Don't Touch Your Face, Shelter in Place

8 April 2020 | Laura Hart

All-Hazards Preparedness

Most of us in/from Florida have heard the phrase, “make a kit, make a plan, be prepared”. Usually, it’s in regards to hurricane season- but in this case, it’s in regards to COVID-19. Good, all-hazards preparedness methods at your house will reduce your potential exposure to COVID-19, while also ensuring that you and your family are safe, healthy, and comfortable.

So first, here’s a few questions you should keep in mind:

  1. Is this trip from the house necessary? Assess why you are truly trying to leave your house. If your answer is “to get out”, nope. Stay home.

  2. What do I need at my house, in the event that I cannot leave it?

  3. What do I need at my house, in the event that I or that someone in my family is sick?

With those questions in mind, limit your trips from your home to once every week or every two weeks. If you or someone you live with has a compromised immune system, plan to stay home longer than that, to limit potential exposure. Make a plan of what you normally eat, and how often you buy those items. Figure out what you will need to purchase in order to remain home for a few weeks. I understand that many grocery stores currently have lots of ‘outs’- and that’s frustrating. Make any dietary changes you may be able to based on what’s available, and please avoid stockpiling months or years’ worth of food. Other people need to eat, too. Take what you need, and leave the rest. Here’s a very, very brief list of what you should be thinking about whenever you go to the grocery store:

  1. Proteins (meats, beans, tofu, etc.)

  2. Staple grains (pasta, rice, etc.)

  3. Fruits + Veggies (Fresh, canned, frozen, etc.)

  4. Soup/stocks/broths

  5. Gatorade/powerade

  6. Eggs or egg substitutes

  7. Oatmeal/whatever you eat for breakfast

  8. Snacks- yogurt, trail bars

  9. Batteries

  10. Toiletries (including hand soap)

  11. Cleaning Supplies

  12. Toilet Paper (don’t hoard it)

  13. Pet Food

  14. Make sure to refill any prescriptions

  15. First aid kit

  16. Flashlights

  17. Locate your insurance cards & any necessary, important personal information

  18. IF you are already there for groceries- think about something to do (games, books, puzzles, legos, etc.). Be swift- again, limit the items you touch and your time in the store, while following social distancing guidelines.

Again, think about the quantities you buy. Anticipate replacing some items with others; perhaps make a plan for that before you leave your house. Make sure that you store water for your household, as well. Current guidance states 3 gallons, per person, per day. The advantage of stocking all of this in your home is that you are prepared to shelter in place for a few weeks, you are prepared if you are exposed or contract COVID-19, and you are prepared for hurricane season (which will start one month from today).

Keep in mind, you can also lessen the community’s potential exposure to COVID-19 by remaining home when someone you are sheltering with is displaying symptoms typical of COVID-19. Make sure to look up any transmission prevention methods put in place by your local government (to include separate COVID-19 testing locations). This will ensure that healthcare workers are not needlessly exposed to COVID-19, but you may still be tested and seek treatment.

A word of unrequested advice: have stuff to do. Follow a schedule. Get up in the morning, get dressed, and do stuff. That ‘stuff’ looks different for everyone- from reading, to working from home, to Borderlands 3 or finally cleaning off the baseboards in your house. I highly recommend changing linens and other textiles in your house a bit more often than you would normally do.

Finally, social distancing doesn’t mean you need to socially isolate yourself. Reach out to friends and loved ones. Take care of yourselves, and take care of one another. Our program is here to help- from home (following our own advice!). Please feel free to reach out to anyone in the program, or to your instructor, if you have any questions. We will answer your question, or point you in the right direction. Stay safe, and stay healthy. Go ‘Noles!

Laura Hart
8 April 2020