There is a lot of uncertainty with the spread of the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and there has been a lot of panic that has led to the hoarding of food and other supplies. As the head of our family and a disabled person with type II diabetes, (means I am in a higher risk group) a wife that works at a call center, sharing a home with my mother who is over the age of sixty (another high risk group), there are several things I must consider in my reaction to the virus, while keeping my family, my mother and myself safe during the pandemic.
The most important thing is not to panic!
It would be very understandable if I chose to panic in response to how much life has changed in the past week. I have seen the shutdown of Disneyland, Disneyworld, Six Flags over Mid America, every sporting event nationwide, bars and restaurants closing their dining rooms, stores that were open 24 hours reducing their hours to allow staff time to restock and clean the store, receiving emails from every company I know reassuring me that they want to keep their customers and employees safe, seeing people hoarding food and supplies such as hand sanitizers and toilet paper – some going to the extreme of stealing it from bathrooms of businesses, and of course schools being closed indefinitely and communities setting bans on large gatherings not to mention all the media coverage of the coronavirus. But if I am going to survive this pandemic, I know that I must remain calm.
What I am doing to keep calm and carry on:
The first thing is I am not buying into all the hysteria that seems to be running rapid o social media, in the ness and throughout our nation.
Granted, life has changed drastically. My freedom to travel anywhere without fear of getting sick and possibly dying is temporarily gone, but if I remain calm, I can get through this.
I do not read everything that is out there about the Coronavirus. I only read articles from credible sources. First and foremost, I read, and now follow on Twitter, CDC.gov. I also occasionally read information posted to the world health organization (WHO) website, EPA web site and the Red Cross website.
I also stay clear of news sources I am not familiar with or that I do not trust. I try to read things only posted by what I consider a trusted source: the Washington Post, ABC news, CBS news, CNN, NBC news, MSNBC news and from a local news reporter, Jessica Schaer. On Jessica’s Facebook page, her posts are both informative and reassuring to the community – she is not part of the media hype that wants you to be scared and glued to the media for updates.
I also do not live in the 24-hour news cycle of watching coronavirus updates on TV or social media. I know if I do this it will create more anxiety and that will do me no good. I just check my sources three or four times a day and try to live a normal life.
At first, I was a little troubled by the memes and jokes I have seen on social media. After all, this is a serious pandemic and thousands have died globally and there is the potential for thousands to die in the United States. However, I am now finding some of them humorous including the photo shopped photo of Lionel Ritchie with the lyric from his song Hello, “Hello. Is it me your looking for?” with Lionel holding a package of Charmin toilet paper, and the outing of the source of the coronavirus, the bear from the “hiney clean” Charmin commercial.
How I am dealing with going out in public
As a person in a higher risk group, as I mentioned earlier, I have type II diabetes, and a weakened immune system (my words – not my doctors) from being inside more than normal this winter after my epic fall last October, I am trying protect my and my families health while not becoming paranoid.
I have decided to follow the CDC recommendations since I may be in a higher risk group. I am not going out unless necessary – at least to areas with many people. I am also using Walmart groceries, Sam’s club pickup and Target’s Run and Done for curbside pickup of items we need. I am not eating out and I will occasionally run through a drive through.
I am not making these changes out of fear, but out of knowledge. I believe I have a good understanding of how I could catch the virus, including (and this was disturbing to me) that the coronavirus can live on a surface such as a counter or doorknob/door handle for three days.
We are washing our hands more and using hand sanitizers in our home. I am also keeping up on the latest news and adapting our strategies as needed as this is a fluid situation.
What is next?
I know that there is a risk of depression and anxiety that can be caused from the isolation we all are experiencing. In the coming days on my social media profiles and here on this blog, I will be posting how I am dealing with both and what I am doing to combat them. I hope that this post, along with my future posts, will help you through this difficult time.
Be strong! Be safe! Be informed with facts! We can all make it through this together.