Risk & Business Magazine JGS Insurance - Summer 2020 - Page 25

COVID SUMMER COVID SUMMER: Use Sunscreen And Wear A Mask Apple’s mobility tracker reveals quarantine fatigue has set in. The mobility trend reports noted that travel decreased across the country last month, and now with the warmer weather, people are anxious to get outdoors. Which is a good idea. It is very rare for coronavirus to transmit outdoors as long as you maintain social distancing. A daily dose of sunlight will not fend off or cure COVID-19. However, there are numerous benefits such as elevating mood, improved sleep quality, and strengthening the body’s innate immune system. Fortunately, the coronavirus is enveloped, meaning it is highly susceptible to chlorination, which makes chlorine and bleach effective at disinfecting contaminated surfaces and water sources. Swimming in chlorinated pools and using chlorinated spas are safe, though worth repeating, as long as you maintain social distancing. Unfortunately, the virus can remain viable and infectious, at least temporarily, in natural freshwater environments including lakes and streams. While dilution is suspected to keep the risk low, high concentrations of viable coronavirus could put recreation users at risk. There is still no information on the ability of the coronavirus virus to remain viable in saltwater, so it is unclear if swimming in saltwater elevates the risk of contracting COVID-19. But as with freshwater, dilution should keep the risk low. Communal spread is still a serious issue even outdoors. Spending time at popular beaches in close contact with other beachgoers will increase your risk. IF YOU DO GO TO A PUBLIC AREA, WEAR A MASK. WHILE A MASK MAY NOT PROTECT YOU FROM OTHERS, IT WILL PROTECT OTHERS FROM YOU. IT IS WELL DOCUMENTED THAT A PERSON INFECTED WITH THE CORONAVIRUS CAN BE ASYMPTOMATIC AND CONTAGIOUS. If you think exposing your body to UV light will protect you from COVID-19, remember this: melanoma skin cancer is one of the most dangerous types of skin cancer. Over 100,000 cases are diagnosed every year in the United States. If detected early and with proper treatment, the survival rate is 94 percent. However, despite this high rate of survival, it is predicted there will still be over 7,000 deaths from melanoma in 2019. Avoiding the sun at its strongest helps to prevent skin damage. Also use a broadspectrum sunscreen. Use at least an SPF 30 sunscreen, even on cloudy days. Apply sunscreen generously, reapply it at least every two hours, and wear protective clothing—including a face mask. So, are crowded beaches bumming you out? Then consider building your own backyard beach. This can be better than the public beach. You can set up your grill and not worry about refreshing adult beverages in your cooler. Unlike public beaches, you won’t get busted. Your backyard beach can offer a spiritual escape and the promise of better things to come. Parking is free, and you won’t get sand in your car. Except from the 50-pound bag of sand (a must-have) from the hardware center. Make sure you get the right sand. One bag of play sand (about six bucks) should do. Though if you have kids and they’d like an instant sandbox, buy three or four. Be sure to spread it so you can wiggle your toes in it. Having white-noise surf sounds will really improve the effect. Then add a Springsteen or Jimmy Buffet playlist to put you in cheeseburger paradise. If you invite friends over, tell them to bring their mask, a six foot pole, and a bag of sand. So, use the proper precautions and enjoy the summer. Having shortness of breath, fever, and a sunburn would be a real bummer. + BY: ERIC P. WOKAS, CSP ARM RISK CONTROL CONSULTANT JGS INSURANCE Eric Wokas has over 25 years of experience as a risk management consultant working for various major property/casualty insurance carriers including Continental, Zurich and Gerling as well as Aon an international insurance brokerage firm. At JGS Insurance Eric continues to assist clients in development and implementation of practical solutions in reducing risk. 25