If you are an inhabitant of planet earth, chances are, you’ve heard about the Coronavirus (according to WHO the disease is officially called COVID-19 and the virus is called SARS-CoV-2) but just in case you haven’t heard of it the basic gist is that it’s a novel outbreak of a type of virus called a coronavirus that has traveled across the world since its discovery in late 2019. Here’s a WHO Situation Report from March 7th that explains a bit about how many people this has affected and where the virus has been detected. Sitreps are coming out daily with updates on new recent learnings and affected populations etc.
I decided that this was worthy of writing about today because this outbreak has caused mass hysteria in the media and across the US (and probably the world, but I’ll speak for myself as a US resident). A lot of people are very scared of this virus and as a result have been preparing for the worst. As the weeks pass and the situation seems to worsen and I’ve been reflecting a lot on what I’ve learned from it.
1// My family’s hand washing routine is probably leaving something to be desired
There aren’t a lot of things that a person can do to protect against this virus, but one thing that can help is hand washing. Truth be told, a good hand washing routine isn’t just important for a pandemic…it’s important for the flu season, and for newborns, and for safe food handling, and for…general hygiene.
What we’re doing about it: We’re reading up on the CDC’s handwashing recommendations and we’re implementing them. Forever. Not just in light of the coronavirus, but just to be generally more hygienic people. We’re singing songs at the sink to make sure we wash for long enough, and we’re washing more often.
2// Our disaster preparedness plan is virtually non-existent
Listen, I am not the person buying all the toilet paper, purell, and clorox that money can buy…but I am reviewing what WHO recommends doing to prepare in case we shouldn’t leave our homes, or if there is a need to close public places. Or if there is an earthquake. Or if there’s a freak tornado that rips through our valley. Or if there is a terrible snow storm that has us inside for days. Or if we lose power. Ya’ll…I have nothing.
What we’re doing about it: First I’ll tell you what I’m NOT doing. I’m not running to my nearest wholesale store and buying up random canned goods or toilet paper. I’m also not buying bottled water. But I am reevaluating the state of our pantry, assessing our cold and flu supplies, keeping my car fueled to a half tank or more, I bought a few more non-perishable food items that don’t require fresh foods to make (but I didn’t go overboard!) and I read up on some recommendations specifically for the coronavirus. We’re also just looking at our plan in general and we’re going to make some changes (not today..but soon.)
3// Panicking isn’t going to help anyone
I am not panicking. Even as a pregnant woman who may or may not be in a more vulnerable populations…I’m not scared. But it’s hard to stay that way when the media is painting a very grim picture. I’ve seen several influencers spreading fear and panic. It doesn’t help. It makes people do crazy things like buy dust masks and enough toilet paper to wipes all the butts of the world for a year. It’s only making things worse and causing shortages for people who actually need this stuff.
What we’re doing about it: I’m staying alert and informed. I’m reading WHO and CDC recommendations. I’m consuming content from other sources like Dr. Mike, a doctor on youtube you who is sharing regular updates on the virus as he learns more about the virus. But most importantly, my family is not panicking. We’re also listing to recommendations like I mentioned above, practicing some social distancing, not touching hands as much as possible, and finding peace in the fact that approximately 80% of the people who have contracted the virus have survived.
What have you learned from this whole crazy situation? Are you doing anything you might not have otherwise? I want to hear all about it.