March 21st, 2020 - As the Coronovirus works it way around the world, and we get inundated with up-to-the-minute news reports and information overload, here are some things to keep in mind.
This is going to get out of hand pretty quickly and if what is happening in Europe is of any indication, our hospitals are going to above capacity very soon. The only way to avoid this is to flatten the curve to give our hospitals some breathing room. You may be young, healthy and feel absolutely fine - but guess what, not staying home puts others in unnecessary danger. You risk passing the virus on to your parents, your grandparents, and others with underlying conditions that won't fare so well. So do us all a favor and stay home if you can. If you have to go out, respect social distancing. Don't compound and already difficult situation.
Resist the urge to buy up everything. We know, it's hard when we see stores running out of everything. But hoarding will only make the situation worse. It puts stress on our supply chains and their ability to restock what is needed. Remember, before the pandemic - shelves were stocked. If we continue to do our shopping as we did before, they'll remain stocked. And remember, not everyone has the ability to stock up on large quantities - and less people will have the means to do so as business close and people are unable to work.
Check on your Neighbors
Ok, so maybe don't go knocking on their doors (social distancing and all), but give them a call, join the neighborhood facebook group, or get on nextdoor.com and see if anyone needs anything - especially the elderly or those at risk. Maybe it's dropping off groceries, or maybe it's just having a chat - but whatever it is, check in on each other.
Wash Your Hands!
Yep, washing your hands is the best thing you can do. Soap, water, and 20-30 seconds is all it takes. Do this more than you think you need to. Hand sanitizer is good when you can't wash your hands, but good old soap and water is the most effective. Don't forget to pay extra attention to in between your fingers and your finger tips! Combine that with keeping your hands away from your face.
Be Kind and Laugh
The time ahead is going to be trying. Staying home will be fun for a few days, but then it will start to grate on you. Your kids will start getting cabin fever, your spouse is going to annoy the heck out of you, and your going to stress about tomorrow. Take a deep breath, have patience, and laugh at least 5 times a day. Whether it be googling funny cat videos, or sharing a few dad jokes, smile and make it your mission to make someone else smile too. We'll get through this!