Well, we”re in it now, aren’t we? It’s been said for years that a global pandemic is only a matter of time, and this year the clock ran out. Now that we’ve started washing our hands compulsively, what else do we do?
1. Don’t panic. I saw people at my local Costco two weeks ago with three or more BALES of toilet paper in their carts (each “bale” is @30 rolls). Seriously, what the heck do you need THAT MUCH toilet paper for – are you cosplaying the mummy for your pets’ enjoyment? I bought one bale, because A) we were running low, and B) that’s the amount I always buy, because Costco doesn’t have smaller quantities. 30 rolls should last us for AT LEAST three months, even with both of us home 24/7 now. With what we had left, we probably have enough to get us past the Fourth of July. Remember to wash your hands.
2. Plan out a few meals. Stores are restocking food as fast as they can. Pick up some essentials, and grab a few cans of veggies against emergencies. I impulse bought a can of Spam (low sodium) because hey, let’s get into the apocalyptic spirit, right? Get fresh food now, but lay in a few cans of veggies and soup in case things get bad and stores are forced to close for a while. Remember to wash your hands.
3. Dust off some old games and play them! Likewise, I’m sure everyone who reads this blog has books around the house: now is a great time to catch up on reading. Remember to wash your hands.
4. Sign up to vote absentee. I don’t know how it works where you are, but in my state, you can vote absentee by mail, and you can request the forms by email. Your city clerk’s office should have all the info you need to take care of this – then you can vote without leaving the house. Remember to wash your hands.
5. Watch out for each other. The most vulnerable people at this time will be the elderly and disabled. Many stores do offer food delivery, but loneliness will be terrible for a great many of us. Use your phone and call friends who might need a little help. Ask if they need anything. If you can spare it from your stash, do so, and leave it in a bag outside their door. Ring the bell or knock, then stand well back to say a quick hello and make sure your delivery is taken inside, then LEAVE. Don’t go in, just in case you are carrying the virus (or that they have it.) Otherwise, some grocery stores deliver, and many restaurants are offering curbside pick up of orders. Remember to wash your hands.
6. Don’t be stupid. Try to avoid direct contact with humans not already sharing your living space as much as possible. Use the phone, video chat/conferencing, and email to stay in touch. If you’re not feeling well, don’t be a dick – stay home, and don’t inflict whatever germs you have on others as Covid-19 is highly contagious. This will be especially hard for folks who live paycheck to paycheck, as with no money coming in, they face the very real scenario of starving and/or being evicted. Keep in touch with your friends, and make sure they’re okay. Remember to wash your hands.
It’s too soon for all of us to be cosplaying characters from the Mad Max series just yet – unless you were at that Wasteland Weekend event – so let’s not start carrying guns and hatchets around, okay? We’ll get much further by helping each other than by threatening one another. In the end, we may well depend on our neighbors to help us out. And remember: WASH YOUR HANDS!!!