Surviving Coronavirus Quarantines
March 23rd, 2020
4 minute read
COVID-19 — or as most people refer to it, coronavirus — is causing panic all over the world. While opinions vary as to how bad the disease itself is, the fact remains that the social and economic effects of COVID-19 and societal response to it are already changing our world as we know it. (See the author’s article on how to fight the coronavirus here.)
Even if you’re not suddenly getting up to speed on terms like “r0” or poring over statistical data in an effort to understand the intricacies of what’s happening, chances are you’re experiencing other effects: lack of available supplies, closed stores and restaurants, canceled activities and events, or even mandatory quarantine in some areas.
While we cannot always control what’s going on around us, we can prepare for it. To that end, I’ve compiled a list of things you should consider…soon.
Even if quarantine isn’t in your area yet, keep in mind that this very article was pitched to the editor about a week ago — and there were no restrictions at that point. In the time since then, many states have closed schools, businesses and more. In short, just because it’s not in your area yet doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be planning for it to come a lot sooner than you think.
- Back-up child care: If necessary and/or possible, have a plan for child care if their school closes but your workplace hasn’t. Don’t be afraid to ask family and friends for help. PRO TIP: Depending on how this situation evolves, you may have a hard time finding someone that will allow non-family members into their location. Have back-ups for your back-ups and stay in touch with them as the situation changes.
- Alternative income streams: If you’re suddenly unable to go to work, you’ll need a way to get money. You could telecommute to your current job, or get creative. Sell unneeded items, go to sites like upwork.com and find some virtual work, work as a delivery driver, or even offer a service to people. PRO TIP: Think outside of the box AND your career field.
- Medication supply: Any medication or medical supply you need to maintain your health needs to get stocked up. Insulin, beta-blockers, glucose test strips, whatever. PRO TIP: There are online sources for just about anything, just understand that you get what you pay for.
- Budget changes: Most people will make the mistake of trying to maintain their status quo. The sooner you accept the “new normal,” the sooner you can make the changes you need to survive and even thrive — even if it means giving up something you thought you couldn’t live without. PRO TIP: Consider making a list of every monthly expense that doesn’t keep you warm, dry, fed and healthy. That’s where you can start cutting.
- Long-term plans: How is your house heated? If the situation lasts longer than expected and goes into the winter, do you have enough propane, firewood or funds to pay for heating? PRO TIP: Find out from locals how much wood you need to be comfortable for the whole winter and then add a bit more if you have a wood-burning stove.
- Clothing for kids: Our society is used to going back-to-school shopping. What if you can’t this year? Make sure your kids have clothes that will fit for another year. PRO TIP: Buy a size larger than normal, and teach your kids the value of hand-me-downs.
- Activities: Every parent alive knows the frustration of dealing with bored kids. While Disney is releasing some movies for streaming early and other places are offering virtual field trips, the fact is that you’ll need to have other things ready to do as well. PRO TIP: It doesn’t all have to be fun. Get some projects done around the house, too.
- Don’t neglect physical fitness: Keep your fitness up by having a back-up plan and supplies to work out in your own home. PRO TIP: You can use household items and even your own body weight in lieu of weights and machines.
- Have a stress-reduction plan: This entire situation is highly stressful. Have a plan to deal with that, whether it be meditation, reading, puzzles or some other hobbies.
- Manage sleep: One of the critical pieces of mental fitness, especially in high-stress situations, is proper sleep. Your body needs it desperately. Staying up all night just to read coronavirus data, or worrying about your situation, isn’t going to help you or your family. You cannot help them if you are sleep-deprived.
This isn’t an all-inclusive list. However, it should get you thinking about what a quarantine would really look like, past the initial binge-watching of all your favorite shows. It’s not an ideal situation, and it won’t be fun for anyone. With some preparation, however, you can get through it — a lot better, in fact, than many will. And all it takes is a little preparation.
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