10 Safety Tips for Families Dealing with a Pandemic
Many of us, as a self-defense tactic, often rationalize our felt exposure to danger. We may feel that problems happen to other people but not us, and that we needn’t worry about preparing with urgency in the face of a national issue. It’s understandable why people endeavor to think like this, but it’s unfortunately the one attitude that can turn a bad situation into something worse.
While Covid-19 and the spread of coronavirus is a real tragedy that has unexpectedly affected us all in the new decade, it’s true that emergencies, such as this global pandemic, give us the opportunity to reflect. Now, more than ever, we can realize that anything unfortunate can hit home.
For this reason, compartmentalization and rationalization has proven to be a hollow self-defense tactic. When the unexpected becomes real, we must adapt. Yet inspirational language can also feel like cold comfort when it’s our families we have to worry about, and when real families are being affected by troublesome difficulty right this second.
For that, it’s important to get to the best mitigation advice, and quickly. The following ten safety tips and essential product recommendations can ensure you stay on top of best practice at all times, and minimize your chance of difficulty.
1. Follow All Government Guidelines
We all know that government has its flaws, and not all government responses seem to be as effective. Head into the comments of any updated news article and you’ll notice people expressing their concerns to that degree. In some cases, such as in Sweden, official government advice can seem counter to strategies adopted by other nations. Yet the truth is that it’s important to note what the government advice is regardless of your take on it. This will help you understand lockdown measures and how you are supposed to behave at this time.
For instance, in the United Kingdom, leaving the home for anything other than one exercise segment a day, purchasing essential items or heading to a key work position is considered outside the usual bounds of necessity, and you may be penalized for ignoring those rules. These measures are put in place for a reason, and the scientific and medical community volunteer their best advice to shape this need. Understand your government’s advice from the correct resource portal, and practice it appropriately.
2. Hygiene Is A Must
It’s essential to set the right habits now, if you haven’t already. Practicing worthwhile hygiene measures is the absolute essential first necessity to get right. Learn how to wash your hands correctly. This means using antibacterial or skin-flora friendly soap under hot water, ensuring you wash for at least twenty seconds under warm water. Ensure you wash the hidden spots, such as between your fingers and under your nails. Do this regularly, especially when heading outside or touching regularly-used surfaces.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue and responsibly bin it where appropriate, washing your hands immediately after. If you have no tissue paper on your person, sneezing into your elbow allows you to avoid spreading the germs through hand contact. Practice social-distancing advice to avoid the airborne nature of this virus, and to help avoid spreading it. This means no handshakes for a while. Additionally, if you use the bathroom in a shared house for instance, be sure to carefully disinfect after use. When everyone cares about their approach, safety is improved.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is very useful in times like this, but the truth is that frontline medical staff are in need of it more than ever, as stocks are limited. However, this shouldn’t prevent you from being able to source surgical gloves or very basic mass-produced surgical masks if you need them, although these are not as useful as N95 respirators that are usually filter-ready and utilized in industry.
Again, we do not recommend purchasing these, especially in large quantities depending on the preparedness of your medical community. It may just save a Doctor’s life. Additionally, that Doctor may in turn save your own. That being said, if you have them to hand, they can be great resources to make use of.
4. On ‘Stocking Up’
You may have noticed the quite understandable response to the coronavirus news cycle that came in the form of panic buying. Suddenly in mid to late March, toilet paper stocks dwindled, and it was hard to source the shopping grocery basics we often take for granted.
We say understandable, because while there are some who selfishly stock their entire home with months worth of supplies out of fear, it only takes a 20% increase in buying stock on the part of each worried individual to put a massive strain on logistical supplies. This means that in order to protect your family, the irony is that purchasing the essential items as normal is necessary. The less you hoard, the more items are available for others too. If everyone adhered to this impression, the supermarkets would have been able to keep up with demand, and thankfully it has stabilized in that direction now.
5. Avoiding Misinformation
It’s incredibly easy for those who may wish to keep updated with this situation to find themselves looking at every source possible. In the age of free articles uploaded through websites such as Medium or YouTube video uploads managed with free editing software, even the most unprofessional or unqualified opinion can seem to hold water. We would recommend taking postings on websites such as Reddit with a huge pinch of salt, although resources such as r/Coronavirus can remain a useful platform to speak to others about news stories.
Stick to news sites with a high degree of professional reporting experience and high reliability. Now is not the time to practice partisan preference over which political spin you enjoy most, rather a careful reading of the appropriate facts is important. You may wish to use push notification settings to receive an alert when breaking news from the New York Times is published, for instance. Also, if you can afford it, supporting the publications you feel are performing well in this pandemic can help upkeep your wish for better coverage.
6. Emotional & Mental Upkeep
Let’s not mince words - taking care of yourself and family in lockdown is tough. Heading outside and being active in the world is an essential part of good mental health maintenance, and that’s even before the stresses of a global pandemic really hit home.
Emotional and mental upkeep involves exercising where you can, sticking to a routine with your children, being mindful of others and as kind as you can, and expressing your worries if necessary. If you can stay occupied and use this as an opportunity, for instance to spend more time with your children or keeping up with the syllabus and educational tools recommended by their teachers, you have something to work towards.
Do not pretend that you do not feel worry. Healthy expression and discussion, especially while we’re all on the same page, can help us get through anything.
7. Tough Considerations
We must all make sacrifices where necessary. For instance, care home workers heavily advise refraining from visiting our elderly relatives due to how vulnerable they are to this coronavirus. Some heartwarming stories show family members speaking to their relatives through the care home building window, but it is true that we must respect tough considerations like this for the greater good. Remember, anyone can spread this disease, and anyone can get it, no matter how fortunate you may be with its symptoms.
8. Helping Where You Can
It can be worthwhile to help others where you can. To use another example involving the United Kingdom, a National Health Service initiative was recently launched, asking for volunteers to help deliver groceries to those in need, or to provide humble support through calling an isolated person, or to simply lend an understanding ear. After opening this volunteering application, millions upon millions registered, overwhelming the quota. This shows that everyone wishes to help when they can, no matter their personal circumstances. If you have no virus symptoms and keep up with your hygiene, there may be a viable use of your time you can contribute to. After all, the direct effort of another volunteer may directly benefit your own family. It’s time to think selflessly, while sticking to the correct guidelines and being mindful of our lockdown requirements.
9. We’re All In This Together
Remember that we’re all in this together. This is a practical safety tip, because it allows us to remain mindful of other people. Many of us have rolled our eyes at the partying youths headed to Spring Break despite the pandemic. This shows a real lack of understanding or care for others. We must call this out where we can, and instead show that thinking of others and using the best government advice, such as turning down social engagements or cleaning your home thoroughly, can be the most important use of your time. We’re all in this together, and despite its difficulty, we are tougher than this pandemic. Keep that in mind, as it will help you stay your best self throughout this challenging process.
10. Learning From Struggle
It’s also essential to learn from the struggle of being locked down. For example, you may decide to learn how to cook excellent, healthy, easy and nutritious meals now you have this time and the inclination, helping you come out of this troublesome time with a new means of nutritionally sustaining your family. Regularly taking healthy supplements such as a multivitamin and Vitamin D can grant you sustained health to hit your nutritional markers. If you can transmute this challenge into an opportunity, you will be subscribing to the best mindset possible.
With this advice, we hope both you and your family are able to move through this time with practical safety guidance, and emotionally mindful upkeep.