This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that we can expect community spread of the novel coronavirus in the United States. With a handful of cases already reported in the US, we want to be prepared if the virus spreads more widely in our country. Here are a list of things we can do to be and stay prepared.
I would like to remind everyone that before we do anything, we should pray. Hopefully, we’ve already been seeking God concerning this deadly virus.
- Wash your hands! Dr. Rebecca Katz, director of the Center for Global Health Science and Security at Georgetown University says, “Wash your hands much more than you think you need to wash your hands, and try not to touch your face. It’s not satisfactory because people feel they should be doing much more, but at this point it’s the best advice we can be giving.” You should wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water isn’t available and your hands are not visibly dirty, you can also use hand sanitizer. Train your children to practice this as well.
You do not need to wear a face mask if you are well, but you should if you’re sick. If you are sick and coughing or sneezing, you should wear a mask so that you won’t possibly infect others. Protect those around you. Plus, it has been reported that there is a shortage of masks. We need to make sure that front-line health care workers have the supply they need.
- If you get sick, you might be out of commission for a few days or weeks. Get the things you need to manage that. Purchasing a couple of weeks’ supply of foods you’d want while home sick with the flu is a good idea, as well as other essentials: medicines, toilet paper, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent. In any disaster, this is a good idea. If people in your community are sick, you don’t want to risk becoming infected by going out to pick up these items.
- Consider what you’d do if schools and day cares are closed. Schools closing would be very disruptive to the lives of many families, and planning for that possibility might be one of the most important forms of coronavirus preparation we can do now. Dr. Rebecca Katz says, “it’s important to be at the family level doing some contingency planning for if schools are closed for a period of time, or if your day care is closed.” Prayerfully, this can be avoided.
Psychological preparation is important too. Pandemics are scary. The spread of the coronavirus within the US could be a significant disruption to many people’s lives and a health crisis for a smaller number of people. “It helps to be a little psychologically prepared for the possibility that life will be very different for a period of time,” says Harvard epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch. Processing that possibility now can help us “get over the surprise of that, to some extent, before it happens.” So coronavirus paranoia, if you’re experiencing some, isn’t silly or unreasonable — it’s part of the totally normal process of coming to grips with a significant problem.” In addition that, I will repeat what I wrote at the beginning of this post, always PRAY.
I hope this has been helpful. Please share this information with others. May the God of heaven and earth continue to protect us and be with those who have already been affected by this virus. Amen.