Today J.'s entire company stayed home in order to test the viability of their remote network when it's pushed to full capacity. Starting tomorrow people over sixty will be working remotely for the duration. So J.'s out of the direct Beltway contamination zone. T. works in western MA and is still going - alone in his electric car. And while he surely doesn't relish being stuck in the house with his parents for who knows how long he's curtailed his walking-around social life. I went out yesterday to meet with a friend (see below) and then take a final tightly focused run at the grocery store in town. Am hoping I did not invoke a regular-flu relapse with my various gathering activities focused on what we determined to be a pragmatic must-have list.
Yesterday I had an in-person conversation with a local friend I'll call Bea. She is, for me, what grace calls a Big Mind - with a capacity for Overview that's both flawless and creatively applied. Bea is primarily a college level public health educator. Her specific wheelhouse is infectious disease and how it spreads at a global/pandemic level.
below you'll find the gist of what she advised and encouraged me to share in this way:
this first one never changes even though people (including me) fudge it all the time. This time I'm not. 3 month supply of food and wellness products for each person/animal living in your home.
cough and sneeze properly. especially in public and multiple-person households
understand the rate of doubling principle. take it seriously. adjust your personal schedule and plans accordingly.
Maximize your self-sustainability skill set.
Stay informed. Science. Math. Legitimate information.
Focus on healthy and healthful survival first and foremost. At a certain point outrage becomes an unsustainable luxury.
family safety and wellness
maintain scrupulous cleanliness.
stock extra dish washing and laundry supplies in case the grid holds but your supply chain does not.
if you depend on products that generate from highly contaminated places make sure to order/purchase them now from existing stocks on hand. Practical and prepared Bea mentioned, specifically, that a lot of tools are made in Italy. Including the ever-popular Craftsmaster line. She recommends stocking up on anything you'll realistically need if you have to become a DIY expert in a hurry. For people who address fixing things by calling somebody else to come and take care of it - get a realistic supply of tools that will allow you to keep your house operating somewhat smoothly. Pick up/dig out a basic repair guide and read it cover to cover.
If you're self-reliant and live far from the maddening crowd take a thorough inventory of what you've got to ride out the contagion. Measure everything against the likelihood that goods you rely on may stop flowing quickly or with reliability. Whatever you're currently doing without that you can afford to purchase do it now.
Have a three month supply of any mandatory medications.
Bea stressed, repeatedly, the need to have an ample supply of deodorant. It caught me off guard. I don't often use it because it's an unholy nightmare for my particular autoimmune issues. All the same I grabbed an extra stick at the grocery story. Panic reflex. Have gone there twice in the past three weeks but not in a manner of actual consequence.
Batteries at a rate of twice or 3 times what you'd normally stock in anticipation of a weather-driven emergency.
If you're beefing up any sort of flashlight or lantern cache you have on hand opt for solar powered models if you can.
Be mindful that every neighborhood has an at-risk population. See if you have ways of supporting these people - such as organizing rotating wellness checks or delivering food boxes from donated stock items.
Stay connected to the local people you know whose company you most enjoy. Utilize social media, group texts and facetime to share whatever you enjoyed on any given day.
Stay connected to yourself by beginning each day with a twenty minute window in which you meditate or read something uplifting before turning attention to news of any kind. According to Bea this will have a reliably sustaining biochemical impact on how you find your fit with spontaneous community evolution
For those with enough space to make this sensible advice: walk, run or work outside as much as you can. Keeping an active body builds resiliency in the immune system as well as keeping brain chemistry in better balance.
Keep your inner flame strong by staying connected to hobbies that mean a great deal to you. Share that flame with those who've formed a social survival coalition in your neighborhood or extended social media community.
Make sure your school age kids have a way of staying in touch with their friends.
Refrain from over-stocking remaining supplies from small neighborhood-dependent stores unless you've no other options.
Consider building a medicinal herb garden and/or keeping bees.