How to Protect Your Family from Coronavirus
If you’re here, you’re most likely worried about contracting coronavirus, the spread of coronavirus also known as COVID-19 and what you can do to help protect your family from coronavirus.
Let’s start off by saying that we are not doctors but, I did work in a health care facility for 8 years taking care of immunocompromised people. I rarely fell sick because I practiced prevention.
Plus, it never hurts to be prepared.
Right now at the time of posting, approximately 118,000 people are infected with coronavirus. Out of that number, 80,000+ are in China. If you’re not in China, the odds of you contracting the virus are relatively low but, also not impossible.
Though it should give you a little more peace of mind.
In fact, the common flu infects millions of people a year and every once in a while, we get viruses like COVID-19 that rise up and strike fear worldwide.
What do these numbers say? Well, that in the case that you do contract the coronavirus, you are more than likely to recover from it.
Read on if you’ve asked yourself, ‘Should I worry about coronavirus?‘, and for the things that can help you get prepared to protect your family from coronavirus.
Know the Numbers
As parents, the good news is the mortality rate is ZERO for kids 0-9. While kids may get the virus, they have mild symptoms but, can still spread the virus.
The mortality rate is 0.2% for people aged 10-39 years old, 0.4% for people 40-49, 1.3% for people aged 50-59, 3.6% for people 60-69, 8.0% for people 70-79, and 14.8% for 80+.
1. Wash Your Hands
I know that this has been said many times before. In fact, there doesn’t have to be a virus epidemic to put this in good practice.
Washing your hands can prevent disease and with the coronavirus making its rounds, it’s important to keep this in mind.
Wash for at least 20-30 seconds with warm water and soap. Don’t forget the back of your hands, between fingers, and fingernails. Try spending about 2 seconds on each finger, and that should be good.
This will not only prevent the chance of contracting cold and flu viruses but, dramatically reduces your chances of transmitting or contracting both respiratory illnesses and those that will give you diarrhea.
2. Wipe Everything Down
As a mom, this is something I do on a regular basis. Not just because of the coronavirus but because I am ALL about prevention of any disease. No one wants a cold or stomach bug.
So, stock up on Lysol wipes, clean high-touch spots often, wipe down your keyboard and cell phone daily. Don’t forget remotes!
Just do what you normally do to keep yourself and kids healthy and you’re golden.
3. Get Your Flu Shot
I know that many avoid the flu shot because they’ve gotten sick before or simply do not like needles but, it’s still not too late to get your flu shot.
Yes, the coronavirus is not the flu but, getting the flu shot can help prevent you from getting the actual flu.
It will also keep you out of the hospital or not make you worry when you have symptoms if you have the flu or the coronavirus.
It’s not foolproof but, it’s another precaution to consider.
4. Stock Up on necessities
Let’s start off by saying, DO NOT PANIC BUY. Only purchase the things you need and leave enough for others. Viruses like this do not discriminate and it is essential that the most amount of people are prepared and remain healthy as well.
Please be a good human and do not hoard things.
A good rule to follow is to stock up on non-perishable food that can last two weeks. I have oatmeal, mac and cheese, noodles etc.
According to the CDC, a bout of flu lasts about 1-2 weeks. A safe bet is to plan for 6 weeks worth of supplies.
The current quarantine measures for COVID-19 is two weeks. This is based on the longest incubation period of similar coronaviruses.
In the case that you do contract the flu or the coronavirus and have mild symptoms. You’ll need to stay home and get rest to get better.
Here is a list of things that you can prepare for the possibility of nothing happening to the worst-case scenarios.
Regardless, if this virus comes, does small damage and goes, you’ll at least be prepared and have things on hand that are good to have. Just in case of any bad situation like natural disasters etc.
You’ll be surprised that you probably already have most of these things in your home, just prepare them and keep them in reach.
Things to have on hand:
- non-perishable food (canned foods, noodles, oatmeal, mac and cheese etc.)
- prescription medication (enough to last for 6 weeks or more)
- a first aid kit (make sure you’ve checked for expired products)
- EMT fully-stocked bag (to treat any injuries)
- survival kit
- antihistamine for kids and adults (Benadryl)
- cold and flu medication for kids and adults
- fever suppressant and pain reliever for kids and adults (Tylenol and Ibuprofen)
- anti-diarrheal medication for kids and adults (Immodium)
- pads or tampons (enough for a few months)
- diapers if you have kids
- sterile gloves
- Lysol wipes
- rubbing alcohol
- paper towels
- toilet paper (don’t go out and panic buy)
- hand sanitizer
- toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste)
- Ziploc bags
- face shield
- generator (don’t forget to have gas on hand)
- extension cords
- camping stove
- water (you can use a tub to last for a bit)
- hazmat suit (for worst-case scenarios)
- firestarter flintstone (I had one from camping)
- small area map
- backpacks packed with copies of ID, food, can opener, utensils, clothing, blanket, map, compass, meds, flashlights, Lifestraws, survival kit etc. (for worst-case scenarios)
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You could choose to get food delivered but, give the delivery folks a note to leave the food at the door. That way, you have no face to face contact with them. Though this may be a bit of a premature precaution but, one that has worked in China.
Make sure that you have enough medicine for the basics. If you take prescription medication that you take regularly, try to get what you need for a long homestay in case you do get sick.
Try to have hand soap, hand sanitizers, tissues, and other health supplies on hand.
5. Don’t Stock Up on Masks
The CDC has said that the coronavirus is spread through sneezing. So by respiratory droplets by people standing at least 6 feet apart.
If you are not sick, you don’t need a mask. The masks are for people who do have symptoms and to help them avoid sneezing on others.
If you’re a healthcare worker or taking care of people in close quarters, it is advised to wear a mask.
If it makes you feel more at ease, stay away from crowded places.
6. Have a Back-Up Plan
As a mom, I always try to think of every outcome. So, I try to think of every situation and what I can do.
Talk to a friend or family member outside of your home and make the “in the crazy event we get sick” plan. You can help each other out. Just make sure you are taking every precaution to not get sick.
The CDC advises to set up a different room and bathroom for the one you’re caring for. Wear a mask when providing care, clean high-touch surfaces often.
If there are school closures, just try to keep your kids busy, give them activities, and keep their routine normal.
7. Live Your Life
Following all of these tips or getting informed may not prevent you from getting coronavirus. The most important thing to remember is to take extra precautions, be prepared, but don’t let it stop living your life.
Also, do not treat people of Asian descent differently. Just because they are Asian, does not mean that they’ve had contact with the coronavirus also known as COVID-19.
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It is not their fault for this virus, and it isn’t right to treat them differently.
Hopefully, this virus will be contained sooner than later. Just be proactive to protect your family from coronavirus. Don’t spread fear, panic, and prejudice!
Just take care of yourself and your family and be prepared.
If you are sick, try to avoid going to the doctor or hospital and try to ride it out at home. Of course, if you feel you need to, call your doctor or hospital before going.
Personally, I am making preparations but, I am not panic buying or prepping. I rather be prepared than not.
Have you taken any precautions to protect your family from coronavirus?
Let me know, til then–cheers m’deres!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.