Health & Wellness

Keep protecting yourself and others

Mary Fey

As a nurse practitioner, I have had the honor and privilege of caring for many of you in Dexter, Pleasant Hill, Lowell, Cottage Grove and Creswell. Over the past 35 years, I have stitched up your cut fingers, vaccinated hundreds of your children and helped many of you manage chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes or hypertension.

I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like COVID-19 in my career. I can also say that I’m proud to be an Oregonian, where our COVID numbers have been low because we’ve followed stay-at-home orders to protect ourselves and others.

Now as some local businesses and activities start to resume, I want to remind everyone how important it is that we all continue to take care of each other.

The simplest thing to do is to continue social distancing – keeping at least six feet between yourself and others – and to wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public. This includes everywhere other than our homes and vehicles. We could have the virus, not be sick, but pass it on to others. Wearing a mask can greatly reduce this possibility. 

I wear a mask at work all day and have noticed that it isn’t particularly easy or comfortable. However, I feel it is my duty to keep it on to avoid passing on any germs I may have come in contact with. I see many workers at local stores wearing masks or face coverings and I applaud them.

While there is much we still don’t know about COVID-19, this much we do know: The virus is spread by droplets from the nose and mouth. It can spread by talking, singing, sharing food or drinks, hugging, coughing or sneezing. If you put droplets on an item and another person touches it, then touches their mouth, nose or eyes, they can get the virus.

I recommend that you try to avoid touching your face at all times. It’s hard for children – and some of us adults – to avoid that, so frequent hand washing is another important safety measure.

I also want to encourage anyone who has delayed needed medical care to go ahead and schedule an appointment. All of us at PeaceHealth clinics and hospitals wear masks and we ask that you wear a mask or cloth face covering when you come to see us. Among other safety measures, we also check the temperature of everyone entering our facilities and have scheduled enough time between appointments and arranged waiting areas to follow social-distancing guidelines.

If you’re curious about the different types of masks and want to learn more, go to For more COVID-19 prevention tips, visit

Mary Fey is a Nurse Practitioner based at PeaceHealth Medical Group’s Dexter Clinic.



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