During times like this it is always helpful to take a look back through history. History is and always will be , our most useful teacher. So, in that vain, i give you the following from my own experience as a nurse, as someone who went through the last economic crisis, gas rationing( as a child- i remember it well!) and as a former city resident.
- Are your hands suddenly dry? With every flu season and epidemic, people start washing their hands like they alone hold all the germs on the planet in their palms and need to wash every 5 minutes. Thats fine..no one stopping you. But make it a point to carry moisturizer( along with the hand sanitizers) and use it each time as well. Cracks in your skin are open portals for infection. In fact, use it even more often than you wash your hands.
- Be sure to eat all of your perishable foods first. I know some of you know this but there are also some digging into the non perishables too soon. Think ahead. For me right now i want my comfort food and really have to discipline myself to eat those fresh produce items first so they don’t go bad. The frozen and canned stuff can wait till later.
- Watch gas prices. I expect them to rise over the next few weeks. I know this may sound pre emptive but again, you have to be smart and see the logistics. If you do have to keep driving for work, or even get to the store, be sure to fill up as soon as you are half empty at the latest. You just never know when it may become less available or a bigger expense.
- It is allergy season in many parts of the country. Chances are, your sinuses will be telling you somethings up. This does not necessarily mean you have contracted the virus or flu. More people are simply suffering from seasonal allergies. If you don’t have fever , you likely do NOT have the flu. Don’t panic. Try some OTC meds first.Also- don’t hoard flu meds.
- The medical field is overwhelmed right now and will become increasingly so. Try to be patient. Appointments will be cancelled if they are not dire. Surgeries will be rescheduled..and this IS for the best MOST of the time. Hospitals are petri dishes.. Better to wait if possibly can rather than risk unneccessary exposure.
- If you are a parent who has rarely ever had to spend this much time at home and alone with your children it can strain your nerves no matter how good of a parent you are. You don’t have to constantly entertain them, nor should you be spending hours neglecting them( example on your phone) OR yelling at them all day. Use restraint, take breaks for yourself and realize this is stressful for them also.Hot baths, meditation time, a small dessert alone( in a closet if you have to) or just keeping a routine helps.
- Don’t read this one if you are prone to panicking. This is a time when criminals are very much aware of the vulnerability. Dont fall for scams- they are on the rise. Be aware of your surroundings when you go out. Keep lights on outside at night, especially if in the city. Don’t tell all your neighbors or post online how much TP food or supplies you have. Be smart.
- Don’t be afraid to take care of others if you have weighed the risks. Many of the elderly and medically fragile need supplies, medications, etc. You CAN pick up scripts and items and drop off packages at their door -then text them when you have gone. People need gloves, masks, and hygiene products. DON’T HOARD.If you have the ability , health and means – try to do what you can for the less able. Check on your friends through text, messaging and phone.
- Be prepared for massive drops in your mutual funds, stocks, etc. We went through the bail outs before. If you recall the few years afterwards( housing market ,etc.) do as much as you can to prepare. By this i mean – save money , stop spending on things you really don’t need, and conserve energy. Don’t look to your neighbors and friends to do this, or spend any time judging what they do.. It starts with YOU.Be the example.
- And, finally- use this time wisely. There’s much being said out there about that and i won’t beleaguer it. ( art, reading, time with family etc). There are a lot of positives that can come out of this for our environment and our awareness of the human race in general. Strive to find the good.