With various states and the federal government considering easing social distancing restrictions and reopening segments of the economy, it’s important to remember that the coronavirus hasn’t gone away.  

That means if youre in a high-risk group — or come into contact with people who are in a high-risk group — you still need to take substantial precautions, just as you have been for the last couple of months.

Why do you need to be cautious? There is still a lot that scientists donknow about the disease. For example, if you have had it, are you immune to it? Early studies are inconclusive. How widespread is the disease? Many people who have had the virus have never been tested, and studies show that they can spread the virus before symptoms show and even if they show nosymptoms at all.

The disease caused by the virus, is still very dangerous.So how do you ease back into a more normal life? 

Here are some tips:

When the virus was first circulating in China, researchers believed that people over 65 and those with lung conditions, diabetes, heart disease and cancer — and any diseases that compromise the immune system — were at greater risk for developing life-threatening complications from COVID-19. This is still largely true, but new research has pointed to other risk factors, even for young people.

Obesity, especially, accounts for a high number of severe COVID-19cases,according to new studies. People with high blood pressure have also been hit hard by complications from the disease. People who smoke are also adversely affected by the disease. And men are at greater risk. In fact, a study in New York found that 62% of hospitalized patients were men. Researchers arent sure if gender is playing a role or if the risk men face is more related to lifestyle choices they have made.

While being older than 65 is also a risk factor, the data shows that 25% of Americans hospitalized with COVID-19 are under 50. It also shows that many of these younger people had conditions like asthma, hypertension and diabetes.

Continue to practice good hygiene.Washing your hands, wiping down surfaces and using hand sanitizer are important.

Wear a mask and wear it right.Masks havent been shown to offer full protection (donexpect your mask to make you invincible), and they offer even less protection if you dont wear them correctly.

Maintain social distancing.After spending so much time at home, the temptation to go to dinner at a restaurant or have friends over or visit relatives is high. Resist it. You can control your exposure, but it is hard to control other peoples exposure.

One thing researchers have learned is that the coronavirus spreads easily and especially in close quarters. Staying out of situations where you are exposed to people in tight confines will lower your risk.

If you can keep practicing social distancing, do it. Youll be safer for it.

If you want to take advantage of parks, beaches and other places where people gather, go there when they are the least crowded. This is true of stores and restaurants and anywhere people gather. If you have to go out, go when things are the quietest.This should also help lower your exposure.

And finally EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT SEX BUT ARE AFRAID TO ASK — COVID-19 is passed on through droplets that come out of your mouth and nose when you cough or breathe out.

COVID-19 is not a sexually transmitted infection, however, it can be passed on through kissing and close contact, including having sex.

If you or a partner have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not kiss or have sex.

There are lots of ways to have sexual pleasure without physical contact — try having fun with lone masturbation, sex toys, and phone or webcam sex.

If you donhave symptoms, having sex with a partner you live with is OK. 

If you decide to have sex with someone who doesnlive with you, then you should take precautions to reduce the riskof spreading or catching COVID-19. STAY SAFE and remember Bleach with a splash of Lysol is not the latest Martini.