When you hear the statistics surround the coronavirus aka COVID-19, it doesn’t sound that scary. The virus is usually mild in children. Around 100 people in the United States have been diagnosed with it and 17 deaths (as of publication) have occurred, compared to 46,000 deaths from the flu since October 2019. But when you see grime news broadcasts about outbreaks and quarantines, empty store shelves, and conspiracy theory posts on social media, it’s easy to let some anxiety and doubt creep into your mind. At times I’ve wondered: should I panic? Do we need to prepare? I did a little research and determined there is no point in panicking about the coronavirus.
Stop Scrolling and Panicking, Instead Check the CDC Website
Listen, it’s time to stop getting news off of your Facebook feed. Facebook can lead to helpful news articles, but it shouldn’t be your primary source. Just because your crazy relative posts that Corona Beer causes the coronavirus, doesn’t mean it’s true. And, in fact, it’s not true. (Did you know that 38% of Americans wouldn’t buy Corona because of the outbreak?!) Don’t panic, instead, look at trusted sources for your facts about the coronavirus. Your best bet for up to date information is the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the World Health Organization website.
Prepare for the Coronavirus, Not a Hurricane
I saw a photo on social media of the crazy lines at a Florida Costco. Almost every cart in the line was filled with bottled water, toilet paper, and cans of soup. I can’t help but wonder exactly what they are expecting to happen. Are they panicking over the coronavirus or a possible Cat 5 storm? Maybe this is a side effect of years of hurricane preparations for Floridians, but if you’re quarantined or contract COVID-19, you will still have water and electricity. Personally, I would make sure to have a stocked pantry, home supplies, and some extra medications, both over the counter and prescription if needed. Don’t panic about the coronavirus, think of what you like to have around the house on days you’re stuck at home and stock up on that.
Put Down the Face Masks, 500 Bottles of Hand Sanitizers, and Calm Down
Face masks aren’t effective in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. In fact, the U.S. Surgeon General urged people to stop buying face masks in a recent tweet. If the public panics and buys all the masks, there won’t be enough for healthcare workers who truly need them. And, yes, it’s good to have hand sanitizer, but instead of stockpiling them, make sure to leave some for those who really need it. Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are the most at risk of becoming very sick and dying as the result of the coronavirus. Those are the people who need hand sanitizers the most.
Wash. Your. Hands. to Prevent Coronavirus
Please, wash your hands. Wash your kid’s hands. Teach your kids to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while they wash their hands. Washing your hands is the number one way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, and also the flu and other illnesses. If you and your family aren’t crazy hand washers already (and you should be, it’s flu season!) then now is the time to start. I remind my kids to wash their hands at school, this is especially important for older students. When my kids get home from sports or school I make them wash their hands as soon as we walk through the door. This is an easy and cheap way to stay healthy!
So, while we need to stay well informed and prepared, let’s not panic about the coronavirus unless your local officials and the CDC say otherwise. Keep those hands clean, mamas!