What if staying at home is not an option?

Everyone is talking about it, and I was thinking whether I should write my thoughts on it and how could I do it to also help.

Events are being postponed, people isolate themselves, supermarkets shelves are getting empty, slowly everything is going low in stock or out of stock.

This virus-fever has caught us all in the game.

In the end of January my manager asked me if I had Coronavirus, as a joke, because I was coughing. I don’t have a TV and I don’t read the news (what an ignorant); I had no idea what she was talking about. I searched Google, and I found out about this rapidly spreading virus.

There was a chicken flu in the past and there was a pig flu as well. I survived both of them, even if everyone was panicking, the panic passed after not very long. So I just decided that with this one I won’t even bother, because it will go away the way the other two did.

Oh well, it didn’t. In fact, it’s bigger and bigger every day, and this alarms me a bit, not because of the seriousness of it, but because of the way people react to it. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about self-isolation here.

I completely understand the maths and I know it spreads quicker than we can control it. I know there’s no cure to it and there won’t be one anytime soon. But I also know that if we buy every possible resource and leave nothing for the other people, the social situation will eventually get very bad.

We went shopping yesterday, and we were happy to find some spinach pasta that no one was touching. There was no more cooking oil, no more eggs, no more hand soap, not even mentioning the hand sanitizer, that is something we can forget ever existed.

I went for a run today and went in a different, bigger supermarket, to see what’s the situation. The chicken shelves were empty, pasta & pasta sauce, rice, eggs, cans, cleaning products, biscuits, frozen foods, toilet paper. Even the vegetables were going extremely low.

I will go tomorrow in these two stores and in others as well to see how things are evolving, just to have an idea of how to prepare myself for the moment when the Government will finally tell us all to stay home.

People are isolating themselves and it’s a normal reaction, especially because it’s being supported by the authorities. But what if you can’t do it?

Me an Aleks are working in hospitality, and there’s thousands of us, paid per hour, which have bills to pay and can’t really afford to stay home. Considering the situation, a holiday won’t be authorized for every single employee, because these businesses can only work with physical contact.

So what can we do?

1. We are acting normal, continuing to wash our hands as often as we can, as we were doing anyway being in this industry.

2. Having to take the bus to work every day is not an option, otherwise I would have to walk around 2 hours, and during the night by the highway I am risking way more than being infected with the virus.

However, I started walking and take only one bus instead of two when I am going to work. Very soon the sunset is going to be later and I will be able to do the same on my way back home. I won’t be able to avoid all contact, but I will diminish it as much as I can.

3. I am only reading information from official sources, which are the World Health Organization’s website and the UK Government’s website. Here’s some useful links:

  • First of all, one video made in 2018 about normal flu caught my attention, it would be good to watch it just to get an idea of how bad normal flu is as well.
  • Then, here’s the page of how to action on the current situation, what preventive measures to take and also, what are the myths about this disease that are worth considering.
  • The situation report, so you can see how it is evolving.

4. Don’t panic. Take as much care of yourself as you can, be cautious, avoid crowded places as much as you can, and stay informed from relevant sources.

5. Help everyone around you understand what is happening and share with them certified sources of information, to help them stay safe.

It’s really important that we don’t freak out and take the situation as it is. If you can stay home, do so, it’s best for you and the ones around you. If not, take all the recommended advice to stay safe, and also don’t overreact with shopping, other people need to live and eat as well.

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