6 Ways to Protect Yourself in the City

Living downtown (or in a dense urban area) means constantly interacting with others — and that can be scary in today’s climate.

Anytime you venture out of your home, there’s a chance to spread (or catch) germs. You touch the same elevator buttons, use the same subway rails and often brush up against strangers as you walk down the street.

Are you worried that daily life in the city could put your health at risk? These tips may help.

Use knuckles or elbows instead of hands or fingers. Elevator buttons and door handles are high-touch surfaces. Gloves can help too, but only if you change them after every surface you come in contact with.

Walk or ride your bike whenever possible. Don’t risk being around others too long. If you can steer clear of buses, subways, trains and other forms of transportation, do so.

Carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Use it after touching doors, riding on public transit (if you must) or visiting a public place like a store or pharmacy.

Limit how much you leave your home. Walking the dog, going out for food or medicine, and exercising are necessities for many people, but other trips aren’t. Avoid going out when possible, and consider wearing a mask when you do.

Wash your hands thoroughly. When you get home from somewhere, make sure to use warm water with soap, and wash both the fronts and backs of your hands.

Avoid crowded elevators. Elevators put you in very close proximity with others, so don’t get on if there’s already more than one other person on there. Be careful in stairwells too.

It can be harder to socially distance yourself when you live in the city, but it’s not impossible. Be mindful of the surfaces you touch, keep your hands clean and cut down on time outside your living space to maximize your chances of staying well.

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