This is not my average post, but it is by request and I find it so important that we all do our part to talk about how to make this very difficult time easier for those who are interested.
Let me start by saying that this whole thing will upend everyone’s lives in different degrees and ways and the most important thing to remember, I think, is that this is so much bigger than ourselves. I understand that the levels to which people will suffer is all over the map, but we all will need to sacrifice for the greater good of this country and this planet. That is something that we can all identify with. The faster we come together to stop the spread, the faster that we can all resume a lifestyle we are more familiar with.
Having said all that, here are my learnings and suggestions on living with self-imposed social distancing due to COVID-19, straight from Seattle, the epicenter of Corona North America- lucky us!
Because I live in Seattle, one of the “hot-zones” in North America, as well as the epi-center, I have been talking about COVID-19 prep for a while- (even when people were laughing at me and calling me a nut.) We are also living through some of these experiences before the majority of the country, so I guess because I have been vocal about it, many people have asked me for my insights on “surviving social distancing/self-quarantine.” We are practicing Social Distancing in order to “flatten the curve” in the Seattle area (please refer to the article highlighted below if you are confused on those definitions.)
Obviously, at this point there are only two other states at this point who are affected as heavily as this area. That puts all of you in other parts of the country in a position to be better prepared than we are. I am not a professional. I am not a scientist or a Dr and I do not think I am some type of expert. I am a mom and a chef and a person trying to be responsible that has done a hell of a lot of reading and has information miners for family members! LOL! Take this for what it is worth, and I hope it helps anyone just a tiny bit.
*Aalso, I might add that I am VERY active on Instagram Stories right now, and it is a great way to see what is going on here on a daily basis.
STAY HOME WHENEVER POSSIBLE:
-FIrst of all, I think this is a great article that breaks down what Social Distancing is and why it’s important.
-It does not matter that you are young and healthy. We are all at risk for catching this, and whether you have a mild case, or even wind up being asymptomatic, you have the ability to SPREAD. Like you could be spreading it to the most vulnerable people in our society, without ever even knowing you are doing it. The best time to start practicing it is BEFORE the illness starts to spread. It is already very late in the game for us here in Seattle to be practicing this- but still important.
-I understand that not everyone can stay home all the time and some people still are going to and have to continue to go to work. For anyone that can work from home or has a job that has closed down, please stay home. If I were in a part of the country that is less affected, I would not be out socializing even if they have not shut that down yet. If you want to support local businesses, do it in the safest way possible with as little exposure close up as possible to others.
-Clean home surfaces constantly, especially high touch areas like doorknobs and remotes. If you don’t have access to Lysol or Clorox wipes for cleaning products (or run out at some point and can’t get more), try making a homemade cleaning spray like the ones they use in restaurants: 1 tablespoon of bleach per 1 gallon of water.
-Personally, I am wiping my phone down with a Lysol wipe several times a day.
-If you are going out wear gloves if you have them. Or sanitize the hell out of your hands right when you get in the car. Wash your hands right when you get home.
-We wipe the car down with Lysol wipes everywhere we touch stuff after the store. we are wiping down store packaging with Lysol wipes. I am not sure if it’s necessary, but we are doing it.
EXERCISE/ HOME GYM:
-Exercise- IF YOU CAN- has been critical to my mental health during quarantine! I am not talking about anything hardcore unless of course, that is your deal, but just getting out and walking is great.
-This could mean exercise bands, a few weights or kettlebells or medicine balls- there are so many amazing on-line exercise programs, videos, apps etc if you need help knowing where to start.
-If that is too overwhelming- get walking. We are getting out at LEAST once a day and walking around our neighborhood and even our city- while staying far away from other people.
-The miles and miles we are walking are helping to dispel anxiety, keep our dog and our children from climbing the walls and helping with fresh air, vitamin D and morale. Signs of spring are everywhere and it makes me feel better.
-Make sure you have a month or two worth of any medication that you may need.
-*On a personal “grown up” note for some of you: In China the very first thing that sold out everywhere: Condoms!
-toilet paper/kleenex. I know that this is a running joke, but I guess it is a household neccesity- but like lets not hoard hundreds of roll!! What is that about? I am worried that the elderly won’t have any because people took it all?
HOW TO PREP FOR POTENTIALLY SICK FAMILY MEMBERS:
-Ideally, you have a product with ibuprofen or tylenol (for fevers) and a thermometer, preferably no-touch.
-Having had a daughter who just recovered from walking pneumonia- a humidifier was really helpful.
-Vitamin C, D and elderberry are great immune boosters.
-If you can get a moderate amount (DON’T HOARD!!!) of cold or flu medicine that is a bonus.
-Make a plan about what to do if someone in your house or family is sick. Make sure you speak about how your at-risk family members and elderly parents or grandparents will deal with as well even if they are not living in the same house or city as you.
-We also got a first-aid kit, which we should have had anyways. First responders and Dr’s may not be as readily available for minor trauma. Something to think about.
-IF you can afford it, you probably need 3-4 weeks of food. You can check out my pantry post about what that could look like. If you are here on my site, there is a chance you have special dietary needs- So because you can’t just take whatever food is left, it is better to be safe than sorry and get what you need ahead of the rushes. You can also amazon order special products that are GF or vegan. Yes there will be delivery, but imagine how many people will be trying to use those services, and remember that the elderly and at-risk people should have access before the young and healthy.
-If you can get a bunch of fresh food that is great, I am taking special care to create recipes that you can freeze so that it will last. Please head to instastories to see more- I am keeping all of these types of videos in the highlight reel.
-In a worst case scenario, restaurants will not be open for takeout, so while it’s great while it lasts- it may not last everywhere. Don’t count on it as your main source of food.
-If you are anything like Pete and I, stock up on your booze!!!!
– I mean, first world problems- so let’s put everything in perspective! I like to remember what my mom has been saying my entire life “There is no such thing as being bored, there are only boring people!”
– I posted a list of ideas for keeping kids and adults from being bored on my Instastories highlight reel called “Quarantine Fun.”
– Thank God for Netflix, Apple Tv, Amazon Streaming, Disney plus, etc. There is enough tv and movies to last a lifetime.
-When they shut down the restaurants, they also shut down all the salons FYI! My stylist was generous enough to deliver to my doorstop my double process color in Tupperware with instructions. I was able to Venmo her what I would normally pay for her services and am relieved I don’t have roots! Pia and I did my hair and it turned out pretty well!
-The three of us are having fun doing our own nails and other self-care. Bottom line, think about what you need (or can easily live without!) if you are home for a couple of weeks or a month.
-Don’t underestimate the importance of mental and emotional self-care. Nap. meditate, take a bath, garden, paint, journal- do whatever it is you need to get through this VERY overwhelming and anxious time. As someone who is prone to anxiety- my anxiety has anxiety right now. Address it, as it is very real and it won’t make this time any easier by ignoring it.
-We open the packages outside on our doorstep, where they were delivered, and wear gloves while we do so. I then gently empty the box into my entryway and then stay outside and walk the boxes around to the side of the house and recycle, peel off the gloves and dispose of them. If you don’t have gloves, use a wipe. I know this seems crazy but if we are being so safe everywhere else, we don’t want to worry here.
-Grocery deliveries. I am wiping down the outsides of the packages with wipes.
-Takeout delivery. Here is the good news, restaurants already use high levels of hygiene, and I can imagine that they are extra vigilent right now. but be careful about the containers and the bags, etc.
***If you have questions about any of this, please let me know. If you have suggestions for others- please post them in comments- we all need more good ideas! Thanks guys!Print Recipe