Hunkering down? Tips for hanging around home during the COVID-19 crisis
Normally, household emergency preparedness plans recommend families have what they need to stay at home for 72 hours—enough time to wait for help to arrive. Clearly, the 14-day period of self-quarantine recommended for COVID-19 requires different preparation. But many of us are better-prepared than we think.
What’s for dinner?
The 72-hour emergency plan is designed to sustain people during power and water cuts. That’s not what we’re dealing with here. So if your freezer is working, the heat is on, and your stove is operational, you are in good shape.
A quick inventory of fridge and pantry will likely show that you can squeeze quite a few meals from your shelves. Even if you are in self-quarantine, neighbors or friends may be able to provide you with some extra groceries. There is no need for hoarding or panic buying, which needlessly disrupt supply chains. Picking up a few dried foods or some extra cans every time you shop is a better strategy.
Vegetables such as beets, carrots, and turnips can be kept longer than leafy varieties, and some restaurants continue to provide food delivery services. Those on special diets or requiring medication need to make sure they have an adequate supply on hand. Some doctors will prescribe refills over the phone.
Make the time special
If your children are staying at home, focus on making this a special time. Do some crafts or family activities. Let the children help with cooking or chores. Read a book together. Create memories. Schools may post online resources, and maintaining somewhat of a schoolwork routine can help structure your days. If you are not quarantined, some daily outdoor time can provide a good break. A walk or shoveling snow together can be refreshing to body and soul.
Keep a positive perspective
Get the sleep you need and keep regular bedtimes. Limit your use of technology—especially exposure to newsfeed. Repeated negativity can weigh heavily on you. Seek out uplifting interactions instead. Let your devices work for you, not vice versa. Use them to keep in touch with family and friends through video conferencing, for example.
Many churches have moved their services online or have recorded sermons posted on their websites. Besides plugging into one of those, you can also experiment with new ways of family devotions. Children can have great ideas and play an active part in planning or leading. This is also a great time to model what it is to be a good neighbor. The pandemic offers lots of opportunities to deepen and diversify neighbor relationships. Sharing information with neighbors, calling those who are more vulnerable, and performing acts of kindness are important examples to set for kids.
Smile when you are with people. A simple ‘thank you’ or ‘how are you’ goes a long way in times like this. And talk about the hope and trust you have in Jesus.
COVID-19 has caused many interruptions in our daily routines. But just like cracks in the pavement give opportunities for flowers to grow, so times like these unearth blessings we didn’t know were buried beneath our usual priorities and life’s regular demands.
Connect with Us
Samaritan’s Purse Canada is available to work with churches—drawing on our disaster recovery experience—to help discover what this ‘new normal’ might look like. Together, we’ll explore what the Church’s role can be in our communities right now and after the COVID-19 crisis is over. Peruse our website for more information or contact us at Canadianrelief@Samaritan.ca to get a hold of one of our staff.
“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12: 1-2, ESV).
Help Samaritan’s Purse strengthen the impact of local churches in communities recovering in the aftermath of disasters. As caring Christians are trained and empowered to walk alongside individuals and families to find solutions to complex needs, God opens doors to share the Gospel.