On March 11, the World Health Organization officially declared Coronavirus to be a global pandemic. I wanted to take a moment to put together some resources so we can help limit its spread and assist those in need.
How to Stay Informed
One of the most important things we can do during a pandemic is to stay informed about what's going on. Check the World Health Organization and CDC for updates. I also recommend Vox and the New York Times, as they both have great coverage of the latest Coronavirus news.
For our local readers, the City of Chicago page, as well as the Illinois Department of Health, are helpful to stay on top of what's happening in our area. And, most importantly, don't get duped by—or contribute to the spread of—fake news!
Incase you missed them, here are some great articles to catch you up to speed:
- How Cancelled Events and Self-Quarantines Save Lives
- COVID-19: A Message From Concerned Physicians
- Washing Your Hands Kills the Coronavirus
- 11 Charts that Explain the Coronavirus Pandemic
- A Doctor in the Heart of the Outbreak in Italy Shares What Life is Like in the Hospital
- How Long Does the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces?
- The US Has One Week to Enforce Social Distancing. Here's Why These Days Are So Critical
- Watch A Doctor Demonstrate How to Safely Disinfect Groceries
How to Protect Yourself + Others
You don't have to be showing symptoms or coughing and sneezing near someone to spread the virus, so even if you think you're fine, for the sake of those who are at high risk, and the medical staff who are already overburdened, please take steps to protect yourself and others!
Here's what you can do:
- Wash Your Hands. Washing your hands is one of the best ways to kill the virus. The CDC prioritizes soap over hand sanitizers and recommends you wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (see image above). Hand sanitizers will only work if they are more than 60-80% alcohol-based, and should only be used when you can't get to a sink!
- Avoid Touching Your Eyes, Nose + Mouth. Our hands come in contact with many surfaces that can carry the virus so avoid touching your face, especially with unwashed hands.
- Self-Quarantine. Aside from washing your hands frequently, the best thing you can do to limit the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home and avoid non-essential interactions with people. If you absolutely have to leave your house, remember to keep a 6 foot distance between you and others to limit the chance of catching, or spreading, the virus, and wash your hands and change your clothes as soon as you get home.
- Disinfect Surfaces Daily. The Coronavirus can live on some surfaces for up to 3 days so take a moment to properly disinfect frequently touched areas daily.
- Meal Plan. Hopefully, you've gotten a few essentials so you don't have to get groceries in the near future. Take inventory of everything you have and be sure to make a menu/meal plan, as a complete lockdown is likely in the coming week.
- Monitor Your Symptoms. Do you have the flu or COVID-19? Here's a chart to help you break down your symptoms. Also, remember you don't have to be coughing or even showing visible signs to spread the virus, which is even more reason to stay home!
- Stay in Contact with Friends + Family. Just because we can't meet in person, doesn't mean we can't stay connected to those we love via calls, messages, and video chats. Be sure to check in on friends, family and neighbors regularly to help reduce depression, social isolation and ensure that they are safe.
- Reach Out For Help. Join the local Facebook group for your neighborhood. Many of these groups are sharing updates on where to find essentials in your area, taking care of neighbors, and other community support. For our local readers, here's a list of Chicago resources for those in need:
- Assistance Request Form for Healthcare Workers led by local med students to help decrease the burden on medical staff.
- Senior Care Packages. Seniors can request a free care package of hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and more. Donations are also being accepted for those who can!
- Request for Help. If you need assistance, please make a request here. And, if you are able to help, consider donating resources to one of the requests!
- Pet Assistance. Rescue Chicago is offering temporary assistance for basic pet supplies for those who need it.
How to Stay Positive
With all of the chaos ensuing around us, it's more important than ever to take advantage of this space to go within, meditate and raise our own vibrations and loving energies. Here is a beautiful poem by Kitty O'Meara that says it all:
And, to further inspire you, here are some free resources to take advantage of:
- Free E-Books
- 450 Free Ivy League Courses
- Metropolitan Opera Free Stream
- Virtual MuseumTours
- Free Concerts + Music Events Online
- 15 Broadway Plays You Can Watch from Home
- Recommended blogs to help you tune in:
How to Help
While we may not be able to leave our homes, there are numerous ways that we can help those in need during this pandemic. If you are able to support, here are some great organizations:
- Medical Supplies: Direct Relief
- Food: Feeding America
- Blood: American Red Cross
- Domestic Workers Support: National Domestic Workers Alliance
- Restaurant Workers Support: Restaurant Workers' Community Foundation
- Full List of COVID-19 Charities: Charity Navigator
- Support Your Local Farmers: Many farmer's markets and local grocers have gone virtual and are offering delivery and pick up options. For those in the Chicagoland area, check out this list.
Love + Light,