As is the rest of the world at this moment, the current COVID-19 crisis is affecting my world. It is, indeed, an unnerving event; I’ve seen Outbreak and read The Stand, and never did I think I’d be living in an environment akin to the 1918 flu outbreak or the Black Plague.
I’ve already had events on my calendar canceled, postponed, or rescheduled (including, among other things, SQL Saturday Chicago and Albany Code Camp), and as a sports fan, I’m disappointed that the NCAA Tournament is canceled and the start of the MLB season is being delayed, among other events all over the sports world. It’ll be strange turning on the TV and not being able to tune into a sporting event. But I understand why these things are happening. Events can always be rescheduled, and there are some things that are bigger than sports.
Nevertheless, all we can do is adapt and persevere. In case anyone is wondering (or cares) about how I’m dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, here you go…
Things I’ve been doing anyway, even before COVID-19
Should we be concerned about COVID-19? Of course we should. The WHO has declared a pandemic, which is not something that should be taken lightly. That said, for me, life goes on. I’m still getting up and going to work. At the moment, I haven’t gone out of my way to change my routine, unless I have to.
I’m also not one of those people who’ve rushed out to stock up on toilet paper or hand sanitizer. I still have that big package of TP that I bought from BJ’s a few months ago, and I still have a number of rolls left.
I am not walking around wearing a mask. According to CDC guidelines, only those who are sick should wear a mask. To the best of my knowledge, I am not yet sick. Hopefully, I’ll stay that way.
Bottom line, I’m following common sense guidelines, and doing what people who know more than I do (such as the CDC) suggest I do.
I live in a region where we get snow during the winter. I refuse to panic any time we get reports of heavy snow. And I refuse to panic now.
This isn’t to say I’m doing nothing. Keep reading…
Washing my hands
C’mon, people, this is common sense. Wash your hands after using the toilet or when they get dirty. This is something I do, anyway. Can I tell you how disgusted I get whenever I see people walk out of the bathroom without washing their hands? Seriously?
I don’t know how helpful this is (if a medical professional who know more than I do is reading this and tells me to refrain from passing this information along, I will gladly do so), but I regularly drink lots of water during the workday, anyway. I keep a Nalgene bottle at my desk, and I fill it with ice and water at least two or three times a day, if not more. My thinking is that staying hydrated is a good thing to do anyway, and it’ll help flush nasty things out of my system.
Helping others out when possible
In this time of crisis, there are other people out there who might need some extra assistance. If you see anyone in this situation, it pays to be a good neighbor and lend a hand.
Probably the best thing we can have is information — good information (and not propaganda). I’m checking the CDC’s Coronavirus website for updates and advice. The WHO site is probably another good site to monitor. Additionally, the NY Times is providing free access to a page providing news and information about the crisis, as are other reputable media outlets such as Syracuse.com.
(Note: at the risk of sounding political, if there was ever a reason why we still need good, reputable, unbiased, and accurate local news coverage, this is it. That’s another conversation for another time.)
Things I’ve changed because of COVID-19
Getting more vigilant
“Life goes on” doesn’t mean that I’m not trying to stay on top of the situation. I’ve become much more wary of people around me. Whenever I hear anyone cough or sneeze, my ears immediately perk up. To the best of my knowledge, none of my coworkers are sick. I usually try to avoid people who are sick, anyway, but I’m a lot more wary about it this time around.
I’m also staying on top of my own health. I remain wary about potential symptoms, such as fever, cough, congestion, or shortness of breath. So far, I haven’t seen any symptoms, and I don’t think I’m sick. (Disclosure: I sleep with a CPAP machine, so it’s not unusual for me to wake up congested or with the sniffles.) Of course, if anything comes up, I’m ready to self-isolate, if I need to do so.
Although my go-to-work routine hasn’t changed, I’m one of those fortunate enough to have the ability to work-from-home. Should my employer direct me to work-from-home, I am able to do so.
As I write this, it occurred to me that I likely should pick up some groceries at some point. Hopefully, all those who are panicking haven’t cleared out the aisles yet.
Did I leave anything out, or do you have any other suggestions to help people out? Feel free to leave them below in the comments.
We’re all in this together. Let’s work together to nip this thing. And by working together, we’ll get through this crisis.