Updated: Apr 4
As society slowly comes to a historic halt due to the COVID-19 pandemonium, it's time to make some very important considerations. Regardless of our individual take on the situation, one thing that we can all agree on is that something is happening and it will not be ignored. In Pasadena, California, school districts have closed all schools, city events have been canceled, restaurants have shut down their dining rooms, and movie theaters have closed until further notice.
In a special meeting held by city council on March 17, 2020, a number of items were passed to help mitigate the crisis locally by what has been declared by President Donald Trump as a "national emergency". Among the items that were passed were new laws that will prevent evictions for residential and commercial tenants who are unable to pay their rent, so long as the city’s state of emergency remains in place. Unpaid rent is required to be paid back within six months after the state of emergency is lifted. The city has also suspended penalties and shut-offs for all city services such as water, power, and trash, and they will suspend the enforcement of overnight and metered parking violations.
Other cities in and around Los Angeles County have already taken similar measures to ease the financial burden the Coronavirus pandemic will leave on millions of residents. To learn what's being done in your city or community to help deal with the current crisis, visit your city's official website, call your local public information officer, or contact the office of your local council-member.
Times like these create a lot of fear, and fear leads to highly volatile situations. For this reason, it's important to help control our fears and anxiety so that we may continue to make the best decisions for ourselves and our loved ones. Though there are many things we can't control at the moment, it's extremely important that we take full advantage of what can control by preparing ourselves in every way that we're able to. Use the tips below to help you and your loved ones remain calm and safe during this unpredictable state of emergency.
Prevent transmission! The first thing we can all do to protect ourselves and those we care about is to reduce our own chances of being infected. Fortunately, reducing the risk of getting the infamous COVID-19 virus is almost identical to they way we avoid catching the everyday flu. Disinfecting your immediate environment and common surfaces, regularly washing your hands (especially before touching your face), and avoiding close contact with strangers or infected individuals, all help prevent the spread of any virus including the coronavirus.
Keep a positive attitude! Though it is so easy to fall into a panic from all of the negativity in the news, it's vital that we remain calm and in full control of our emotions. Some ways to stay calm are limiting how much mainstream news you consume, doing your own research on the subject, checking in with family and loved ones, finding safe ways to help others, and regularly identifying all the reasons you should be grateful. Remember, in most cases the difference between a positive and negative situation is the attitude we choose to have during the situation.
Keep the essentials! Do your best to always keep enough food, water, and hygiene products to last 2-4 weeks. If you or a loved one is taking medication, try to get an additional 30-60 day supply to have on-hand in case pharmacies close or transportation becomes an issue. If you need help securing any of the essentials, ask for help now. There are many agencies, organizations, and neighbors that may be able to help, so ask around and make some calls to find out who they are before times get even more difficult. On school days, some school districts are still providing breakfast and lunch for minors, so contact your local school district to see if they are distributing meals if you have children in your home.
Stay working! No one really knows how long this situation will affect businesses and our ability to earn a living, so it's important that we keep generating revenue for as long as we are able to do so. If you're fortunate enough to be able to work from home, do so. If you own a business that can still operate safely, keep your doors open until you're officially ordered to shut down by your local government. If your business has already been shut down, take it online or consider selling discounted gift certificates to stay earning and keep customers. It may also be wise to consider getting into other remote freelance work such as video editing, writing, virtual assistant/coach, and Photoshop, to help supplement income. It's important to stay earning, because even though our earning potential may be lower during the COVID crisis, our needs and financial obligations remain virtually consistent.
Create an emergency plan! Similar to disaster drills at school, it's important for everyone in your household to know what to do in case of an emergency at or around your home. For this reason, you should make sure that you and your loved ones establish a plan for worst-case scenarios. This includes creating first-aid kits, establishing escape routes from your home, determining where to meet in case loved ones become separated, and even practicing self-defense. Having this understanding in place in your household is an excellent way to reduce fear and anxiety by replacing it with a sense of safety and control.
With mandatory curfews and "shelter-in-place" orders being put into place nationwide, many of us will be confined to our homes or immediate neighborhoods for days, weeks, or even months. Since it is difficult to tell how long this will last, it's important that we figure out how to use this time wisely and make the most out of this situation. Below are a list of ways you and your loved ones can remain productive during these uncertain times.
Get fit and healthy! If you've been thinking about losing weight, eating better, or just improving your overall physique and health, now is the perfect time to start by developing new healthy habits and regular fitness routines. Getting and staying healthy is not just a great way to spend your new free time but also a great way to keep your body and immune system strong enough to fight off viruses and sickness. So, try using this as an opportunity to create a regular workout plan for you and your entire family. If you have access to the internet, use YouTube to help you develop fun exercise routines that can be done in and around the comfort of your home.
Self-Educate! Next to keeping your body healthy, it's important to keep your mind healthy as well. A great way to do that is through independent learning. So, if you've been considering learning a new language or how to be a better cook, now is the perfect time. Instead of just binge watching everything streaming, be sure to take breaks to actually put something useful into your brain. Keep in mind that this pandemic won't last, but what you learn during this time can. To help, many schools, libraries, and learning institutions have made some of their materials and online classes available absolutely free, so do your research to find some that you're interested in and take advantage.
Create! Art can be a great way to free your mind, create a sense of accomplishment, and alleviate some of the stress and anxiety caused by all of the hysteria surrounding COVID-19. Drawing, painting, making music, creative writing, building, filming, and photography are just some of the great ways you can express yourself artistically while passing the time during this period of crisis. Who knows, what you create during this time might be worth some good money when this is all over.
Clean! If you're the type that has been putting off organizing your home or some much-needed deep cleaning, there is literally no time like the present. Use this time to tackle that attack, clear that basement, straighten up that garage, or address that hoard of junk that has been accumulating unnecessarily. This will put your time to good use and create some valuable clarity and space in your home.