If the entire country of Italy in quarantine has not made you aware that we might face the same thing here, then you’re not paying attention. It’s not a reason to panic, but it certainly is a reason to prepare. Personally, I’m not freaking out about coronavirus. In fact, as a self-declared germaphobe I feel like I’ve been in training for this coming pandemic for years.
When my kids were little I never, ever shared a drink from my water bottle or ate off the same utensil. If they took a sip from my glass, it was declared theirs and I would either live without or get another. Kids after all, are the perfect little virus carriers with their sticky hands, runny noses, and lack of good hygiene.
I carry hand-sanitizer everywhere and I’ve become a master at not touching my face. I use my bum to push open doors, and my sleeves to pull them open, and doors that open automatically make my heart sing. I take extraordinary measures not because I think we’re all going to die but simply because I really, really hate being sick.
I’m not “the end is nigh” crazy, or even on the Howard Hughes spectrum. I’m a practical, highly organized germaphobe and as such I am here to share the best advice I’ve gleaned over the years, and in reading countless articles since January on this spreading virus.
No matter what though, it’s important to remember that this Coronavirus is not our doomsday pandemic. Sadly, many good people will die, but it’s important to remain grateful that we’ve had some time to prepare for this. Taking precautions is about being a good, responsible, global citizen, not a survivalist. Avoiding getting sick, self-isolating if you are, and only using the medical system for emergencies will help slow the spread of this virus, which will give us time to work on a vaccine and not put our healthcare system under so much strain it collapses.
This list is also something you should pretty much keep up to date in your household, because in another pandemic situation you may not have time to prepare. I know, I know. I’m a ray of sunshine.
Now is a good time to take up that new healthy eating regime you’ve been thinking about. Same goes for exercise. The bottom line is this, whether you catch coronavirus or are diagnosed with something else, the healthier you are when you get it, the better off you’ll be.
- SLEEP. Seriously, try to get at least 8 hours. If that’s hard for you, consider trying melatonin until you establish a routine.
- Stay hydrated.
- Take Vitamin C, D, and a multivitamin.
- Get outside for fresh air everyday.
- Avoid alcohol (yes, it pains me too but it’s the best thing to do right now)
- Get your prescriptions filled. If necessary see if you can get an extra refill, but don’t be unreasonable please.
- If you have any bloodwork that needs to be done that you need a prescription for, address it now.
- Get your flu shot even if you’re normally flu shot avoidant. The reason for this is the the flu and the coronavirus are practically the same in symptoms. If you get the flu shot then it can be reasonably assumed you’ve picked up COVID-19.
Prepare a Pandemic Medicine Kit
Yes, I have one. No, it does not have military rations. Here’s what I have.
- Tylenol and Advil
- Latex Gloves
- Alcohol swabs
- Zinc Lozenges
- Masks (Disclaimer: Don’t hoard them, and if you can’t get your hands on a few then don’t panic. Remember. I’m a germaphobe. I’ve had mine on hand for a LONG time. You do not need to be walking around in public with a mask on because they are largely ineffective against COVID-19, but if someone in your house gets sick, you’ll want them on hand for the infected person to wear.)
Stock your Kitchen
- Pasta, Kraft Dinner
- Canned Tuna and Salmon
- Peanut Butter
- Jarred Tomato Sauce
- Canned Soup
- Stock your freezer with frozen fruit and vegetables, pre-made meals if you’re really feeling it
- Powdered milk if you need dairy in the house.
- Oranges and apples last a long time.
- Dried fruits like mango, pineapple, and bananas.
- Don’t forget your pet’s needs too.
Others Household Items
- Toilet paper but don’t be stupid about it.
- Facial Tissue
- Bleach (also buy a spray bottle so you can make a bleach solution of 1:10 for surfaces)
- Feminine Hygiene products
Places to Avoid
- For the love, avoid anywhere with a ball pit (see child reference above)!
- Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices. If it’s a minor medical concern the last thing you want to do is overburden the system with your hemorrhoid Karen. Also, if you’re going to catch a virus there’s no better place to pick one up. For the time being, keep these places for legitimate medical emergencies.
- Fast food places. Honestly, think about it.
- Large conferences and meetings. Thankfully, most responsible organizers are cancelling these.
- Consider delaying birthday parties or other celebrations until we’re out of woods on this one.
- Move meetings to online. This is what the internet was invented for!
When Out in Public
- If you’re not scared of how you’ll look, wear gloves. I keep latex gloves in my car door side pocket for when I’m pumping gas.
- Keep facial tissues in your purse to grab when you need to pull open a door.
- Avoid hugs, kisses, and handshakes. It sucks but it’s the new reality while we get this under control.
- WASH YOUR HANDS frequently, and if you can’t find soap and water use hand sanitizer.