We all think we’re young, in great health, and having the best time of our lives. On the flip side, student debt is mounting, daylights saving is still messing with our sleep patterns and now we’re adding a pandemic to the list.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19), is already taking over our minds, social media, news feeds, and daily routines. The best thing we can do is to take the necessary measures to protect ourselves and avoid spreading the virus to those who are most at risk of falling ill—aka our grandparents.

While some of us tune into the news for updates, my information comes through my timeline as I scroll through Twitter, or click through my friends’ Instagram stories about the importance of protecting our elders during this time, and I’m proud of our willingness to inform and educate others about the spread of the virus through social media. But are you following through?

Last weekend, I clicked through tons of Instagram stories as my counterparts celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in large crowds, rushed to Sunday brunch and to their crowded cycling classes.

Now, I’m usually not one to turn down a good time and a chance to go out. However, I’m more at risk than most people assume, and there are a lot of others who share the same risk. I have a lung disease – asthma—and so do close to 25 million other Americans. And of that group, a lot of them are millennials. The seasonal transitions are the hardest time for me because this is when my asthma starts to flare up the most, and mix that with a virus spreading? I’m at higher risk for complications.

Lung disease or not, I need you to stay at home.

In fact, a new report from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 18, showed that 20 percent of the hospitalized patients and 12 percent of the intensive care patients in China were between the ages of 20 and 44—aka millennials. We are all at risk.  

The CDC and government officials are all but begging and pleading people to practice social distancing to contain the virus. Social distancing matters and can make a huge difference slowing the spread of the virus to others.

Stop going to bars and restaurants. I promise you, making mimosas at home is quite enjoyable! They are unlimited and much cheaper. Ensure you stay six feet away from others whenever you are in a public space – according to the CDC, the virus spreads when we are within six feet of each other  – and most importantly, wash your hands.

I must admit, I enjoy being a homebody from time to time, but the forced seclusion can be a bit alarming and I can only think of so many ways to cook a potato. Now is the time make your health a priority. Bored? Get creative! I’ve found myself using my lunch breaks to learn how to become a Tik Tok star, get in a quick workout or take a walk around my neighborhood to get some fresh air.

Relax if you can. This is an unpredictable time and our lives and minds are occupied with constant updates about the virus, possible financial hardships, and keeping an eye on our loved ones, but make sure you care for yourself. Take a nap. Practice healthy breathing techniques. Read that book you’ve been trying to finish for the last six months. Binge watch that series on Netflix you’ve been struggling to find the time to watch, but most importantly, stay at home.

Get more information on protecting yourself and loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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