COVID-19: Safety is a personal driver

Where were we? Ah yes, the summer of 2020. That brings us to about August.   

There was rumbling about a vaccine hitting the market soon. But there was also a lot of (what I can only describe as) “noise.”  

A constant talk of the virus drowned out anything and everything else. When and where do I have to wear a mask? How often do I need to sanitize my hands? Do I really need to social distance? 

And perhaps the biggest question of all: How the heck do I social distance in New York City?! Well, for me, here’s what all of this meant… 

Escape to Vermont 

The streets and restaurants were becoming too crowded for my comfort. So, I started to retreat.  

I stayed and worked from home much more. I limited who I saw, and wore three masks everywhere I went. (Go ahead and call me crazy, but I did what I had to do to feel safe.) 

Luckily, a dear friend of mine and his wife were going out of the country, and they asked if I would like to borrow their home in Vermont. I leapt at the chance without hesitation.  

That would mark my first trip outside of Manhattan Island since February 2020—I had never stayed in one place for that long in my entire adult life. Plus, I knew that Vermont’s COVID infection and death rates were quite low. (Something I encourage everyone to research and take into consideration before traveling anywhere.) 

That little escape gave me a chance to catch my breath. A chance to clear my head. And a chance to feel ready to continue battling this pandemic, personally and professionally. 

The question of safety 

When I returned to New York, the streets were filling up again. That meant my routine would change again, too.   

I no longer felt safe riding a bicycle to work, even though the weather was still nice. Because now, I was surrounded by trucks, construction, restaurants in the middle of the street, motorcycles, scooters, and the like. So, I decided to buy a car.  (Apparently everyone else had this same idea too—as there wasn’t a car to be had!)  

After several weeks, though, I found one. And I proceeded to drive to work… in Manhattan.  

Absurd? Yes. But again, it was the safest choice for me, which is all that matters. Of course, I only lasted about a month before the hassle became too much. Meaning it was back to the subway—which, with a route change, became safer.  

You may be sensing a theme to this story: Safety.  

Needless to say, that’s an overarching theme of this pandemic. We want to know how to keep ourselves safe, our families safe, and our communities safe.   

And as more scientific data came out, we started to learn what wasn’t safe… like dining out at restaurants. So, I started to pivot once again. I started cooking at home a lot more. That’s how “Cooking with Dr. Fred” came to life. (Follow me on Instagram and YouTube so you never miss an upcoming episode!)   

These segments were something fun for me to do—and still are. They make me laugh and give me something to focus on other than numbers, cases, and safety. 

Meanwhile, many of my patients had left the city to parts around the globe. After all, winter was coming—but so was the vaccine. (To be continued on Thursday!) 

P.S. Looking for ways to protect your health as we continue fighting against COVID? Check out my Complete Guide to Year-Round Immunity for my top immune health tips.