avoid social settings of more than 50 people and situations where appropriate distancing is not possible.
Check the status of your state to see which phase you’re in. Many of us are entering Phase 2 in days. Here’s what it means.
Are You Sick?
Just because everything will be opening soon or has opened in your state, it doesn’t mean that coronavirus has gone away. It’s here and will be here for years, experts warn. What you can do to prevent harming yourself and others is to stay home if you get sick. Do not go to work and don’t go to stores. It’s up to you if you need to be tested for coronavirus, but if you have the symptoms, most states have increased testing capacity, so contact your doctor right away and tell your provider that you may be infected with COVID-19. If you don’t have health insurance, you can still buy health insurance in many states, which opened up Obamacare due to the coronavirus pandemic. Before insurers shut down until next winter, take this opportunity to buy health insurance if you have coronavirus or not.
There’s been a backlash to the shutdown, with people protesting in crowds and with many people refusing face coverings. Especially if you are sick, it’s advised that you wear a mask. You can make your own mask and there are countless tutorials on how to do it inexpensively. Some people use socks, which have the natural curve at the heel and help cover the contours of the face.
You’ll still be advised to keep a moderate distance between yourself and others after everything reopens, and you should only return to work in phases. If you own a business you’ll need to set maximum occupancies in your store or office. Many people are creating markers with tape to show how far to distance when waiting in lines and how far apart to sit from one another.
As much as the current administration wants to send workers back to work, the White House’s web page encourages telework “whenever possible and feasible with business operations.” This will help you stagger seats, by selecting which employees to work from home. Consider childcare issues, those who have compromised immunity or live with someone who does, when giving workers permission to do telework.
This is the most crucial time to also consider your business insurance policy. Are you working with a reliable insurance agent who can protect you during this delicate time? If not, begin comparing business insurance quotes in your area. Close all common areas where employees congregate. Shared coffee pots should be placed on hold. Have everyone bring their own.
Non-essential travel will resume, but discouraging employees to avoid travel if they can avoid it is a good idea until there is a vaccine. Alternative ways to finding leads, if you’re an insurance agent, are highly advised. Using zoom to make sales connections over in-person networking events is encouraged as well, especially if these individuals are vulnerable to coronavirus or live with someone who is.
Feel free to invest in a non-touch thermometer and take everyone’s temperature before they enter a place of business. These temperature checks may seem intrusive but have become the norm in allowing or barring people from offices and retail spaces.
We know it’s a great time to get some work done with the mask and all and soon (if not already in your state) you may resume any and all surgeries on an outpatient basis if the facility adheres to CMS guidelines. Ask about these guidelines before you go, and take special precautions about washing your hands when you come home. The same holds true for medspas.
Gyms Are Reopening!
As long as your gym is adhering to physical distancing and sanitation guidelines, you will be able to shed off those quarantine pounds. When handling dumbbells, weight machines and shared mats, use a sanitizing wipe before you touch surfaces. It’s a good idea to bring your own mat and take a shower when you return home.
Schools Remain Closed
The same goes for youth activities like summer camp and daycare. They will reopen once we are in phase 2.
Nursing Homes and Hospitals
Visits will not resume until phase 3. You will still be prohibited from visiting loved ones. The elderly and people with health conditions like high blood pressure, chronic lung disease, diabetes, obesity, asthma and those with compromised immune systems due to chemotherapy and HIV are at a high risk with COVID-19.
If the restaurant you want to sit down and eat in is following guidelines, they can remain open. If you enter a restaurant where people are sitting side by side, without staggered seating, it may be a good idea to consider eating elsewhere.
The same rule of staggered seating applies here in Phase 2. Most movie theaters will only allow in a certain number of people at one time, but if you find yourself in a crowded theater or someone sits right behind or near you, you may want to consider removing yourself.
Sports Are Back!
Sporting venues will be open with moderate physical distancing protocols. So, again expect staggered seating. It won’t be a full house, but the games are back on, so that’s good news.
Need a Drink?
Bars will be opened, with limited occupancy. Do yourself a favor and go to a place where people are not standing shoulder to shoulder. There are many establishments we need to support right now. Again, keep a moderate distance, wash your hands frequently and enjoy yourself responsibly.
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Homeowners insurance is an important protection to have even when it’s not required for a primary home, a vacation home or condo.