Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Preparing is NOT Panic

I’m not afraid of getting the Coronavirus, I’m not afraid of dying (if you’d like to know why, send me a note). I’m not panicked about the illness, not panicked about anything.

I am concerned though, at the thought that I, or that anyone else, could be a carrier of
this virus to my loved ones, without even knowing it, because of the germs picked up somewhere randomly. So yes, please wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and please, please stay home if you are sick. Now is NOT the time to go visiting, NOT the time to go shopping, NOT the time to party. Now is NOT the time to “push through” the sickness to be a superhero at work. IF YOU ARE SICK, STAY HOME.

But I have been preparing, and will continue to prepare as the need arises. Not out of fear, but prudence.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve observed people on social media and in the public ridicule and mock people who decided to stock up in case of possible quarantine due to the Coronavirus that is rapidly spreading worldwide.

When did preparing for anything become taboo? For decades, Scouts were taught to be prepared. Why do we dis that notion today?

Could people possibly not understand or grasp the reality that we could be quarantined?

Have you ever been quarantined inside your home for three weeks or more?

Most of us have not, so this is new territory for us all. This should go without saying, but for clarity: being quarantined means you cannot run to the store to restock. Being quarantined means you must shelter in place, not able to leave.

Before you judge, mock, or ridicule, consider this:

Some of us are responsible for those who are at the greatest risk, and because we take our responsibility seriously, we want to do everything possible to make a home quarantine as stress-free as it possibly can be for our loved ones. This means not having to figure out in the middle of the quarantine how we’re going to eat, or how we’ll manage without toilet paper if we can’t run to the store when we get down to the last roll.

Do you know how much toilet paper you personally use in a week? How long will your current supply last? What is your back up plan should you run out of toilet paper before the quarantine ends?

You answered the question for yourself, and you were honest and said you could “suck it up, buttercup,” at whatever is thrown your way. But now answer those questions for everyone in your household. Do you still have enough to last for three weeks or more?

Now answer the questions for your elderly parent(s) and grandparent(s). Do they know how much toilet paper they’ll use in a week’s time? Do they have a supply? Do they have a backup plan?

What about medications? I’m currently in a household of four, with two over the age of 70. One of the four is chronically sick and mentally ill, taking upwards of 20 meds per day (don’t get me started – I’m not a fan!). Another of the four is diabetic. Another has autoimmune issues. Do you have an adequate supply of medication for everyone in your household? What’s your backup plan if you/they run out?

What about feminine products? Pads and tampons? Back up plan?

What about baby formula, baby food, diapers? Back up plan?

What about food? Is the food in your pantry, fridge, freezer enough to feed everyone in your household for three weeks or longer? What’s your backup plan if it isn’t?

What about income? Are you prepared to go three weeks or longer without an income? Most of us are not, so preparing for that scenario may be more of a challenge, but face it head on before you have no choice.

What about water? Normally, in any preparation plans, water should be at the very top of the list. With a possible quarantine due to the Coronavirus, stocking water isn't as crucial as it would be for hurricanes or nuclear disaster, because most likely, we won't lose our current water supply during quarantine. But for other preparations, do you have enough water supply or a safe means to acquire enough water to last the duration? Drinking water, flushing water, wash water (bathing, dishes, clothing) should all be taken into consideration for planning.

Being prepared is wise, responsible, thoughtful, and compassionate. Being prepared now will save you time, money, and stress in the long run. Preparing is not panicking, and in fact, preparing ahead of time offers a great sense of relief when you’ve done all you know to do, all you can do, to get ready for whatever happens. Being prepared is being RESPONSIBLE. 

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