Advice for those who are most at risk becoming seriously ill from COVID-19

(Originally posted 3/14/2020; re-posted 3/30/20200

What can I do as someone who is most at risk to protect myself from contracting and becoming seriously ill from COVID-19?
The following is a re-issue from an earlier update (3/14/20); the information and advice in it is still valid and important for people who are 60+ and/or have certain underlying health problems.
According to the CDC, “if you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age [60+] or because you have a serious long-term health problem [e.g., heart disease, diabetes, lung disease], it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.”
According to many public health experts, the most effective action you can take is Social Distancing: greatly reducing or eliminating entirely your physical contact with others. Although this may seem extreme, consider the alternative: becoming seriously, perhaps fatally ill with COVID-19.
Here are some ideas for how you might accomplish a high degree of social distancing:
  1. Enlist help from your support network: Contact your friends, relatives, and neighbors and tell them that you plan to avoid physical contact for the time being and enlist their assistance in doing food and pharmacy shopping for you and checking in with you periodically by phone, text, or email. 
  2. Do not become socially isolated: Arrange to take walks with your partner, family member or friend; if you drive, you may want to take a relaxing drive yourself or with your partner.
  3. Order out: Treat yourself and support local food businesses by ordering take-out meals; if the restaurant doesn’t do deliveries, arrange with a friend or neighbor to pick it up for you.
  4. Arrange for home delivery: most area pharmacies provide home delivery and now you can also use Instacart to order groceries, pharmaceuticals, and other needed supplies from merchants including: Shaws, CVS, Price Chopper, Tops, and even Petco.  
  5. Register with Citizens Assistance Registry for Emergency (CARE): CARE is designed to be used by emergency responders to assist registrants in a disaster. It is up to the emergency responders to decide when and how to use it.
  6. Stay aware of COVID-19 developments: 

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