Depending on who you are, the pseudo-quarantine has lasted for a week give or take a few days.
For some, they haven’t been able to seek the safety of self-distancing because of their jobs.
Either way, it’s been a weird week if you live in Utah. Between the social distancing, the earthquake and the economic uncertainty, a lot is going on.
And while the government is working on solutions to these problems such as temporary government-issued income, cures for COVID-19, and a possible vaccine, none of these solutions are advanced enough where we can quite count on them yet.
So it’s up to us to be responsible for us and ours and do our best to flatten the curve and support each other where we can.
I’ve been seeing a lot of suggestions floating around online, and I thought it’d be a good time to put them together in a list.
So if you’re looking to help do your part, consider the following:
First, order takeout.
If you were like me, you were probably caught with your proverbial pants down, bought what you could at the near-picked clean grocery store, and are sitting at home reenacting an untelevised episode of “Chopped” every night for you and your family.
But while we’re all at home, thousands of local businesses are suffering as well, because no one is coming in for business.
These are Utah families who have learned to make a living by serving others.
Even though we all dropped a good chunk of cash on groceries, we should still do what we can to keep them in business during these hard times.
A lot of local joints are now offering delivery, take out and curbside pickup to help accommodate people’s desire to distance themselves, so take advantage of that while you can and keep your groceries around in case you need to legitimately self-quarantine later.
Second, purchase gift cards to your favorite local businesses.
If you don’t feel like paying for goods and services now, you can buy a gift card and work with the business later.
A lot of local places are making company gift cards available for purchase and it’s a great way to leverage them through this tough time.
Gift cards are also a great way to support local companies that aren’t restaurants.
Third, only buy what you need.
I’ve seen a few too many people, mainly women, having breakdowns because they ran out of formula or children’s Tylenol and had kids who were actually sick.
And it’s heartbreaking.
I get it, we all want to make sure we have enough to tough out a full-on quarantine. I’m right there with you. But buying multiple bottles of Tylenol or cases of formula isn’t the way to do it.
Just get what you need and go home.
Luckily, a lot of stores are realizing that they need to take it upon themselves to prevent the stockpiling of rice and toilet paper by either limiting purchases or rejecting returns for specific items.
But if we could all just be responsible and not hoard more than we would need, that would go a long way too.
Fourth, wash your hands regularly, cough into your elbow, and stay away from crowds.
It would be great if we could just recognize that basic hygiene and COVID prevention methods are important.
There is no magic fix for our problems. Until we establish a cure or develop an accurate vaccine the best thing we can do is simply not be gross and try not to spread the disease to our friends, families and neighbors.
Fifth, tell the door-to-door salespeople to take a hike.
Since people started staying at home, I’ve noticed the air quality has improved. I’ve also noticed that the roads are less busy. I’ve even noticed that I get fewer robocalls.
But one thing that hasn’t slowed is the number of return missionaries who come knocking on my door trying to sell me pest control or solar panels.
I’d buy a “No soliciting” sign, but Amazon has put a hold on shipping certain goods so I’m just out of luck all the way around.
I get it, we’re all trying to make a living, but the last thing I need to do is shake the hand of someone who has shaken the hand of every other person in my neighborhood.
Maybe telling them to take a hike is a bit too harsh, but definitely let them know you’re not interested in attracting a virus to prevent bugs.
Sixth, be the smart one in your family.
A lot of people continue to trust random Facebook comments over the research presented by the CDC and WHO, and those people will determine how much we can flatten the curve.
Friends don’t let friends drive drunk and friends also don’t let friends become vectors and infect others. So do what you can to knock some sense into your friends and family so they’ll realize that staying healthy isn’t just about them, but it’s about those around them too.
After all, even the bull-headed are worth saving.
Lastly, try to be accommodating. If someone needs Tylenol, doorbell ditch them a bottle, and don’t hoard it all for yourself. The same goes for toilet paper. You’re not going to be able to return it later anyway.
It’s hard out there for a lot of people, and we need to continue helping each other through it all.