It seems that everywhere I turn these days, there is news about the coronavirus. The infection is on every continent except Antarctica. People’s reactions vary wildly, from “it’s no worse than the flu”, to “we need to stock-pile supplies and avoid being in public”. My reaction lies somewhere in the middle. Since the infection is viral, there is no medication to kill it, like antibiotics for bacterial infections. Each person’s body simply has to fight it off, and those whose immune systems are weakened are definitely in danger of dying from it. The scary thing is that some people can have the virus and show no symptoms whatsoever, and inadvertently pass it along to someone whose body can’t handle it. So yes, this is very dangerous.
As millions of others around the world have done, I have prayed about the situation and have come to these conclusions:
1 – Wash your hands thoroughly, cough/sneeze into your elbow, and do not touch your face, especially when you are out in public. If you are ill and must go out (doctor’s office, pharmacy, etc.) or if you have a compromised immune systems, wear a mask. There has been debate about face masks, and I really wish that our country would consider it proper etiquette to wear a mask out in public during times like this, whether you are sick or not. What is wrong with everyone having some cloth masks, and just running them through the washing machine with the rest of the laundry?
2 – It is wise to have extra stores of food, medicine, and other supplies on hand. Even if stores don’t end up having storages, if you do come down with either influenza or coronavirus, that is not when you want to have to make a run to the store for fever medication, 7-up, crackers, toilet paper, etc. Have a few weeks worth of supplies on hand.
3 – Don’t plan a trip that involves being sandwiched on an airplane or cruise ship with a large group of people, and nowhere to go if someone in your group gets sick.
4 – Keep your home clean and open up the windows regularly to get a fresh air supply.
5 – Listen to music, and sing along enthusiastically. This is good exercise for your lungs by making you breathe in deeply and exhale completely. It also is a great way of dispelling anxiety.
6 – Take a walk outside where you can keep a distance of about six feet from other people. It’s good for your heart and your legs, and the sunshine will give you a mental boost.
7 – Keep some unread books around the house in case you do get sick and end up in bed for days. A couple days ago, I visited my favorite thrift store. Almost no one was there, and I was able to pick up a few books for 50 cents each, as well as some end-of-winter clothes for $1.25 – $1.50 each (75% off).
8 – Keep up with the news, but if you find yourself getting too anxious, turn it off.