It’s time to leave the house and venture outside

Many people are leery about leaving the home after experiencing a year of pandemic lockdown. That feeling is normal. Start to venture out by taking small steps such as a walk or going for a ride around town.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have been in our homes for the past year and a few months. Hopefully, you have been diligent about your health and have taken all precautions that include getting your vaccine. The vaccine is the gateway to opening your life back up. For many though, that open door does not seem so welcoming.

Many people are experiencing anxiety as they attempt to reclaim their lives. Often people may experience an intense uneasiness as the usual mundane events of shopping or going to the hair salon are introduced back into our lives. If you are experiencing such feelings, rest assured, you are not alone.

The fear of getting the virus is still very real for those who have not gotten their vaccine. Some experts have even said individuals who have not gotten their vaccine are now even more at risk of becoming infected with COVID-19. The risk of contracting COVID-19 for vaccinated people has lessened considerably.

For many people, the many months of being safe at home has made re-entering the rest of the world a bit difficult. What if you encounter people who have not been vaccinated? Answer: Know that you are safe, they are not. What if they are not cleaning surfaces in an inadequate manner? Answer: It is not the surface that you are infected by it is the air.

What if the ventilation of your favorite restaurant is inadequate? Answer? Look for high ceilings and ask the restaurant management about their ventilation system. There are standards they are supposed to follow. Ask to be seated outside and always remember there is take out.

What if there are too many people in the grocery store for your comfort? What if way too many of them are not wearing masks? Answer: Frequent that grocery store during off peak hours, order online and pick up.

What if you want to return to your place of worship? Answer: Most of these institutions are very responsible and have safety plans in place. Ask about them. The worst thing imaginable for a house of worship would be for parishioners to become ill.

Though many would love to have things stay shut down as they have been, reality is upon us and the world will and must open back up to our new normal.

As you rejoin the world, remember you do have some control.

First is to make sure you have gotten your vaccine. It is your key to moving about the world without worry. Second, wear your mask. It will give you much protection as long as it is worn properly- over the nose and mouth. Remember to have that metal in the nose area fit around your nose securely. This is a key component.

You get to decide who you allow in your world. Start off with small gatherings of friends that you know are vaccinated. When you travel, take all the precautions.

If you are having a lot of anxiety about leaving the house, do it in steps. Go out for a car ride first and see the lay of the land. Select a place to visit and go during off hours.

Remember, if you are vaccinated you are the safe one. Unvaccinated people are the ones who need to be concerned. Yes, it is time to go back out. Ready, set, go!

Dr. Veita Bland is a board-certified Greensboro physician and hypertension specialist. Dr. Bland’s radio show, “It’s a Matter of Your Health,” can be heard live on Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m. on N.C. A&T State University’s WNAA, 90.1 FM. Listeners may call in and ask questions. The show is replayed on Sirius 142 at 5 p.m. on Wed. Email Dr. Bland at

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