The World Health Organization has officially labeled the COVID-19 viral disease a worldwide pandemic, with over 125,000 confirmed cases, around 5,000 deaths and infections impacting over 100 countries at the time of this post. There are schools canceling classes and closing in various capacities – with some districts declaring virtual days and others treating missed times like snow days.
Even most of the major sports leagues like the NBA, NHL, and MLB have suspended their seasons until further notice. With all of this concern and in some cases mass hysteria, here are some important tips on how to stay prepared and protect your family until the coronavirus outbreak hopefully passes.
Coronavirus Protection and Preparedness Tips
- If you have read more than one of our blog posts, by now you should know to have enough food or water to last you and your family at least 72 hours. The outbreak could last much longer than that, but at least you’ll be prepared if you need to stay home indefinitely.
- Don’t panic. That won’t help anyone, especially the kids. Remain as calm as possible. Cases of coronavirus are very rare in children.
- Stay informed. Keep yourself up-to-date on news about the outbreak - especially local news that pertains to your area.
- Wash your hands frequently. Cover sneezes with your arm, not your hands. Try to avoid touching your face - including your nose and eyes. Teach the kids it’s important to do the same.
- Get the flu shot. If you and your children aren’t vaccinated, be sure to address that as soon as possible. The flu shot won’t prevent coronavirus, but the flu could spread more easily.
- Disinfect all areas of your home and any other areas that are exposed.
- Don’t stockpile paper products. There’s enough for everyone.
- Feel sick? Please stay home and be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If you or your children legitimately feel ill, stay home from work or school. This is more serious than potentially spreading a cold.
- If you aren’t sick, there’s no need for masks. That’s mainly for media photos and website clicks.
Tips for Coronavirus Causing School Closings
- If you and the kids are both at home, take some time to enjoy the fact that mornings are less hectic. No rushing around to pack bookbags and lunches, get to the bus on time, and so on.
- If your kids don’t have virtual school days, try to make learning things fun. If that means staying in your PJ’s and watching science documentaries, so be it.
- Have a family meeting at breakfast. Each family member gives one thing they’d like to learn or improve their knowledge on - video games or iPads don’t count.
- Create a flexible schedule for the day. Try to stick to it for as long as schools are canceled, even on weekends.
- If you have a backyard, try to get outside for some fresh air and exercise.
As is the case with all emergencies, it is impossible to predict how long the coronavirus outbreak will last and how badly it will impact communities. But with these easy to follow tips, you can protect yourself and your family if you need to stay home.