DOH: Another month at home, let’s emerge healthier

Submitted by the Washington Department of Health

Our social distancing efforts are beginning to “flatten the curve” here in Washington. Even so, models from the University of Washington suggest that we may see 1,400 deaths from COVID-19 in this state, and it is clear that more people will die if our social distancing efforts stop right now.

That’s why, today, Gov. Inslee extended the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order for another month until May 4. By staying home, we are keeping our communities as healthy as we can. We are slowing down the spread of the virus and buying more time for the state to build hospital capacity.

We must continue this isolating act of community togetherness — staying in our homes as much as possible to protect ourselves and people we love. While we are at home, let’s pay attention to the reasons we are doing this. Connect with the people you love. Make online purchases from small businesses that give your community life. Order takeout from the restaurants you miss the most. Notice the gifts we’ve given the earth in this time — the skies in famously smoggy Los Angeles are clear and blue. The carbon monoxide emissions in New York City are down 50 percent compared to last year this time.

Let’s take care of ourselves and our relationships. Think about how you want to emerge from this crisis. Rested, looking forward to opportunities to be with your loved ones, ready to keep the air clean by working at home more often.

Take care of your body with nourishing foods, lots of sleep, deep breaths, and exercise. Focus on the parts of your life that bring you energy and joy: clean, cook, nurture, garden, sing, play games, create, love, read, write. Stay connected with others and maintain your social networks. Go for a walk and wave to your neighbors from six feet away. Ask them if they are well and if they need anything.

Take care of your mental health. If you feel so overwhelmed you struggle to get through the day, call your health care provider, therapist, or mental health provider and set up a telemedicine appointment. Check out these resources to help support your mental health or that of a loved one:

• Care for Your Coronavirus Anxiety Toolkit,

• How to Help Someone with Anxiety or Depression during COVID-19,

• Resources to Support Mental Health and Coping with the Coronavirus,

And if you are in crisis, don’t hesitate to call the 24-Hour Crisis Line at 866–427–4747 or text HEAL to 741741 to get confidential text access to a trained crisis counselor any time of the day or night.

Find more resources for your emotional, mental, and behavioral health on the state coronavirus website at

Practice compassion

Check-in with your loved ones today. Are they staying home and taking care of themselves? Encourage them to stay home and stay safe.


The Department of Health had some technical difficulties, but the latest numbers are now updated on its website and the DOH plans to update them every day.

More information

Check out the department’s blog at for more information on how you can help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Information in the blog changes rapidly. Check the state’s COVID-19 website for up-to-date and reliable info at

Answers to your questions or concerns about COVID-19 in Washington state may be found at the DOH’s website. You can also contact the call center at 1–800–525–0127. Hours: 6 a.m.-10 p.m., seven days a week.