Coronavirus COVID19 Survival Guide Tips and Help
Last Updated: March 12, 2020
COVID-19 Is Here
The Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is sweeping across the planet like a tidal wave. Just the word pandemic can elicit fear in people even if there is little danger to them. This contagion is going to change all of our lives for a long time to come. The next few months will define us as a people. There is now global angst and upheaval. Here at CDC we’re calling for people to come together in this crisis and we will get through this.
Take This Thing Seriously…NOW
In the US many people are still in denial and not taking this virus seriously (including our government). A lot of people are not heeding the warnings and are treating this virus like any normal flu outbreak. That is a naïve approach that will have disastrous consequences.
We Are Here to Help You
CDC is everywhere in the news. It is ironic that to us, CDC is Celebration Discovery Church, but to the rest of the world CDC is The Centers for Disease Control. Everyone is looking for information right now and figuring out how to cope with new situations. While we can’t cure a virus, we exist to offer help, so we have put together this COVID-19 Survival Guide with tips to help get you through this worldwide pandemic crisis.
Now Is the Time to Get Prepared
In other countries people are under lockdown and their actions are greatly restricted. Everyone is wearing masks, travel has been discontinued and people have been ordered to stay in their homes. We believe the same scenario will be headed this way. Here at CDC, we recognize the gravity of the situation and are taking necessary precautions.
Being Prepared Will Give You a Sense of Control
In a pandemic, people get scared and panic because they feel that their lives are no longer under their control. Taking a few simple precautions will give you a sense that you can make decisions for yourself and not have everything dictated to you by the government, your employer or even the disease itself. You can always control many aspects of your life in any given situation.
Be a Positive Force
This is a good time to become as hopeful as possible. Make a conscious decision to remain positive no matter what. There is so much you can do to alleviate the crisis, help yourself, your loved ones and everyone else. Hope and love are much more contagious than any disease.
Here are our suggestions to help you survive the pandemic:
What to Do If You’re Quarantined or Isolated at Home
If you have been laid off or are isolating at home, perhaps you are wondering what you are supposed to do now. How do you spend your time when your normal life is completely disrupted?
If You Are Healthy Count Your Blessings
If you’re stuck at home and you’re healthy, don’t look upon this as a negative situation. Count your blessings and take advantage of what can be a marvelous gift. There is always a reason to make lemonade out of lemons and beauty in the ashes. Take this time to:
- Connect with friends and family members via letters, emails or video chats. (Try and keep your communications positive and be the voice of reason for others.)
- If you’re lucky enough to have a significant other, remember why you’re together and bring some romance back into the relationship. Have a picnic in bed, give each other massages, turn on music and dance. Pull out that guitar from under the bed and sing together.
- Make repairs to anything that needs fixing.
- Organize offices, closets, drawers, junk piles, etc.
- Work in the garden and dedicate plants to those lost.
- Binge watch your favorite show.
- Get a pen pal.
- Have a candlelight dinner in the dining room on the good china.
- Bake something. Baking is very therapeutic and the end result is something delicious.
- Knit, paint, sew or do anything creative. Personal works of art make wonderful gifts.
- Wax/detail your car.
- If you’re alone or only have a pet, spoil your pet. They are very sensitive and if you’re upset, they’ll sense it and they need reassurance, too.
- Get some extra exercise. You’ll look better, feel better and the healthier you are, the slimmer the chance you’ll get sick.
- Give yourself a manicure, pedicure or facial.
- Experiment with new makeup or hairstyles.
- Create a happy scrap book.
- Start a journal.
- Write a poem or song and put your emotions into words.
- Remember those things with pages and covers called books? Read one.
- Learn a foreign language. For that matter, learn anything.
Please don’t hoard something you don’t really need. We’ve all seen the posts, videos and people making jokes about it. This isn’t funny; it is abysmal. If you are one of the people who have a year’s supply of toilet paper, shame on you. If you’re happily sharing photos of your toilet paper and sanitizer empire on social media while the rest of the world has none, shame on you. If you’re selling it for outrageous prices, shame on you is much too polite. If you’re lucky enough to find some in a store, buy what you need, unless you’re buying extra for other people. If you have extra of anything, share it! Be a part of the solution, not the problem.
Ask yourself what you can do to alleviate this situation. One of the best ways to feel better about your own situation is to do something for someone else. It takes the focus off of you and places it somewhere else. Whenever I’m taking care of someone else, I don’t focus on my own problems. I’m writing these posts so that you’ll know you are not alone in this. We are all facing this together and there are many ways to be of service to others.
- Contact seniors and ask them what they need, especially if they live alone. Shopping is difficult for them under the best of circumstances. Get their shopping list and do it for them. Leave the items outside and don’t put them at risk. Seniors are the highest risk group and are vulnerable. Also, many seniors don’t want to ask for help, so they may be suffering in silence.
- Food banks need volunteers. Food and other delivery services need drivers. Amazon is hiring 100,000 people to fulfill orders.
- Donate blood if there is a shortage in your area and it is safe for you to do so.
- If you have friends who are self employed or who have been laid off and you can afford to help them, do so. Not everyone is going to get unemployment or other benefits. Some people are really scared because they may not have any money soon. If you have a big house, can you take someone in? Do you have an RV, camper or vacation cabin someone can stay in? There are many ways to offer hope and help to each other.
Don’t get hysterical and commit to staying positive no matter what. It is natural to feel a little anxious, but you can make a conscious choice to remain calm. If you feel prepared, you’re less likely to feel panicked.
Don’t Infect Others–Wear a Mask When You Go Out
COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. The primary method of transmission is through droplets that are expelled when you exhale, cough or sneeze. While wearing a face mask may not completely protect you from contracting the virus, a mask will prevent you from being able to transmit it to others. One of the main reasons this virus is so dangerous is that is has a long incubation period. You may be infected with the virus and not even know it. If you are an asymptomatic carrier, you can infect everyone you come in contact with for two weeks. That is a lot of people. That is why this disease is spreading around the planet like an uncontrollable wildfire. Stop it in its tracks down. Don’t spread this virus!
Washing Your Hands Won’t Stop Transmission
Yes, hand sanitization is always a good idea. Keeping your hands clean is not going to stop the transmission of this virus. The idea is that if you’re hands are clean and you touch your nose, mouth or eyes, you won’t give yourself the virus. While that is true, that does nothing to prevent you from giving the virus to someone else. If you don’t breathe, cough or sneeze on someone else, you won’t give it to them.
Don’t Read Fake News
There are so many ridiculous claims and sites out there. Reading this garbage will only scare and confuse you. Sites such as the CDC or WHO are regularly updated to provide current information, but they may not be offering the best advice. (We actually disagree with the advice of the CDC concerning the wearing of masks. You should always wear a mask when you go out in public.) Choose facts, not fiction or fear.
People get scared when they feel like they have no control over a situation. You can control many things in your personal routine and situation. You can also control your reaction to any given situation.
Maintain Your Normal Schedule
If you’re working at home get up at the same time you normally would. Use the extra time you would spend dressing and commuting to:
- Get a brief update on the situation; (Don’t dwell on the news; it isn’t healthy and will only make you feel anxious or scare you.)
- Meditate; (Deep breathing will calm you and keep you centered and present.)
- Do some yoga; (Yoga is beneficial to your body, mind and spirit. There are free videos all over the internet and apps.)
Plan Your Meals
Take an inventory of everything you have and create a menu. That way you’ll know how many days of food you have. If you have any old items in your pantry or freezer, this is the perfect time to use those items. Also, creating menus will help you to know what you need to get when you do go shopping. Shopping is challenging in many parts of the country with bare shelves, so it really helps to know what you do/don’t have.
Assess How Much You Are Eating
For many people, this pandemic can be a blessing in disguise. I weigh 110 lbs. and can’t afford to lose an ounce, but some people need to lose 10, 50 or even 100 lbs. This is a perfect time to take control of your health if you are overweight. The average person only needs 2000 calories per day. (I eat 1000) If you’re consuming 5000, there is no better time to make a change. If you don’t have any idea what your caloric intake is, you probably need to lose weight. So many medical conditions are related to obesity, which is an easily reversible condition.
You don’t need a gym or equipment to exercise. You can exercise, get in shape and stay in shape in your home with household items. If you’ve never exercised before, start with putting on some music and just dancing around. No one is going to see you so go wild and look stupid. It is fun and your body will thank you. If you have kids and do this with them, they will think they have the coolest parent ever. The bottom line is it doesn’t matter what you do, just get up and move. If you’re in really bad shape and can only work out for one minute, do it. You will gradually increase your stamina and it will change your life.
Eat right, get plenty of sleep, drink lots of fluids and take immune-enhancing supplements (vitamin C, D3, zinc, echinacea). Chances are, you won’t get the virus, but if you do, your body will react less if you are healthy. Many people who get this virus have very mild symptoms. That is due to the fact that they were healthy when they got it.
Quit Smoking Now – Not Tomorrow
COVID-19 is a serious respiratory illness. There has never been a better time to quit smoking than now. Smokers are at much higher risk for serious consequences or death than nonsmokers. Also, at over $5 per pack, that money will go a long way towards food, shelter or utilities. Many people are going to be facing economic hardships. To spend your money on cigarettes is not just unhealthy, but a destructive expense. Don’t use the stress of the pandemic as an excuse. Do not say to yourself that you need your cigarettes as a crutch to help you cope. Take control of your life and don’t let cigarettes control you.
On my last two grocery shopping trips (total of 12 stores) there was no toilet paper, alcohol wipes, vegetable soup, bean burritos, etc. Easy, pre-made food items may be gone, but their components are readily available.
Don’t panic, there are plenty of alternatives. For example, instead of toilet paper, I bought napkins. Even though I couldn’t get alcohol wipes, I was able to buy bottles of hydrogen peroxide. (Peroxide is an effective disinfectant, is safe, cheap and doesn’t contain harmful chemicals like many disinfectants.) I couldn’t buy frozen bean burritos but I was able to buy packages of tortillas and cans of refried beans. There was no vegetable soup so I opted for cans of tomatoes and bags of frozen mixed vegetables. Fresh milk was sold out, but there was evaporated milk in the baking aisle. The bottom line is buy what is available and make it work. You don’t have to be a good cook to open cans, combine them and apply heat. (The bean burritos I made myself tasted so much better than the ready made ones I’ll never buy the frozen ones again.)
Don’t Contaminate Your House
One of the rare qualities of this virus is how long it can remain viable on various surfaces. Whenever you go out for supplies, be mindful of not tracking the virus into your home upon returning. Take your shoes off and leave them outside. Strip off your clothes and drop them in the laundry. Take a shower and wash your hair. While everyone is fixated on hand washing, don’t forget about other means of transmission. A few simple acts can go a long way to keeping you and your family safe.
Disinfect Your Groceries
When you go shopping for supplies, don’t touch anything with your bare hands. Either wear gloves or pick up bottles, jars and cans with an antibacterial wipe. When you get the items home, wipe down the surfaces of non-porous items before putting them away. This is especially important for canned goods. Some cans have pull tabs, but some require a mechanical opener and when you open it, the lid drops into the contents. What if the lid is contaminated? While there is no evidence that the virus can be transmitted via food, do you really want to risk it? The seal-breaking can openers are the best. Also, rinse off produce such as avocados, bananas, oranges, etc. You don’t know who has handled these things.
Words like quarantine and lockdown are freaking people out. “Social Distancing” is the new buzz term that I’m already sick of. Decades ago, the only way to connect with others was by landline telephone, handwritten letters that had to be mailed or personal visits. Today, we have marvelous technology that affords us the opportunity to connect instantaneously with text messages, cell phones and video chats. You don’t need to feel lonely or isolated. If you live alone and have no family or friends, there are chat rooms and groups of people all over the world who would be happy to talk to you. (Here at CDC, we connect with people all over the world.)
Get a Pet
No one is going out to animal shelters and adoptions have come to a halt. Many of those animals are going to be euthanized. If you can adopt or foster one, you’ll be saving a life and getting a friend to help you through this and any future crises. Animals offer unconditional love and they ask for so little in return. They have beautiful innocent souls and they’ll never lie to you. Many shelters are asking for short-term foster homes, so there is no long-term commitment required. The shelter will even bring the animal to you so you don’t have to get out.
Don’t Cancel Everything
If you were planning a party or special event and you’re depressed because it has been canceled, have the party anyway. You can do a live video chat. You can do group chats or conferencing through FaceTime, Hangouts, Zoom or Skype. Tell all of the attendees to get dressed up, get their cocktails or refreshments ready and you can have a virtual party. I have done it and it is fun. Actually, it was more enjoyable than the real thing. (No long commute, exasperating search for parking, walking in the rain, etc.)
If You Are at High Risk BE VIGILANT
If you are a senior, have any type of respiratory, immune, pulmonary or cardiac issues, limit physical contact with everyone as much as possible. Tell people not to come and visit you unannounced. They may mean well, but they can needlessly put you at risk. If people are bringing you supplies, have them leave the supplies outside, if possible. Asymptomatic people are potential carriers of the virus. When you do go out, wear a mask. Keep your distance from others and don’t get close to anyone who is not wearing a mask.
Don’t Be Too Proud to Ask for Help
If you need something, this is not the time to be stoic or feel like you don’t want to be a bother to others. There are good people in this world who care about you and who will help you, but they can’t help you if they don’t know what you need.
Don’t Call 911 for ANYTHING Other Than Dire Emergencies
Our first responders may get overwhelmed if people start calling for help for ridiculous situations. There have been reports of people calling 911 because they don’t have toilet paper. I didn’t laugh when I read this and you shouldn’t either. If you have a true life-or-death emergency, by all means call for help. But do not, under any circumstances, take advantage of emergency services for non-emergency situations.
Unusual times call for different actions and reactions. For every problem there is a solution, or at least a coping mechanism. While there may be a lot of uncertainty, stay flexible and adapt to your particular circumstances whatever they may be.
What to Do If You’re Ill
If you are ill, stay positive and don’t lose hope. Any illness doesn’t just stress the body physically, but mentally and emotionally, as well. Your attitude toward your illness can greatly impact your recovery. Stay calm, don’t panic and meditate on health, peace and wellness. Envision every cell in your body perfectly strong and healthy. If you have never meditated before, now is a good time to start. Pay attention to your body to give it what it needs. Stay hydrated with healthy fluids. (No caffeine, sugar or chemical sweeteners)
What to Do If You’re a Caregiver
If you are the caregiver for someone who is ill, you can work wonders to control the situation and help with their recovery. Make light of the situation as much as possible. Be the lightness that is needed for others. If your demeanor is calm and rational, or better yet, upbeat, that will help your loved one. Your attitude is just as infectious as any disease.
Adversity builds character and creates strength. Strength leads to resilience and determination. Some of the worst things that have ever happened to me are also the very things that shaped who I am and made me into a survivor. The difference between winners and losers is that the winner never gives up. They keep fighting, no matter what.
Don’t Lose Hope
If your situation looks bleak, stay positive. This too shall pass. Better days are ahead. If you need a dose of HOPE, Happiness, Optimism, Positivity and Enjoyment, read this. We have plenty of hope at CDC and we’ll be happy to share with you.
Be Thankful for the Healthcare Workers
If you are a healthcare worker or researcher, thank you. You will be tested to your limits in the coming weeks and months. Your efforts are not going unnoticed or unappreciated. If you live with a healthcare worker, do everything you can to take the burden off of them and help to keep them healthy and safe. Healthcare workers offer hope in countless ways. Nurses of the world are the real heroes right now and we salute you.
Share Your Needs
If you need prayer or just a place to vent, CDC is here for you. You can post your needs on our Blessings page. Let’s be there for one another and together, we’ll all get through this. We are all a part of the brotherhood of mankind. CDC is in the United States of America. Let’s offer hope to each other and let our actions demonstrate the meaning of the word united.
Have Fun and Laugh
A good sense of humor goes a long way into dealing with anything and everything. Find something to laugh about every day. Watch a silly movie, read some dumb jokes, call a goofy friend, listen to a funny podcast or dance with your pet. My cat makes me laugh several times a day. Find something that makes you smile and laugh about it.
Focus on the Future
We’re in the middle of a storm. The dark clouds are looming overhead and the storm will last for a while, but it will end. When the sun emerges after a terrible thunderstorm, the beautiful gift is a rainbow.
Be Careful Where You Get Your Information
In closing, please be careful where you get your information. It is wise to stay informed, but don’t spend too much time reading negative news and reports. Many sites deliberately provide false and misleading reports intended to alarm people and cause chaos. You will get through this a lot easier if you keep a positive, hopeful attitude. Here are some links to sites with relevant information:
Center for Systems Science and Engineering (Most up-to-date information)
If you can afford it, please donate to the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Blessings, Health, Healing, and Peace to All,
Celebration Discovery Church