Make the Pandemic work for you!
Let’s get this out of the way, right away. I’m not going to wait until the end of the post to place a disclaimer that the COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) is a worldwide viral outbreak that can potentially be dangerous to immunocompromised and elderly individuals. The odds of this latest viral outbreak being deadly to otherwise healthy adults is fairly low. But just because this disease might end up being a one to two week inconvenience to you, doesn’t mean it won’t be deadly to others in your community. Protect yourself, and everyone around you, by following CDC and WHO guidelines. And, most importantly, WASH YOUR HANDS! Don’t wait until grandma is in the hospital with pneumonia before you start taking this seriously.
And, if you have kids, WASH THEIR HANDS!! Everyone should be washing their hands anyway. Odds are, your kids are in childcare or school, they bring home some illness every other month as it is. Promote good hygiene and immunize your kids for best results. Please remember that all of us here at The DadLands are not health experts, please listen to the experts (not that nutrition blog you’ve been following, that’s all of a sudden dishing out pandemic advice). This article from CNET on the matter is a good place to start with your questions. Don’t let the false-equivalence of deaths from flu statistics lull you into false-confidence. There are currently more deaths from flu than coronavirus. True. However, if the same amount of people were infected with coronavirus as with the flu, there would be 34x more deaths. Simple math, flu death-rate is around .1%, while coronavirus hovers around 3.4%, at the moment. Last but not least, there is currently no available vaccine for COVID-19.
With all that out of the way, here are steps we recommend taking while the world-over panics around you.
IT’S TIME TO CORONAVIRUS-PROOF THE BASEMENT (OR A CORONAVIRUS “SAFE ROOM” IN YOUR HOME)
This is best done on a Saturday or Sunday morning, before lunch. Advise your wife and children that they cannot enter the basement/room during this time, as they would compromise the proofing efforts and contaminate the area with their germs. Make sure there is a television (preferably 4K) in this area, as you will need to follow live coronavirus updates to strategically plan next steps for your family during this crisis. As you walk past your family with a container of disinfectant wipes, have them understand that this process is super serious and will take at least two to three hours, so they are not to disturb you during this time, as any mistake will restart the disinfecting time period, prolonging your absence from family activities. During this time, they are free to access all other parts of the house.
Spend the next 15-20 minutes wiping down notable surfaces in your vicinity and maybe vacuum a little. Most importantly, continue to keep the wipes nearby should your family not listen (which they won’t) and dare to interrupt (they will) this very important task. If this happens, and your wife asks why the ACC (or Big Ten) Basketball Tournament is on, instead of coronavirus coverage, quickly counter that all the crazy media hype has brought on a state of panic and you needed a sports break to calm you down, but you’re ready to face more news – for your family’s sake – and change the channel. It’s crucial that the “previous channel” button on your remote is set to any 24 hour news network that has nothing better to talk about, because there’s no reasonable way to cover a 24 hour news-cycle without some sensationalism to keep people glued to the TV.
If you’re lucky, you’ll squeeze in another hour before your wife or kids confront you again. If still pressured, announce that the “coronaproofing” is now complete in this part of the house, and you will now divert your attention to the kitchen as you consider your next steps over a sandwich and maybe some potato-salad (where available).
YOU MUST STOCK UP ON ALL FAVORITE SNACKS, IN CASE GROCERY STORES ARE CLOSED
There is absolutely no scientific proof, or research, that confirms Flamin’ Hot Cheetos can prevent a coronavirus infection or help fight off the disease, should you contract it. That doesn’t mean there’s a ZERO percent chance that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos won’t help. Same goes for Trader Joe’s Super Nutty Toffee Clusters cereal.
During a global pandemic, especially one originating from China, supply chains can be disrupted. And while it’s true that Cheetos are manufactured among 14 factories in the USA, you never know if the ink for the packaging is shipped from elsewhere, or the bag itself. The point is you’re not showing up to the Cheeto plant with some duffel bags to fill, even if that was an option. And you’re certainly not risking running out of spicy Cheetos during these trying times. So it’s better to be safe than sorry, and get three to five bags on your next grocery trip.
Your next grocery trip, which could be your last, as public places are always in danger of being closed down to prevent the spread of a disease. Now hopefully, and very likely, we’ll never get to this point in our adventures. But, again, safety > sorriness. All non-perishable favorite snacks should be stocked up on, and immediately opened and tasted, for quality control. Don’t forget your favorite beer and/or alcohol, as liquor stores are under the same threat.
TAKE A CORONAVIRUS FAMILY TRIP
NEVER MIND… PARKS ARE CLOSED… BUILD A FORT INSTEAD…
NO LONGER APPLICABLE: No matter how bad the coronavirus situation gets for all of us, the good news is that we are a hardy folk and, as a collective, we have survived plenty of pandemics is our relatively short (on a cosmic scale) past. Should you, or your friends and family, get infected we hope for a speedy recovery without complications for everyone.
As previously mentioned, public spaces with crowds and surfaces to carry disease – like shopping malls, museums and offices – are ground zero for contracting illnesses. You should always make sure to wash hands well at any opportunity. Avoid touching your face, especially Mouth/Nose/Eyes – “the gateways”. WIPE DOWN YOUR FILTHY PHONE. And, if you’re ill or feeling any of the symptoms, please contaplease stay at home and take care of yourself while you get healthy to avoid spreading whatever you have. Contact emergency services right away if you feel any complications, such as difficulty breathing.
But if everyone in the family is healthy, get your butts outside! Thanks to Franklin D. Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson (in case you’re wondering “what’s he ever done!”), there are over 62 environmentally protected areas, designated as national parks. And there’s a good chance there’s one close to you, within an hour to two of driving. Maybe avoid the visitors’ center if you can, but the fresh air and scenery everywhere else is ripe for enjoying. Sitting in your house with coronavirus-induced-anxiety isn’t going to make it go away or help anyone. Go see what the world was like before we “concreted it up” and shared all the diseases.
Bring some hand-sanitizer, and WASH YOUR HANDS after getting gas or stopping for food. Which you shouldn’t really have to do, if you got all those snacks covered earlier. Did you remember to stock up on the beef jerky?
Remember, we’re all in this together.