Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Coronavirus Madness

I know we're all tired of hearing/talking about #COVID19. The kids have no school for the next 3 weeks (could be longer depending on the situation). Fortunately, my husband and I are able to work from home as long as the kids are still home. Today, I wanted to share my take on Coronavirus and how I prepare to handle the situation in the best way possible.

1. Don't panic: Instead, be proactive and prepared. I get it. It's frightening for people to have an unknown virus. It feels very scary. However, there are reasons to feel safe and reassured: we have identified it, we know how to stop it from spreading, low risk to most people, the situation is improving in China, science is on it globally. Most importantly, we have never been better prepared to fight a pandemic.

2. Know your facts about #COVID19: There is a lot of misinformation floating around social media but you can help share facts not fears by following trusted and reliable sources. A few that I follow: World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Johns Hopkins University and my local news.
3. What to buy for #COVID19 preparation: Still not sure what the obsession with TP. I bought cleaning supplies (disinfecting wipes, hand soap, hand-sanitizer), over-the-counter cold medicines, extra paper towels, tissues and a bit of canned foods and non-perishables like pasta and rice. I was lucky to be able to grab 2 packs of TP (40 rolls) last week. That was all I bought. Nothing extravagant. The U.S Department of Homeland Security is recommending 2 weeks' worth of supplies and that's what I did.

4. Buy only what you *actually* need: Being prepared does not mean stockpiling or hoarding. An excess of toilet paper will not help protect you against #COVID19. There is no shortage if everyone takes only what they need. Don't be a hoarder. Step back for a moment and think about the next person who can't buy it because they are waiting on the next paycheck, waiting for a ride, or just can't get to the store. Let's help each other out during this outbreak!
5. Be kind to retail workers: People across the world are rushing to the stores to gather up any emergency supplies. Shoppers are finding empty shelves, long lines stores nationwide. Grocery stores struggle to meet demand. We're in unprecedented times, we need to be patient and most importantly, be kind to those who work extra hard to serve you. If you don't find what you need, come back the next day.

6. Set a daily routine for your kid(s): As mentioned above, my kids have no school for the next 3 weeks. It's important to keep their days as routine and scheduled as possible (especially both of us have to work from home during the day). It's going to be hectic in our household for the next few weeks. This is the kids' daily schedule that I put together. I am usually done with work by 4:00 p.m.
7. Free resources available for kids during this outbreak: There are many fun and educational things available for you to do with your kiddos.
8. Embrace the situation: It's not easy but embrace these next 3 weeks with joy, positive attitude and make memories you can look back on in year to come. I plan to use this time to be productive. I have a list of things that I'd like to accomplish. The number one thing on the list is overall spring cleaning chores. We desperately need to clean and organize their outgrown clothing. If you have kids, you know they keep everything! We'll use this time to go through their desk drawers, closets, dresser drawers, toy containers. Most importantly, enjoy doing these chores together, treasure these moments and let them know you want to spend time with them.
9. Social distancing: It's not easy for anyone. The kids have no school, no playdates, no practices and everyone avoid all contact with others but social distancing is currently the most important factor we can control in the outbreak. I have planed a birthday celebration for my husband next weekend but ultimately decided to postpone for obvious reasons. One major relief to you parents is that kids do very well with Coronavirus. They usually bounce back in a few days.

10. Main takeaway: The main takeaway for me is this: be calm, be kind, be respectful and be patient. We will get through this

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