We Will Get Through This!

Tina Butt

I am feeling aggravated. What is happening with this virus, Coronavirus (COVID-19)? Why are people freaking out, buying all of the medical supplies off the shelves, toilet paper, paper towels, OTC cold medicine, soap and hand sanitizer? I wasn’t going to write about this topic because EVERYONE is talking about it(the media can’t figure out what else to talk about!) But , when I went to the store to buy necessities today and there were none available, I got mad.

What were you doing before you heard about this “new virus”? Did you not wash your hands? Did you not go to the bathroom? How were you washing your hands last week? Nothing should change. You need to wash your hands and/or use hand sanitizer when you are sick and when you come in contact with sick people or objects that may be contaminated with sick germs. Why is this virus any different? What do you think will happen if you get the COVID-19 virus?

I went to Walmart today with my daughter and guess what we saw! EMPTY shelves. No toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap or hand sanitizer and cold medicine was GONE!

My concern……. when I get a cold, how am I supposed to treat myself? When I have to go to the bathroom what am I supposed to use? I was washing my hands with soap last week, now I can’t because there is NO soap in the stores! Why are people buying mass amounts of these items? Are you going to use 10 packs of toilet paper in 1 week?

Now, let’s talk about my kid and your kid. How will I treat my daughter when she gets sick with a cold or stomach virus causing diarrhea, since there is no medicine, kleenex or toilet paper available? “I’m sorry little girl, you will have to work through this, there is nothing I can give you to help you feel better”.

We are told to always wash our hands and keep them out of our face. What is the difference right now?

Keep yourself informed, but let’s not overreact. Google is great but you should google the CDC website and the WHO website for the best and the most up to date information.

If you are in the high risk group: >60 years old, chronic health conditions, or weakened immune system, getting sick with any virus will increase your risk of not healing as well, please stay home of possible. This will keep you more safe.

The most important!!! If you think you are sick, been around a sick person or you know that you have been exposed to a person with COVID-19, be considerate! Stay home. Ask for help. Ask for someone to get your groceries (if there are any left), pay your pills if you cannot do it from home, and even prepare your meals if you are unable. Stay away from your loved ones if you are ill. Check on your elderly neighbors and family members. If you are sick, call your medical provider and ask what to do.

Try to not overwhelm the medical system. Being a provider, a fear is that patients and their family members are going to get a tickle in their throat then go to the ER or urgent care for testing. Calling 911 is still for the acutely ill, calling 911 for a non acute issue will cause your local first response team to be unable to attend to those that are truly life or death. If we overwhelm the medical system, we will end up short staffed due to our medical providers contracting the virus, getting quarantined and not working.

The idea with this virus is to stop the spread! This is why the current recommendations are in place. It makes sense to stay home, stop unnecessary travel, and no unnecessary shopping. If we stop the spread then we lower the risk of contracting the virus and developing complications from it. This will also shorten the current pandemic, making the number of people infected much less.

Currently, some people are not exhibiting symptoms, they don’t know they have it. This is why there are so many restrictions with travel, schools and group gatherings. Be courteous, this is all that you can do. If you are sick stay home. If your have a fever, stay home.

The way I see it, this is a time to show you care for those around you. Help the ones in need, protect the people around you from complications, stay smart and stay well.

Offer to give some of your stocked supplies to the ones that are at high risk as mentioned above instead of hoarding them. Hoarding supplies makes it close to impossible for everyone to have necessary supplies on hand.

A huge upsetting concern of mine is for our kiddos! We as adults are not teaching them well by acting in a manner that causes increased stress, anxiety and panic. Do you know that kids internalize these issues? They will develop poor sleep patterns, poor grades in school, increased behaviors, headaches and poor eating patterns. If they see adults staying calm, they will follow suit. Our kids are scared and they need us to help them understand and remain calm.

Let’s stick together and make this temporary situation run smoothly. In times of stress and over-stimulation of the media, try listening to music, dancing,or meditating! Turn off the news. Don’t allow your kids to listen to the news. Before we know it , this will all be part of history. We need to stand strong and united to get through this.

Tina Butt, Health and Wellness Coach and Healthcare Advocate