A: Reflect and refine.
Small, stable pods work best in limiting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 while maintaining essential functions like work, school, and sanity. Everyday actions will help keep your pod from growing out of control.
Reflection- It’s easy to minimize risk when we face them one at a time. We often think only of the risk posed by an isolated event, like going to dinner, and potentially focus on the risk to ourselves versus the risk to others. Thinking about cumulative risks can help identify what is going well and where things could be improved. These questions can help guide your assessment. How many people did I see for more than 15 minutes in close proximity today? How about in the last week? Were the other person and I never, sometimes, or always wearing a mask? Are the infection trends in my area going up or down? It can even help to write down these responses. Make the practice of reflection a habit.
Essential People and Activities – Close networks, such as households, are at high risk of spreading infection to each other. Some members of your pod are non-negotiable – think dependent family members, your office mate, your #1 person. These members of your pod are unlikely to change and bring with them their own risks and needs to your pod dynamics. Refine activities in this network to minimize infection risks within the pod. Additionally, reduce interactions we have outside of this essential network.
Refine – No one will be perfect at sealing up a pod. The reopening of school and workplaces coupled with isolation fatigue can quickly add people to your pod. Everyday revisions to our networks and activities can and do reduce transmission. Where can I add a mask? Would a 5- minute interaction or phone call get the job done? Could a one-on-one visit outside with my best friend replace a group gathering? It’s all about the small actions: Space, Mask, Air, Restricted networks, and Time.
Absolutely nothing about this pandemic is normal. Making new habits takes practice. This is not an all or nothing effort. Every little action counts.