Coronavirus: Should you panic? If I had a dollar for every time I’ve read this question in social media groups this week, I would be retired on an island sipping umbrella drinks in the sand.
Here’s the deal about panic. It leads to stupid decisions. Not only stupid decisions, but wasted money. When I say don’t panic, I am not saying to ignore the virus or the fact it exists and can easily spread. In my little corner of the globe, Coronavirus has made an appearance in my state, and two neighboring states as well. That is definitely concerning. Does that mean I should run out and buy out the grocery store? Nope, and neither should you.
I’ve seen a lot of people asking about buying large amounts of pantry staples and if they are an absolute requirement. These would include things like rice, beans, oatmeal, grains. Here’s my take on food. If you don’t eat it now, don’t run out and buy copious amounts just because you may be willing to eat it if you’re hungry.
I understand the fact that when you’re hungry, you’ll eat anything. Anyone who has ever gone on a diet and eaten weird things that are gross when not dieting understands this to be completely true. But why go through that? Morale is a big part of prepping that I think is too often ignored. In an emergency, comfort food or items will be a big deal. This is especially true if you have kids because it can make or break their day and yours too.
My advice there is to simply stock up on what you already eat now, and rotate your stock as you use it. If you need tips on how to do this, check out my post Prepper Pantry Organization or Food Storage tips. These will help you get going on food prep and storage.
I incorporate freeze dried foods into my meals with Nathan all the time. I have tried everything I stock, and I recommend you do the same thing. If you like it now, you will love it in an emergency. The quarantine period for the virus is 14 days. I would make sure to have enough food and water to last at least that long.
Common sense also plays a big role in how to avoid getting sick. Hand washing is a really big deal. Let’s be real for a moment. People are gross and don’t use common sense nearly as much as they should. I am a stickler about hand washing when I am out and around germs. I wash my hands when I go into a restaurant before eating and when I am done. Same thing goes when I head to the gym every day. I’m sure I pick up germs wherever I am, but I go out of my way to leave them there too. Vehicles are small confined spaces, and I’m not excited to track germs into my vehicle when I leave somewhere.
Clean eating is also important. Avoid processed foods. Making food from scratch isn’t difficult. The biggest problem with processed food is that someone else made it. That’s the best way to contract an illness. Even fresh fruit in the grocery stores that have been pre-cut can contain a ton of germs. Buy a whole fruit and cut it up yourself. Avoid fast food as well. It is incredibly processed and then cooked by someone else who may very well be sick.
If you are sick, stay home. Don’t go out and just power through the day because you are just spreading germs everywhere. Stay home, self-quarantine and get better. Clean, clean, and clean some more too. Cleaning prevents others from getting sick around you, and further spreading germs and viruses.
I’ve said it earlier, but it is worth repeating. Wash your hands. But this also goes for your cell phone, jeans, and anything else we touch consistently. My computer mouse is another hot spot for me, or the tv remote. I wipe my phone down once a day, after I’ve come home from whatever I’m doing, errands, gym, playing Pokemon Go, or anything else. I set my phone down often, other people hold and touch it, and it sits in my pocket. It’s just gross. Cleaning it after all of that each day is a big deal because my phone touches both my hands and face.
Which brings me to another point. Minimize touching your hands to your face. That’s the best way to transfer germs we’ve picked up somewhere. When I take a shower I know that I’m going to touch my face to rub the eye boogers out, for example. The first thing I do is wash my hands because if I don’t, I’ll probably touch my face without thinking. I know myself enough to pay attention to things like that. If you know when and where you’ll forget something basic, take steps to avoid it and create good habits.
Avoiding large crowds and groups of people is also extremely helpful. According to the CDC, “close contact” with an infected person is coming within six feet or less of them. Go grocery shopping early in the morning or late at night when there are less people out. Also take frequency of trips into account as well. If we can all minimize how often going to the store is needed, we can minimize exposure as well. This goes for going anywhere where large numbers of people congregate as well.
Let’s go back to the question about panicking. Should you panic? Nope, and here’s why. This virus is serious, yes. I’m not downplaying it at all. But it isn’t the first aggressive or easily spread illness that has gone around. Think about SARS, the swine flu, mad cow disease, just to name a few. Being more prepared and using common sense will keep you much safer than anything.
I’ve been noticing that store shelves are being emptied as the Coronavirus is being reported more and more. Prices also go up. When demand skyrockets, so do prices. If there is a profit to be made, someone is certainly going to take advantage of that. Which is a huge reason to be prepared for anything to happen. This is why I talked about food storage earlier. Having food and water on hand will benefit everyone. If we are confined to the house because of the illness, there is food. If the goal is simply to minimize how much we are going out and around people, there is food in the house.
Panic doesn’t do anyone an ounce of good. Using common sense and responsible decision making does. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t all at risk for contracting the virus, or we are safe from it. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Sometimes no matter how many precautions we take, it can still happen. But I know that I am far better off being prepared instead of panicking. I just watch the news and keep an eye on the progression of the virus and do as much as I can to keep myself safe and be ready if I need to stay at home.
Please note that none of these things I talked about here are a guaranteed way to prevent contracting the virus. It can happen, no matter what we do. However these precautions will go a long way in keeping you healthier overall. If you are sick or showing any symptoms, seek medical attention immediately.
Are you worried about the Coronavirus? Have you taken steps to be better prepared? Tell me about them in the comments!