How to live through a pandemic
Ask Evergreen is an advice column by the students of The Lumberjack
How do I live in this pandemic?
Dear Concerned Citizen,
We’re living through history right now amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many ways you can prevent potential exposure while still leading a balanced life.
Educate yourself. Learn about the causes, symptoms and preventative measures of this respiratory virus. The California Department of Public Health has pertinent information you should read up on. While Humboldt County is not on the list for community transmissions, it is offering lab testing for suspected cases of the illness. The CDPH news updates page offers consistent updates.
Isolate yourself. Don’t go out unless it’s necessary. While you may want to see your friends during spring break, don’t expose yourself to others who may not be practicing precautionary measures.
If you’ve traveled home for break, be mindful of where you go out. It’s OK to not do normal spring break activities. Avoid going to clubs, restaurants, bars and breweries. It’s unlikely someone diagnosed with COVID-19 will be out in these places, but for the benefit of the doubt, you never know if they’ve been in contact with someone who has.
Protect others. You may not realize how vulnerable certain age groups are to infectious diseases. Young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems are more susceptible to become ill. These groups are also less likely to be able to fend off illnesses, so limit interactions with the outside world for the sake of those near you in these populations.
Prepare yourself. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. Practicing all of the former will help you better understand this illness and prevent further spreading. Just like after any natural disaster, awareness is heightened and preparedness begins for the next event. We shouldn’t wait for something to happen to be prepared for it the next time.
Instead, we should always be ready for anything—cautious, but not panicked. Take this time to assess your emergency plans and supplies. Don’t stock up on unnecessary items like toilet paper. Do gather important survival gear to assemble a go-bag if you haven’t already. Ensure you have enough non-perishable food to last a potential quarantine or even a self-isolation period. Make sure you have your prescriptions filled, disinfectant stocked and all other daily necessities.
Advocate for yourself. Perhaps your work has shuttered its doors and you’re worried about your next paycheck. Speak to your boss about what this pandemic means for your employment. Conserve your finances. With the stock market as unstable as it is right now, it’s wise to curb your spending. Don’t waste money on another bottle of hand sanitizer—instead, invest in the necessities.
Relieve yourself. Don’t forget to take your mental health into account during this chaotic time. Reach out to loved ones and check on their well-being while updating them about yours. Find some stress relieving activities for you to do as you practice social distancing. Paint something, start meditating, study a new language or even do your taxes. There are plenty of things to occupy yourself with that are both peaceful and productive.
We’re in this together.
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