I haven’t blogged much about these days of living with the COVID-19 virus, though I’ve written two pieces, one about eating during the pandemic and another on why people ignore or defy taking //medium.com/@kkoeniglicsw/give-me-liberty-or-give-me-death-599abaf9f0ba">virus precautions. I haven’t written more virus-related blogs because I thought I’d be straying off course and that my writings would be more beneficial to my audience of troubled eaters if I stayed with my expertise.
Then I realized that deciding what or how much to eat and social distancing while wearing a mask all fall under the same umbrella of self-care. It’s wonderful if you’re using pandemic time to focus on staying connected to appetite and minding your portion sizes. Be proud if you’ve put away the scale, are making more of an effort to eat healthier foods, and have gotten into an activity routine that feels right for you.
But, honestly, if you’re not wearing a mask in public indoor spaces and not social distancing, you may be a victim or promoter of contagion. I am stunned when clients describe attending large barbecues or family gatherings paying no mind to no-hugging or careful-hugging rules. I am amazed that clients see no problem in wandering mask-less around the mall just to get out of the house (as opposed to really needing an item and going in and out of one store quickly with one). I’m speechless when clients with highly interactive public jobs refuse to wear a mask.
I’ve heard the following nonsense: I know I won’t get sick; so what if I get sick cause I’ll get better; my friends aren’t wearing masks; I don’t like having to wear them; I don’t like them; I’m tired of wearing them; and I don’t want to look silly. And this is from a range of clients ages 20-50. Note that this is the same kind of denial dysregulated eaters use about food: I can eat this with no consequences or I want to do what feels good now.
Not wearing masks and not social distancing simply smacks of poor self-care, plain and simple. Self-care means making healthy choices 24/7 and minimizing health risks whenever and wherever you can. It is not picking and choosing, say, meeting your friends at a crowded bar and not wearing a mask yet ordering salmon with a side of vegetables for dinner rather than the fried chicken with onion rings.
For whatever clout I have with you, please listen to me. To stay safe, there are only three things to do: wash your hands, wear a mask and social distance. Choose health and pride. Find out the facts and live by and with them. Here’s a good source: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/17/879255417/amid-confusion-about-reopening-an-expert-explains-how-to-assess-covid-risk.