Even if we are not sealed into residential compounds, public spaces have become de facto no-go zones, schools and universities are closed, restaurants and pubs are being shut, and offices and factories may very well reach that point too.
So how can we prepare for weeks of being cut off from the world? Here are some tips on how to psychologically survive a quarantine. This is no preparation for the apocalypse, but we’d better ready ourselves for a stressful and highly inconvenient, but temporary, experience. Here are a few tips for surviving it.
PREPARE THE ESSENTIALS
Buy masks, hand sanitizers, bleach and gloves, as well as a month of any vital household medications. Stock up on decongestant and painkillers. Try to give up smoking and drinking as they worsen the chance of developing pneumonia.
Food shortage should not be an issue, but it can’t hurt to stock a bit of non perishable foods. Pack up on drinkable water as well. You should also think about soap and shampoo or toothpaste and toilet paper and tissues. You may miss your favorite treats, so pack up on those too, whatever it is that helps you psychologically.
DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT OF PLACE
If you don’t absolutely need to go somewhere, do not go there. If a lockdown is put into place while you are away from home, you may be stranded somewhere. If you travel abroad, prepare for the possibility of being stuck abroad for longer than expected.
You should start thinking what a month of no – or reduced – income would mean to you. Move as much of your work online if you can.
BUILD A ROUTINE
Do not let panic overwhelm you. Restrictions may make you feel resentful or angry, or even scared, but if you manage to create yourself a routine, some comfort will come from it. Board games and video games have amazing time-killing properties; cooking, looking after plants or pets are also life-savers.
GET READY FOR A LOT OF TIME WITH THE KIDS
Make the same kind of preparations you would for a long journey with children. A really really long journey… Make space for physical exercise and games, not just to make them busy, but to tire them out ! If you can be exposed to sunlight, do !
And if you don’t have kids, don’t expect much adult fun. It is not easy being stuck in a small space with your partner for a long time…
AND WHEN YOU DO LEAVE HOME:
- Wear gloves and keep them on in all public spaces
- If at some point you have to remove your gloves, do not touch your face
- Always wash your hands before wearing the gloves
- Change gloves daily
- Masks are useless when worn outdoors; you are better off staying away from crowds
- When going out, stay at least 1.8 m away from individuals
- Do not shake hands or hug people
- Remove all hand towels and replace them with disposable ones.
- Wash all bath towels twice a week
- Wear gloves to use doorknobs, or wash your hands after using one.
- Do the same with every handheld object: phones, laptops, etc.
- Disinfect bathrooms between uses
- Do not share utensils or glasses with anyone
- Do not put your personal utensils in a serving bowl or plate; use serving spoons
- Wash all kitchenware thoroughly between meals