So I had actually scheduled a “how to start saving money” post for today, but since the world is a complete dumpster fire, I’d take some time to talk about the Coronavirus instead. I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty scared about what’s happening. Not just about the virus itself, but how delays in policies and testing are exacerbating a completely preventable crisis. I’m angry that we have had MONTHs to prepare, and seen how other countries failure to take immediate action led to deadly consequences. I’m sad as I watch local business struggle to make ends’ meat, my friends get laid off from essential jobs, and so many devastating consequences of ad hoc shutdowns. If I’m honest, I keep flip flopping between complete panic and googling “animal bloopers” to keep myself sane. I think in some part this angry and sadness comes from the fact that I spent two weeks in Japan, where the government took immediate action and citizens stepped up to take care of each other. Throughout our trip, there were free tests, signs explaining the signs & dangers of the virus, and so much hand sanitizer everywhere. Coming back to the States, where I wasn’t asked a single question about my health or potential contact, was worrying. Watching people flaunt the “social distance” rules has been gut wrenching. As we prepare for the next phase of an already-over-streched healthcare system handling the exponentially growing number of cases, I thought I’d try to put together some of the BEST articles I’ve found on the virus. I’m trying to put together a more positive post on some of the silver linings (if any) of this crisis, but in the mean time, here are some things that I’ve cobbled together from the internet land. STAY SAFE and WASH YOUR HANDS, and most importantly, STAY INSIDE.
Some General Thoughts…..
1. Wash. Your. Hands. You should always do that but especially now you need to wash your hands any time you touch anything in your home. Alton Brown released this amazing video on how to wash hands. It definitely speaks to my dark sense of humor.
2. Please self-isolate yourself if possible. And yes, this applies to everyone – young, old, healthy, immune prone. Watching the virus spread through multiple countries, the only way to contain is to limit your social interactions.
There are a couple of great articles on the impact of social distance:
- Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now (Medium)
- Flattening the Coronavirus Curve (New York Times)
- Young and Unafraid of the Coronavirus Pandemic? Good for you. Now stop killing people (Newsweek)
3. Don’t hoard toilet paper. I understand, every day you wake up to images of stores being empty and stories of hand sanitizer and toilet paper shortages. It’s super daunting, especially when there is conflicting government reports and a million fraudulent preventative measures making the social media. It’s easy to be alarmed, or wonder if the US is on the brink of shutting down. I certainly worry when I read that lines at the gun stores are as long as the grocery stores. It will be okay. Even if there is a mandatory lockdown, grocery stores, pharmacies and other essential businesses will stay open.
4. Do stock up on some medical essentials. If you have asthma or diabetes, definitely stock up if possible. Sure, you can even go for some Advil and tissues. But for god’s sake, please leave enough for others.
5. If you are going out, please consider patronizing small businesses (or POC owned businesses) Living in New York, I’m deeply concerned for our city. Our theaters, our restaurants, our deliveries, all depend on patrons (and hourly workers). If you do need to go out, grab take out from a small business or a POC-owned business. Of course, I’m specifically directing this to people who can afford to do this. I know that MANY MANY MANY people have been left without paychecks or steady income due to all this uncertainty. Above all, just keep swimming.
6. Don’t be racist. I mean you should always follow this rule. Yes, you should distance yourself from people who are coughing or sneezing. No, you should definitely not distance yourself from an Asian person because they may or may not be carrying the Coronavirus. It’s simple. And yes, it’s racist to avoid people/businesses because of their race.
7. Always Fact Check – Every day there are thousands of headlines on Coronavirus, and if you are on social media, you will probably 3-4 messages a day on how to prevent it. I’ve received at least five different messages telling me that drinking hot water will kill the virus. Now some of this are harmless (and sensible advice for every day health), but unless it comes from the World Health Organization or CDC, or an actual infectious disease specialist, please fact check before you share. We know that we have a misinformation problem online, and it’s important to FACT CHECK FACT CHECK and FACT CHECK.. I personally love Snopes for their non-non-bias reporting.
8. Watch out for the hourly workers/ people most vulnerable. Most of this post has been about things that you can do. It’s not possible for everyone to take time off, or look beyond . In the US, there are no standards for paid sick days, often times the waiting time for testing (or even figuring out HOW to get tested) is next to impossible, and we have a myriad of structural challenges to help the most vulnerable stay protect. If you can afford to you, pay your hourly workers (baby sitters, dog walkers, anyone in the gig-economy), consider buying gift certificates to small businesses to help keep them afloat), donate goods to food pantries and other assistance programs.
And to end on a good note, I’m going to leave you with the best quote for this situation.
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.Knowing that we can be loved exactly as we are gives us all the best opportunity for growing into the healthiest of people. – Mr. Rogers