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let’s talk about COVID-19

The post I had planned for today is taking a back seat. It seems as though everything will be taking a back seat for awhile.

I’m sure you know about COVID-19. I’m sure you’ve been watching the news and checking your phone for the latest updates. I’m sure you know the CDC recommendations, I’m sure you’ve started preparing yourself, your family and your home and I’m sure you’ve started “social distancing”.

But let’s chat anyway.

In the past half week, our area has undergone some major changes. We had our first positive COVID-19 case, three colleges in the area shut their doors and sent their students off campus, all of Virginia K-12 schools are closed for at least two weeks, our county and city declared states of emergencies and the governor has banned gatherings of more than 100 people with no stated end date. My sisters’ sons’ daycare has been closed for at least two weeks and she’s scrambling to find childcare for him because she still has to report to work. We received news that an event we were planning to attend was postponed until further notice – the first in what will most likely be a much larger list. Store shelves are beginning to bare and I feel that we’re just a step away from a total shut down.

On Wednesday evening, we were alerted to the first positive COVID-19 in our area, 20 minutes down the interstate to the closest city – the city we get our groceries in, the city we frequent restaurants in, the city that I had just been in that very morning with Elias. I had taken extra precautions such as wiping down the cart with sanitizer and taking care to not touch too much, but it still made my heart tighten a bit with the news.

On Saturday, I made a trip out to get some groceries and run some errands in case things were to go on lock down. I was out before 7am to make sure I could get in and get out quickly and get everything done before the stores were flooded with people. I managed to get all my couponing, grocery shopping and errands done and was back home before 11am. It was extremely obvious that there were less people out.

Fast forward to today and we’re still stewing in an air of uncertainty. Although we’re still going about our lives as normally as possible, we realize that this outbreak is a serious situation. Although we’re not panicking, we have been erring on the side of caution and getting prepared. Here’s what we’re doing.

MAKING SURE WE’RE STOCKED
Because I coupon, we always have food and household supplies on hand. Because I bake and cook a lot, we always have staples stocked up on – I buy 50 pounds of sugar, pandemic or not. Because I was raised by semi paranoid parents, I always have first aid supplies – enough for the house and enough for the car. What are we doing differently? I’m making sure I have a decent amount of perishable staples – cheese, eggs, etc and making sure our normal supplies are in order and getting what I need to top off.

STAYING UPDATED
I check the local news at least three times a day. This is major for me because I used to NEVER watch the news, read the paper or look online – there are always stories I get caught up in and my mental health suffers, so I just avoided it. Now it is necessary for me to know what’s going on and to be able to make decisions for our family.

TAKING PRECAUTIONS
Yes, I’ve been washing my hands more. Yes, I’ve been wiping my carts down. No, I’m not making contact with strangers. Yes, we are sort of avoiding crowds. Yes, I have taken Elias out with me to stores, but I’m limiting it; if it’s possible, I leave him at home with my husband, but if not and I have to make a call based on how necessary it is to go out.

KEEPING A ROUTINE
We still get up at 4:45am. My husband still goes to work. We both workout daily. I’m still running errands and hitting up grocery stores. We’re still having people over for dinner and I’m still walking with my sister two or three times a week. We were already more inclined to order takeout since Elias hit his toddler stride, so that’s an easy one for us. We’re just doing our best to keep life normal.

MAKING PLANS
We’re still planning on getting pregnant. We’re still planning our vacation in August. We’re still looking for a new house. And we’re finishing up invitations for Elias’ birthday in mid May. Although there are some uncertainties surrounding some of these things – especially ones that are in the nearer future – we are STILL going ahead with planning them. We will, of course, weigh the pros and cons and make necessary postponements should the need arise. The point is, we haven’t stopped living and dreaming in the wake of everything.

For the week ahead, we’re making Leprechaun Bait to leave for Lucky ;), I’m making a special Irish dinner for St. Patrick’s Day and we’re still planning on restaurant night on Friday. Like I said, we’re trying to live as normally as possible until/if things lock down.

I’ll continue to update periodically, but feel free to leave comments on your own situation. Even with all the social distancing and fear, we need to remember that we’re all in this together. Help each other, love each other and stay safe!

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