Let's Talk COVID-19

Not the most magical headline, but a necessary one...
Coronavirus or COVID-19. Today I'm opening up about my feelings and what we're planning on doing in regards to this scary and very real pandemic happening in our lives right now...
**UPDATE: as of 3/17/20 where we live here in the Bay Area will be placed on shelter in place orders.**

Unless you've been living under a rock the past few months/weeks/days there's a worldwide pandemic happening called the Coronavirus or COVID-19. There's so much coverage in regards to this terrible virus that I'll keep it brief on here since the point of this post isn't about the virus itself, but things we're personally doing to cope during this crazy time. If you want the official information on COVID-19, head here the official World Health Organization or the CDC definition, recommendations and current alerts.

Social Distancing
We've been told to practice "social distancing" for the next few weeks to help ease the rise of new infections and the virus spreading. What exactly is social distancing? Well, I'll admit I was super confused at first, but with more information being shared and more data coming in... it's basically keeping your distance away from others. But what does that mean exactly? Does it mean holing yourself up in your home never going outdoors? Does it mean avoiding larger groups of people but still resuming life like coffee runs and hanging with a small group with friends? The evidence is pointing to the more conservative measure. I'll advise that I'm not a medical expert, but I'm definitely taking the more cautious route and being more strict on how my family "distances" themselves right now. As a daughter to two older parents whom we see often, also as a relative to fellow cousins, aunts, uncles and loved ones who have underlying conditions.. I'm making it a point to be as careful as possible to keep my loved ones safe. There's a message out there talking about how the young and healthy are at low risk, so many take it as "I can go and be my usual self" but the fall out is that if you happen to catch the virus and become an invisible carrier to the disease. Meaning no symptoms but still be infected... you can pass that along unknowingly to your loved ones who aren't low risk. So that playdate, trip out to that restaurant while being okay for myself, a low risk person... could come back to haunt me if I happened to become a carrier and pass it along to someone like my dad who's in the highest risk category. Think about that for a moment.

I know these are scary times right now because we're treading in waters of the unknown. I'll be completely honest and say that I didn't understand the severity of this pandemic until a few days ago. I knew it was bad but it didn't hit close to home until a few days ago when it suddenly became very real. The pandemic declaration, the government travel bans in Europe, and as crazy as it sounds... the nail that hit the truth through.... when the Disney Parks decided to close here at home. You know things are bad when the happiest place has to close. The fear became real, the worry is real, it's real and it's here.

Do The Right Thing
I know the above was very doomsday, but you know what? We need that fear to get people into motion to start changing NOW before it becomes even worse. For the sake of your loved ones, for the sake of your neighbors, your friends, your community. Take this seriously. If you're able to stay home, do it, even if you feel fine. If you must go out, think about what it's for... Is it just a random outing because you're bored or is it essential? There's a difference to going out for the sake of having entertainment vs going to get groceries or necessities.

I had asked my Instagram followers about how they're feeling about everything, as well as what they're trying to do to "social distance" themselves. I got quite a few replies from my followers overseas in Europe and Asia mentioned how their hometowns or neighboring cities were in full lockdown mode. They were contained to their homes save for one quick trip to a pharmacy or grocery store. Many replied how scary it has been for them and their families. This definitely shook me to my core. Here in the U.S we're in that critical time to "flatten the curve" or help slow down the infections of this disease... but only if we act now. 

So if you're reading this, I know this isn't my usual lighthearted banter or magical post. But this is a necessary one. I urge you to stay safe. Simple measures like staying home if you can will greatly reduce your risk for yourself or for your loved ones. Wash your hands, often. If you have to go out, make sure to keep your distance between others. I also received messages from followers who work in the medical field or service industries like retail or other services where they still have to work or be in contact with others. To those folks, I send you my love and all the good vibes that everyone else will be smart and avoid putting you at unnecessary risk. 

Our PB&J Bubble
So this brings me to what we're going to do during this COVID-19 time. Well, thankfully PB will be working from home and since I'm a stay at home mom, we're going to do what we should and stay home. We're going to find creative ways to keep our energetic toddler entertained since his usual play groups and social times at the community playground are off limits. This mama is going to try to bake more treats (may some copycat Disney Krispies in the future?) and use the time to dive into more crafts/DIYS. Going outdoors isn't off limits as long as there's not too many people around, so we're going to take walks when the weather is nice. We're finally going to set up all the outdoor play things we've been wanting to set up for Ben and create our own magic right here in our own backyard, too! We're going to enjoy the quality family time we're being given and find the light in such a dark situation.

**As of this morning we've been told about 7 million fellow Bay Area residents will be placed on "Shelter in Place" or lockdown orders. Here's what we were told and I'll update more as this goes down:

-We must stay in our homes, unless to get life essentials (groceries, essential work positions, medical issues).
-Grocery Stores will remain open, as well as essential everyday services like gas stations, laundromats  healthcare facilities, childcare for essential workers, banks, maintenance and law enforcement.
-Being outdoors is okay, as long as "social distancing" is observed.
-Restaurants may still remain open but only for takeout and delivery.
-Everyday services like postal delivery, garbage services, DoorDash, public transport will resume as normal.

Make a Difference
Aside for our own family time, we're finding ways to still help and make a difference for our loved ones such as:
  • Offering to help run errands or get groceries for our parents/loved ones near by that may be higher risk. Consider offering to do the same for anyone you may know in your life that is higher risk. You can make it so that they don't have to be out and about in crowded stores and drop off their goods on the door step or deliver to their home.

  • We're seriously considering setting up some sort of grocery service or meal service to loved ones who we don't live close by (ex. my in laws) so that they don't have to go out at all.

  • Call/FaceTime loved one of people to just check in on them.

  • With that said, I tend to do my "Mama Monday" updates on my Instagram Stories each Monday as a little check in with everyone. After posting a random "how are you doing?" on my Instagram yesterday I did receive a few messages from people saying that it did help just being on my stories since it made them feel less isolated during this time. I'll continue to do my check ins with everyone and will always be here via my email or Instagram so that you don't have to feel alone.

We'll Get Through This!
This is such an unknown time but what we do now will greatly help the outcome! Stay safe everyone and take care! 💜

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